Research at Woodstock Fund
Abhinav Neel

"A collective global approach is being taken so that we arrive at a certain level much faster. And then, in a more collaborative way, we can all benefit from it and not just have silos built."

- Abhinav Pathak & Neel Daftary

Abhinav Pathak & Neel Daftary on new world of tech.

Talk Takeaways

Unlike the usual episodes of Ask An Angel, Jeffery takes on two phenomenal men ushering in a young understanding of the new world of tech. Hailing all the way from India, Abhinav and Neel share their knowledge and understanding about Web 3.0, Decentralized Finance, and many more interesting topics that would open doors to opportunities in the startup space.

The combination of Neel’s background in Finance and Tech with Abhinav’s interest in research and blockchain, brought their paths together in Woodstock. Our guests will walk us through the spectacle which is Web 3.0, and how this is opening new developments and innovations in the start up space.

Topics Discussed:

  • Abhinav and Neel’s Educational and Professional Background
  • Finding themselves in Woodstock
  • What is Web 3.0
  • Tokenization
  • NFTs in Web 3.0
  • How NFT is changing the world
  • Web 3.0 in the next 2 – 3 years
  • The Future of the StartUp Space


Abhinav Pathak
I am a blockchain, finance, and economics enthusiast, currently working at the intersection of these fields at Woodstock Fund. I am passionate about photography and football, having been involved in them actively for over 10 years now.

Neel Daftary
Finance, Economics and Business enthusiast with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani.

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The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Welcome to the Supporters Fund Ask An Angel. I’m your host, Jeffery Potvin and today please welcome my two guests. we’re going above and beyond today so we have Neel and Abhinav. And we’re pretty excited to have you guys on the show today. And the best way for us to start is I’ll get you guys to introduce yourselves. maybe Neel will start with yourself. just a quick background on yourself, from your school, the teaching side and what you guys are doing now. And then one thing about you that nobody would know. Neel: understood. And thanks for having us here as well. Yeah, so I did my engineering in electronics through an engineering school back in India and I initially was very much into the electronic space as well. I did some research around material sciences and did some experimentation with Graphene. i just realized that that space was more or less moving, very slow. So, I kind of got into finance instead. And one side of things, i did a minor in finance as well along with my education in engineering. And I did a short strength in the algorithmic and dice team at JP Morgan but I realized that tech and finance were like two different things that were being explored over there. Even though it was a role that was supposed to be something between finance and tech, it just felt like there was a disconnect over there. And in 2020, I came across this thing called D5 which is Decentralized Finance. And just looking at the sheer innovation happening in that space, I realized that this is what finance and tech combined should look like. And I just decided to make the switch over and join with stock. And as far as something that I can share would be, I’m a cycling enthusiast. back in 2021, I did around six and a half thousand kilometers of cycling as well. So, that is something that I do in my free time.
Jeffery: brilliant. in your free time. It sounds like you might be doing that quite a bit every day. That’s awesome. very good sport and great to hear about the D5 section. I think that that’s brilliant. very exciting. Abhinav, over to you sir.
Abhinav: Thank you so much Jeffery for having us today. I’m up enough. I am a computer science undergraduate. I did my bachelor’s in computer science along with a minor in finance so my interests have been in the blockchain space for quite some time. I did a few projects in my undergraduate study and then I did a thesis and blockchain as well where I focused on Collaborative Intrusion Detection Systems for IOT networks. like it sounds nerdy but it was a lot of fun definitely. So, that’s how I got into blockchain and research. I was more or less fascinated by the way distributed computers work and how distributed computation is being looked at especially from a research and implementation point of view. So, it got me into that and then slowly and gradually I came across like Woodstock. our co-founder is also from the same university. So, like it just happened to be that my interest in finance and my knowledge of blockchains combined together brought me into Woodstock and like that’s how my journey began. Something that most people don’t know about me is that I’m a teetotaler. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I guess that’s something that is unique about me. probably anything.
