Well, you could call it serendipity that UNLOCK recently interviewed Brock Pierce, the blockchain and crypto evangelist, who is now running for President of the United States. It all took place when UNLOCK last week was interviewing the team behind Gawah Holding’s EvenFlow Capital investment firm that will be officially launched in December of this year in the UAE.
The team of partners behind EvenFlow includes Brock Pierce an actor (First movie Mighty Ducks at age of 10) turned entrepreneur at the age of 16 with an extensive record of founding, advising, and investing in disruptive businesses, As he stated during the interview, “Back in late 1990s I started looking into the role of digital currencies in the global economy after we used them for online gaming when I founded IGE, the pioneer of digital currency in online games, achieving revenues exceeding $100 million in 2006 which we then sold in 2007. We also created IMI Exchange, the world’s leading digital currency marketplace for games. Goldman Sachs had invested in IMI Exchange which was then sold in 2016 for more than 100 million USD.” Since then Brock has raised more than 5 billion USD for companies he has founded. He is also the chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation and Co-Founder of EOS Alliance, BlockOne and Blockchain Capita, which has 100 investments in the sector across its four funds, as well as MasterCoin which he explains ushered in the concept of ICO (Initial Coin Offerings) which disrupted the traditional investment and IPO market.
Brock also founded Tether StableCoin which was the first stablecoin globally and which now boasts of a market worth of 10 billion USD.
It could be that Brock first thought of becoming president of the USA, when he starred in the movie “First Kid” where he played the son of the President of the United States. As he explains, “It was the first time I lived in Washington DC and spent time in the Oval Office.”
He adds, “ Since I was 15, I wanted to be the director of my own life and not an actor playing someone else’s part and as such at age of 16 I found a startup very close to what we now know as YouTube, but it went out of business during the 2000 bubble. Even though the only option I had was to do it all again and I knew digital currencies would be a big deal one day and this was back in 2000.”
Brock believes that if you want to build a 21st century economy you need to do it with 21st century tools. He adds, “Luck is preparedness when opportunity knocks, and I have been blessed with the foresight to seize these opportunities and hope I can inspire others to be their best selves, because greatness is available to us all.”
As for EvenFlow, Brock and the team confirm that they will be launching in December in the UAE. What first started as a concept of Fund of Funds centered around Blockchain soon evolved into something more innovative and relevant to both traditional financial investors as well as new age ones.
Brock being a blockchain agnostic has supported a wide array of blockchain initiatives and projects. As he explains, “It is still too early to know who will win the blockchain platform game but as long as we succeed in making the world a better place we all win. We will have a pretty good idea of who is leading in 1 to 3 years because the world is accelerating at a rapid pace.”
EvenFlow will not invest except in innovative new blockchain related ideas and not those that are prevalent today. The team behind Evenflow which includes Suhail Al Ansari, Deputy Vice Chairman and Co-Founder, Faraz Mehmood, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman as well as Founder of Gawah Holding, Steven M Cohen, partner, Brock Pierce, Partner and Carlo Zola who is an integral part of EvenFlow’s investment team all agree that their combined experience and talents is an integral success factor for EvenFlow.
Each member brings forth strong experience and passion for growing businesses equity, bridging the traditional world with the digital. As the motto of EvenFlow states, “We can see the future and the future is digital”.
For example Steven Cohen is a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of experience in information technology and capital markets. Mr. Cohen has worked across a myriad of industry verticals including exchange (SRO), brokerage, banking, real estate, healthcare and telecom. In 2012, Mr. Cohen founded Wall Street Trading, an equities trading consulting practice that developed and implemented a direct market access (DMA) equity and derivatives trading product solution for global financial services companies, hedge funds and family offices. He played a crucial role in the development of National Stock Exchange prior to its sale to the NYSE in 2017.
In 2018, Mr. Cohen joined Velocity Ledger as a Special Advisor and still acts in this capacity currently. Velocity Ledger plans to execute on three business units: VL Financial – a licensed digital asset exchange domiciled in Bermuda, VL Technology – a global blockchain trading infrastructure and network, Velocity Channel – global digital asset news and ratings portal.
He met with Brock Pierce and eventually came together to launch EvenFlow, which later on brought Faraz and Suhail as well.
Even Flow capital is a Hedge Fund focused on bringing Blockchain & Digital Asset Investments together with Conventional Asset Classes for the institutional and Ultra High Net-worth Investment Community. Even Flow Capital will offer its LP’s a single platform to access a diverse exposure to the capital markets ecosystem including a number of active and passive strategies to both the new and old worlds of Financial Investments including but not limited to equities, credit, venture capital, derivatives, commodities, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies etc.
According to Faraz Mehmood, “The fund is currently undergoing formation post which it is due to apply for regulation with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Unlike others our aim is to be regulated at the gate as opposed to taking advantage of exemptions and regulatory arbitrage.”
Just as EvenFlow brought together the best of the best in terms of the team with a diverse and rich range of backgrounds, it also plans to take everything good from Blockchain and digital assets with existing asset classes. Faraz explains, “We will have three bucket for digital assets and three buckets for conventional.”
Faraz stated that the hedge fund has already seen a lot of interest. He explains, “ Quasi – Sovereign entities in the region as well as various UHNW individuals and family offices in UAE and investors from KSA have indicated support. In addition there has also been support from Europe with Swiss Private banks as well as entities within the USA.”
Carlo Zola who is working on the investment thesis has over 15 years in managing large asset management companies in equity markets. Again he had met Brock in 2016 and was introduced to the realm of crypto. He states, “The Fund will have several pockets of investments that not only benefit from the rise of Blockchain and crypto as an alternative asset class but also utilizes the traditional pillars of a dollar based economy. So we will have different flavors of alternative assets with other types of traditional investments such as Gold.”
All partners agree that having Brock’s Family office onboard is one of the strongest attributes of EvenFLow because of his vision, his strong network, and his track record of investing in innovative companies.
In the end Brock alluded in the interview to his possible entrance into political life when he said, “ I intend to get actively involved in USA politics because I am on team forward and believe that we have more things in common that what separates us.”
What is definite is that whether or not Brock Pierce wins or doesn’t this year, he will not cease to move forward and build networks that strive to make the globe a more innovative and interesting place to work, live, and play.