Jeffery: Well that’s a great start. And I love the background of the tech side. And it’s good that you’re what was the term called, where you don’t you don’t drink, you don’t smoke. Yeah, so it’s teetotaler. Yeah. I’m not even going to try to attempt the word but that sounds pretty amazing. So, I feel I won’t be able to say it correctly but I love that. So, that’s a really great initiative and certainly I want to dive more into the background that you both have because one of the things that’s a little bit different about what we’re doing today and we talked about this before is that the approach is that one you guys are coming two years out of school. And you’re diving into the finance space and what excited me when we first met and first chatted was that you guys had a lot of great knowledge and understanding of this whole new Web 3.0. And you guys are working inside of Woodstock. And just to share a little bit of detail on Woodstock, Woodstock is a venture capital firm. And you guys run and operate out of all of India. is that correct?
Abhinav: Yeah, India
Jeffery: Yes, that’s great. And when you guys started this or when it was started, you guys both came in from a research analyst perspective bringing your finance, your tech backgrounds which I think is phenomenal. But you’re also bringing something that you probably don’t see very often in a VC firm and that is the young understanding of the new world of tech. And this is what got me excited when we first started talking. This is something that I think a lot of VC firms may not have the knowledge or the background to because they’re not always hiring people that are right out of school, that are in the research side and utilizing them for their knowledge. But their inept ability to work inside of this new space. And it’s pretty exciting because you guys probably grew up and I call it, the “young tech recycling group” because when you guys were born, you were born into recycling and you’re born into tech. So, you’re born with a phone in your hand or an iPad and that’s pretty much all you’ve been using for the last 20 to 30 years and everything was about recycling. And now you guys are being able to utilize those skills. So, maybe what we can do is we can talk a little bit about understanding. And you mentioned this Neel when you first started in school, you had this excitement. you’re going into engineering. you got into the banking sector and then you’re like well this isn’t really doing it for me. it’s not really the tech that I was looking for and then boom you hit this Web 3.0. And now lives changed. Can you talk a little bit about what that emphasis is? What really makes a big difference in this journey that you’re on in life that really focused on getting into defy getting into this new tech? And why is this making things more exciting for you than your standard working at a bank nine to five type of thing?
Neel: definitely. And yeah, it’s a really interesting question that you asked this as well. So, when I did my internship back at JP Morgan, the process was, basically there were a few ideas. you might need to create a code that works and creates these indices. So, it’s a fairly straightforward process that comes in from the managing directors. then it comes down to the research associates then it comes down to the analyst. as an analyst and as the amount of research and reading that I was doing in the financial quant space, I wanted to build things. I didn’t want to just take those instructions and just create a basic code for that. And what I saw based on all the regulation that had kicked in after the 2008 financial crisis, the innovation in that space was extremely slow. one very basic idea takes more than two quarters to be developed and then shipped out to their clients. But in D5, you can have an idea. You can work on it for a few months to a few weeks. That kind of time horizon, and you can ship that product out and you can actually see millions of dollars being traded. live on it. And this access was not just limited to institutional clients. any retailer and institution could come and use your idea, build on top of it and that to me was just beautiful. And that’s the reason I came into space. And I hope to work in this space for a long time because this opportunity to innovate, that people like me, people of my age at the age of 20 to 25 get in this space is unparalleled or comparable to what traditional finance has to offer. What I love about that is that a lot of people aren’t looking at coming into this space. No, there’s now a school that’s offering classes and everything around venture capital and being able to get into the space but taking the approach that you did which was build a degree around something that you were passionate about. And now going in and finding companies that are doing this research and saying maybe we could invest in these companies. or let’s get into this Web 3.0 and really drive it forward. So, Abhinav, when you started on this journey as well and you guys have very similar backgrounds, what was the piece that really interested you the most about diving into Woodstock for one and then getting into a business that was focused heavily on this Web 3.0?
Abhinav: yep. I think for me, it was more or less similar to what Neel mentioned. So, I did a stint with IBM. I tried out how software development works. I was coding in university as well but I wanted to see how I would fare in a corporate environment and for me that was very mundane and very boring. like they give you a task and you have to do that, this and you’re done. like that’s it. there is no innovation. There is no thinking outside the box. So, once I was done with this whole software developer stint, I was okay, like let me go back to the roots. I like researching a lot. I like reading about things and I like formulating ideas and plans in order to at least have some sort of innovation to what has already existed. So, I started reading more about blockchains and I started understanding how the actual blockchain concept works from a technical point of view, like how can I put my degree in computer science and use it by studying blockchains. So, my approach was totally technical. I was enjoying the technology and just it happened to be that okay Woodstock was looking for someone who had experience with technology, who had the computer science background and who also knew how blockchain works because blockchain was still a young space to be in, right. So, when I joined I was like okay. I started out with technology and everything was more sitting behind the computer, understanding how the tech site works and what the different projects are doing. But then, slowly and gradually, I evolved into talking to more and more projects providing them insights into what all I have started, from speaking to more than 300 to 400 different companies that are building on the blockchain and the Web 3.0 space. So, that was more or less how I got into this space. It was out of my own interest and like I would say some sort of serendipity which got me into Woodstock as well. And now the web has three holes, the Web 3.0 ecosystem.
Jeffery: I think that’s a great way to get introduced into the space which I think is again pretty exciting for anybody to have an understanding, a background in it and then be able to migrate into doing research and helping investments come to fruition through your knowledge. And I think that’s pretty awesome. maybe to kind of take and peel the onion back a little bit, maybe what we should do is we should define what 3.0 means to you guys. And maybe Neel you can share a little bit about that because I know that in Woodstock you guys focus on I’d say four areas from what I gather which is D5, NFTs, Web 3.0. And then I guess you’re kind of looking at maybe the ultra or this other category. maybe you can talk a little bit about what those look like and what they actually mean. So, I’m sure a lot of people may not have that understanding of what Web 3.0 is and I could probably go on all day about NFTs and D5. But maybe Neel you can start by giving us just your overview of what Web 3.0 means to you, kind of boiling it down to a very simple word.
Neel: Web 3.0 to me is just democratizing the access and the opportunity that the internet has created for everyone. Currently, if we look at the value that has been generated through everything that has been built on top of the internet, anything, ask this question to anyone. Their answer would just be the tech giants’ fan companies. these other companies that have been able to generate the maxim returns power and the data that has been captured. But Web 3.0 to me is an opportunity to build all of these applications and more. And by more, I mean financialization gaming. all of these industries and these can be built in a way in which all stakeholders including builders’ users’ people who are providing auxiliary services are able to make sufficient returns based on the contribution that they’re making. yeah that’s Web 3.0 to me. kind of democratizing the returns and opportunity in space. really what it’s doing is it’s taking the controls out of big business from them doing everything and pushing this down to the user and saying look we don’t need to pamper it up with all of these advisors and portfolio managers. we’re going to let you do all the work and you’re going to pay for it. you can use our systems and we’re going to allow you to take care of it and run it and if there’s an issue no worries, you got it because you’re the smart person in the room. And we’re going to help you educate yourself on how money works, on how trading works and eventually all of this will become decentralized from them and put in the hands of the user and we’re going to hopefully build a stronger community of people that understand things a little bit better. Is that a fair assessment? Yeah. I think it’s a fair assessment and herein comes I think a criticism of f3 as well. that it is difficult for common people to understand and I feel the kind of work that we’re doing and the kind of work that everyone in the space is doing is right now, and I hope for the next few years is just to educate everyone else about what is happening in the space and explaining it to them how they cannot get burnt through all the noise in the space and can focus on the actual innovation and development happening around. So, I think that’s a fair assessment.
Jeffery: Yeah. Great. And now I haven’t you guys looked at different companies on the token space infrastructure side? Web 3.0, NFTs, D5, maybe you can give us an example of what tokenization means? Again, this is going to be probably not new to everybody, especially the tax sector that would be part of our listeners. But maybe you can talk a little bit about what you guys look for in tokenizing companies or in what D5 means to you.
Abhinav: perfect. So, I think when it comes to like all the different sectors that are available on Web 3.0 and that are being built, D5 has caught everyone’s eye a lot because like when it comes to finance and bringing technology to finance the whole marriage is a very strong suit for everyone. So, I think if you want to break down D5 and tokenization, one thing is to be sure that you need decentralized finance. Why is it important? and as Neel mentioned, it’s about giving power to the people. It’s about the open source community. It’s about the transparency that you can get by using a blockchain. So, I think that is the key. D5 provides us a very powerful tool in uniting the whole Web 3.0 community around it. So, that’s how we look at it. And then we talk about tokenization. I think we are trying to focus more on how we make access available to different people in a better manner. So, tokenization has been the focus of different companies. like whether it is companies like Propane, whether it is companies in the D5 space, like Frontier or maybe Madrix. So, these companies that are in our portfolio, they’re trying to make access more easy for everyone in this space, whether you’re like an individual, whether you’re a retailer, whether you’re a company and so on. So, that’s been the goal of tokenization altogether.
Jeffery: perfect. great explanation. And then I’ll throw the last two over to Neel. if you can just describe a little bit on the NFT side, as well as the infrastructure side on how this all wraps into Web 3.0.
Neel: understood. So, NFTs is probably the thing that we saw the onset of D5 happening back in 2020. But something that we realized towards the end of 2020 was finance is not interesting. This is not something that drives people to an application. what people and how trends and the viral culture that we are right now in what brings people is something which is exciting. something that they can kind of show off with their friends and that is where NFDs have come onto the stage, not NFTs. that is non-fungible tokens which have been a digital representation of a collectible item that may be art that may just be a profile picture that you can use for your social media. And all of these opportunities that NFTs have given. NFTs can be a representation of anything that we cannot have in a fungible manner. So, anything that you do not want to put in a currency, kind of a state, is true. you can convert it to an NFT. whether it could be real estate, it could be a legal contract, it could be art. It could be collectibles. So, the design space for NFTs is pretty huge and how they’ve come onto the stage is pretty remarkable. If you think about it, two of the really popular NFT collections , the Bode Club and the Mutant Tate Club, did more volume. they did close to 480 million dollars of volume in the last month. that is January 2022. that was more than 10 million more than the entire box office did around the world. So, they’ve come and have set this cultural moment in the space right now which is unparalleled. We haven’t seen something like this happen in decades. This is probably something which is going to be defining our culture in the future.
Jeffery: And it’s great that you said that it defines the culture. And it is so fascinating how this is defining the culture. Just like Web 2.0 and Web 1.0, it’s the fact that it looks like the world is getting bored of what’s going on and we’ve been trying to find a way to change things. you can’t make money when things get boring. So, you’re trying to find ways to shift the way the money works, shift the way people are interacting and it kind of seems like it’s the next natural next step. Web 2.0 did everything. we did the whole group thing, then we went to self-building and now we’re going to change everything all over one more time. And we’re going to throw in, make you the empowered person and we’re going to drop the big business as best as we can and we’re going to decentralize everything so that you have to figure out how to make money to live and survive. And right now, inflation’s going through. The roof costs are crazy hiring people. The resource side has gone through the roof and everybody’s sitting at home and the entire pandemic is just how do I get 12 more jobs and how do I create more income so that I’m making more money. And then, boom! All of a sudden NFTs pop up and now I can design something and sell it like crazy even though art has been around for hundreds of thousands of years today. they’re making more money selling art and monkeys than any other time in history and it’s all transacted on some small digital piece that we all own and share and can see but boom that’s going to change the way we all operate. And now it’s shifting the way the mind works because now you’re going to school and now you guys could probably look at it and say and this comes out a few times online, ‘do I really need to go and get an education?’ I can sit at home and trade NFTs. I can sell and buy bitcoin and Ethereum. I can do some blockchain stuff. I don’t think I need a high school or university anymore. I can just self-educate. So, now it looks like education is going to change because now there’s a possibility that education is also decentralized. And it hasn’t been talked about. But I look at and think the governments can’t afford all of this. they can’t afford to keep it in a lot of countries. a lot of people don’t go past grade nine. So, maybe the rest of the world starts to decentralize that and now they put the education and emphasis on you to learn, except for maybe doctors and other things that have a profession. What’s your thoughts about Abhinav? if everything starts to unfold and everything starts to become decentralized, how do you think the markets are going to be able to yeah? I think that that’s a really good analysis of where we could potentially end up and that sounds rather dystopian. I don’t think people should stop focusing on basic education and start jumping into NFTs and trading bitcoin and so on. I think we need to have a good balance between what we fundamentally need to learn and where we see the whole technology space going. So, I think it’s like the vision that you just painted in my head. It sounds very dystopian. We do not want everything to become so decentralized and so chaotic that we are not even able to fulfill the basic needs that our society requires from us. So, a better way to look at it is some sort of controlled decentralization. because it’s a specter. At the end of the day, it’s not like either you’ll be totally centralized or you can be totally decentralized. you will be somewhere in the middle. So, we just need to find the right middle ground and we need to have the right regulations and legal compromises in place where we are able to work together with the governments. the people have enough power to just collaborate in a better way rather than things working in a siloed manner as they do now. So, it’s more about openness, more about transparency and I think that is where we should lead to. And not totally chaos and decentralization in a way where education is just lost has its essence. So, self-education is great. I definitely agree with that but it should not be that we are putting the cost of self-education. I would say the cost of education in front of our fundamental knowledge that we need to build. And I love that you say that and you take that approach because it shows that you see the value in the structure that has been built to this point. But I also think that there’s an interesting piece where innovation does come in is that, over the better part of the last 10 years, when they have been moving people to be able to do degrees online, that there has been with doing it yourself online. only one percent of all people that take courses online actually graduate. So, there is a significant amount of drop that happens because people aren’t putting the effort in and they’re not moving themselves into that position. And the people that go to the school typically tend to graduate because they’re in the mix of things. So, the technology is there but it’s in the place where you need to be in order to learn and educate. So, taking that approach obviously sounds like a great way to balance out all of these changes that might occur and even if the world does decentralize where the governments are going to put their money because of taxes or inflation, whatever those costs are that technology is an enabler and that people still have to use that term, that it’s an enabler. it’s not a distraction or take away from the initial goals. So, that all of a sudden you find that this as you called it this dystopia changed. it’s occurred and now everybody’s in chaos because the process is broken. they don’t know where to go and what to do next. But it’s fascinating that in tech and in the areas that we’ve talked about, that this whole 3.0 is so new, that we don’t really know what’s going to come out of it but I think it’s exciting. And I think that even if education changes, I think it’s going to change to be the best possible way that it can be and that’s what I think Web 3.0 is. it’s that it’s revolutionizing the way we view life and the way that we interact, the way we communicate and The way that we do anything is really becoming this new robotic generation of change.
Jeffery: And now Neel, taking your background on the engineering side, there is a lot of engineering robotics. All of these things are really going into the computing massive power, computing side of things. How are you guys as a research and an adventure firm? how are you guys looking at that aspect? is this something that’s super exciting? and you guys are diving deep into Israel because they do a lot of this robotic stuff. What does that look like for you guys?
Neel: So, as you mentioned, like I think we are the age, like we are the generation that has this exposure with technology. And we basically fall in love with almost every new tech that is coming into the space as well. But Woodstock has a fund. Our main focus has been in the web 3d space and the subcategories of D5 NFT gaming and infrastructure pertaining to the blockchain tech stack. But yeah, as you mentioned, there could be a potential in the future. Yeah. potentially in the future we aim to be an emerging technology fund. So, as the future goes ahead we see the opportunity and the development and these spaces also reach the place where we feel comfortable going into these spaces. That is definitely something we should look into. And I’m in a personal capacity. I really love the development in robotics IOT machine learning that is happening around the world.
Jeffery: Oh yeah. It’s exciting. I just love talking to tech men. So, this is all very exciting. maybe the next little thing that we can dive into real quick and maybe at Neel, we’ll start with yourself, share a little bit about maybe some views on what you see happening in Web 3.0 over the next two to three years. Where do you see the big change is going to happen? Do you see that NFTs are going to take off and die? Do you see that the D5 side of things is going to be tremendous? that banks are going to have to buy companies like crazy to keep up with the pace of it, that capital is going to change and tokenization is going to be 80 of any government’s next steps. What are you guys personally seeing around this space and what’s your predictions for the next two to three years in the Web 3.0 space?
Neel: understood. So, I particularly focused my research on D5 and the gaming industry. So, I can kind of touch up on that D5. it’s grown from like let’s say 1 billion dollars back in 2022, almost a 250 billion dollars industry right now. And every day, I see it eating a pie from the traditional financial services industry which is again a five trillion dollar industry. So, my prediction is that D5 will at least go and become more than a one trillion dollar industry in the next two to three years. That is something that I personally believe through sheer innovation or just the migration and tokenization of real world assets that traditional financial services firms currently do. So, I feel there is going to be a two-pronged approach to D5 going to a trillion dollar industry. one is going to be through the innovation that they create and the other being tokenization of the services that current organizations are offering. And when it comes to gaming, the design space is just pretty huge right. We’ve seen the acquisition of Activision’s Blizzard by Microsoft, Facebook transitioning to Meta and the entire Web 3.0 ecosystem also kind of diving deep into the idea of metaverse. So, I believe that industry is going to be pretty huge considering if the COVID related situations continue around the world. And we are experiencing more of these variants. our digital lives are going to become an increasing part of our lives and kind of having that meta was to kind of go back into and relax and chill. That will be something that will have enormous potential over the next two or three years.
Jeffery: I love it and totally support that. I see the growth, 100% huge and making it to be a trillion dollars in three years. I don’t see that being a very tough nut to crack. And then I think on the gaming side. Man, I’ve been gaming for a very long time myself and it’s changed so dramatically that even with Activision being purchased and everything else that’s going on in this space, we won’t even notice that we’re in a game. it’s just happening so quickly. There’s so much happening around us in this space that everybody and their grandmother will be playing if they haven’t already started. So, great advice. I love that. Abhinav, how about yourself, how are you seeing in the spaces that you’re personally diving into?
Abhinav: So, like Neel mentioned, he looks at the fire and desires to take a more different approach towards infrastructure and how tooling is used in order to make these things happen. So, I think like on the blockchain side itself, we’re going to see a lot more scalability in terms of how much we can process, how much we can compute on the blockchain layer or what execution levels can we achieve especially on the base protocol itself. So, scalability is going to be very big and as we have seen that like the whole Web 3.0 ecosystem is still fragmented. So, we are going to see a lot of interoperable blockchain solutions that come up and basically bridge these gaps just to make sure that we are not creating another infrastructure that is siloed and we are working like in order to create a mesh sort of situation where everything is connected to everything and interacts with each other in such a seamless way that a user does not even realize how it works. So, I think scalability and interoperability are going to be very key. I would say innovations are moving forward as well. And I think another thing we would see in the web free space would be user experience and user interface. how they are going to change over time in order to make things easy for even a non-technical person to just go on and buy a bitcoin or decentralized exchange or have a wallet where you can just interact with all different applications, buying an NFT, doing trades or playing games. And have a whole ecosystem just on your palm. So, I think that’s where we are moving towards. And in terms of the whole space growing, I think more new sectors will emerge as well. it’s not just going to defy NFTs, we might have something related to quantum computing coming on to the blockchain and merging together in order to form a bigger tech stack that enables a lot of new features. So, that’s the vision that I have and I feel like we are going to be very strongly moving towards that given the inflow of people we are seeing in the Web 3.0 space. The world is creating a lot of brilliant people and they’re all good and you utilize as much as possible across all these new businesses. So, it’s very exciting.
Jeffery: very exciting. I wanted to touch base just quickly on one of the things that you said because what popped in my head when you were sharing it was that I was reading an article and saw a video of the Olympics going on in China right now and they’ve created this massive bubble around. I think it’s three bubbles around everybody that is going to participate, news everything that’s going on inside of it. And what they talked about is that everything is done by QR codes, testing to obviously protect on the COVID side. And they’re all over everything. there’s no connection to the outside world. it’s all divided, blocked out. But what was really fascinating is that all of your food being served, the cleaning everything is all done with robots. that the entire facility is being managed and operated by using deep tech massive infrastructure that needs to be to run these throughout the entire place. And it was in watching this, it felt like we were in 2080 or something like wow this tech is really taken off. And I’m going to say China’s leading that. We have never seen this before where they’re literally running everything with tech. And who knew this was even being built. So, I think this is pretty impressive that they were able to come up with this and it’s all under the radar. it’s literally just running the Olympics and there’s robots going around and doing everything. So, what are your guys’ thoughts on that? Is it too soon or man, it hasn’t been soon enough? And we’re glad that this has jumped out and what infrastructure they must be running to be able to support all of this tech. Neel what’s your thoughts?
Neel: I completely feel that this is a great achievement that they’ve done. This is potentially a great experiment as well and this can kind of showcase how events can be done in the future considering the pandemic-like conditions. go ahead. this is something that could be the next great China export to the world in my opinion, something like this. And Jeffery, just to touch upon, like you mentioned that this was happening all in the background. nobody knew about it. I think maybe Web 3.0 is where this comes into the open source space, where not only researchers working in China are focusing on this technology but a collective global approach is being taken so that we arrive at a certain level much faster. And then, in a more collaborative way, we can all benefit from it and not just have silos built.
Jeffery: That’s the best line of the entire show today right there. I love it. you’re banging on it. It is all about being collaborative and ensuring that the rest of the world can jump on top of all of these things together and that everybody works together to build up this type of technology that supports it and enables humans to be better, faster, quicker, more efficient, smarter and environmentally friendly versus how we’ve been acting. So, I do agree and I really do take that to heart that I hope Web 3.0 is more about collaboration and defying everything does really open it up to the rest of the world by decentralizing the way people are operating and government’s working and that there’s a lot more collaboration that goes on from this. So, very well said, very well shared. So, we’re going to kind of make a little bit of a pivot here and we’re going to move into more of our rapid-fire questions and how we will do this is I will start on the business side. I’ll let you guys, maybe you can both share an answer. Maybe we’ll take flashcards. Well you guys do it at the same time just so that we get both answers and then we’ll do just a couple of the personal side questions and each one of you can kind of answer them because the business side you’re both going to both work for the same venture firm so you’ll get out that information. So, we’ll just kind of whip through that but it’ll share a lot of great grander details around how you guys are operating there. So, if that works for you guys, it’s literally one or the other. how’s that?
Abhinav: sounds good.
Jeffery: okay. Perfect. Business. All right. Who would you work, invest in first? Would you rather go for a founder or co-founder?
Abhinav: I believe the founder. there is always going to be this opportunity of building the school team around the founder. But a founder who has the vision and the clarity around what they’re building is really important in my opinion.
Jeffery: Okay, what’s more interesting to you guys, unicorn or a four-year 10x exit?
Neel: I would say a unicorn.
Jeffery: okay. Do you guys rather invest in NFTs or anything and everything under Web 3.0?
Abhinav: anything and everything under Web 3.0.
Jeffery: okay what do you prefer, ai or blockchain?
Neel: oh, this one’s easy. I would definitely go with blockchain. But yeah, it’s a great future for ai and a good collaboration happening on ai plus blockchain.
Jeffery: agreed. fair enough. First time founder or a second- or third-time founder?
Abhinav: I think there is an added advantage to a second or a third time founder either it is just a successful exit or learning from their previous mistakes as well. Learning is always good and it certainly does come across on both. But the risk of the first-time founder is always exciting too.
Jeffery: first money in or series an investment?
Neel: I would say both but yeah first money and is definitely more interesting and more exciting as you just mentioned.
Jeffery: Okay, would you guys take a board seat or an observer seat?
Neel: I think we would like to take a boat seat as well, kind of be hands-on with the projects that we work with.
Jeffery: okay. Safe or convertible note?
Abhinav: ah, this one’s tricky. I would rather not comment on this one. This is not my area of expertise.
Jeffery: lead or follow?
Neel: lead.
Abhinav: no, go ahead. go ahead.
Neel: Yeah, we are kind of working towards an industry that is going to be leading a bulk of how technologies and technologists collaborate in the future. So, definitely, lead.
Jeffery: I love it. equity or interest payments?
Abhinav: I would go with equity.
Jeffery: Okay, number of companies invested per year?
Neel: close, we did invest in almost 30 companies. I think 30 to 35 companies last year.
Jeffery: bam! Huge. Awesome. two qualities in a startup that you guys look for that will stand out and interest you guys in wanting to invest?
Abhinav: I think perseverance. like you need to be sure that you are going at it just head on. you don’t care what is happening. you are ready to do anything, whatever it takes to get your company up to speed. And I also believe timing to be a very critical factor. you could be building the best product that could solve every problem but unless you’re timing it correctly, it may not just work out.
Jeffery: I like it. Those are both very valuable points. Okay, we’re going to jump into the personal side. book or movie?
Neel: book.
Abhinav: Yeah, that’s a movie for me.
Jeffery: Superman or batman?
Abhinav: batman.
Neel: batman.
Jeffery: Superman does get downplayed. I think he’s only ever had one vote. Restaurant or picnic?
Abhinav: I’ll go to a restaurant.
Jeffery: All right. five minutes with Bezos or Oprah?
Abhinav: Bezos.
Neel: Bezos.
Jeffery: yes. mountain or beach?
Abhinav: beach.
Neel: beach on the mount. [Laughter] Jeffery: trophy or money?
Neel: money.
Abhinav: depends on the trophy.
Jeffery: All right. I’m going to say it’s a big trophy, six foot tall.
Neel: I still think about money.
Jeffery: All right. camera or mobile phone?
Neel: camera.
Jeffery: concert or amusement park?
Neel: concert.
Abhinav: Yeah, I think concerts as well.
Jeffery: fortune cookie or birthday cake?
Abhinav: On any day, cake.
Neel: on any day, cake.
Jeffery: All right now we’re going to go into the last few questions here. And these ones are going to have these two questions you’re going to have to answer like so that there’s no right at the same time because I don’t want you to think about it all right. Okay, the first brand that pops into your mind?
Abhinav: Amazon.
Neel: And Nike.
Jeffery: Is that what was said? All right. the most famous person that pops into your mind?
Neel: Satoshi Nakamoto.
Abhinav: Elon Musk.
Jeffery: Nice. look at you guys. That’s huge. I like it. I like it all right. These ones aren’t as aggressive; you don’t have to go as fast. My favorite sports team?
Abhinav: I’d go with Chelsea football club.
Neel: I don’t want to say Los Angeles Lakers, but yeah, I do support them a lot. So, that’s it.
Jeffery: All right. One of my questions used to be Manchester United or Arsenal and no one ever picked Arsenal. So, I decided that I was going to remove the question because I couldn’t find any Arsenal fans. So, I’m realizing that it’s a good thing I removed it because you guys didn’t pick Arsenal either. So, more Chelsea and Manchester United Fans. All right, favorite movie and what character would you play in the movie?
Abhinav: I’m a huge fan of the Daughters and Steve Jobs.
Jeffery: All right, so Steve Jobs. And he would play?
Neel: Yeah, I think any character in the Lord of the Rings. I would even play the end as well.
Jeffery: That would be great. All right. Lord of the Rings. That’s good and Abby. I have always liked you, oh, Steve Jobs. Can you hear me?
Neel: Yes, I mentioned Steve Jobs in the movie Jobs.
Jeffery: Yeah, okay. So, you’d be Steve Jobs all right. That’s good. you guys are big movies. That’s good. I like it. All right. favorite book?
Neel: Psychology of Money. I recently read that. I really like that book. I’ll say thinking fast and slow was a very pivotal book for me.
Jeffery: done. you guys are just adding to my reading list. So, I appreciate that. Thank you. I will make sure I read those ones. But I’ve built a nice list. So, brilliant. Well I want to say to you gentlemen that it was a pleasure getting to learn more about how you guys see the world, all the great things that you’ve accomplished and of course everything that Woodstock’s doing on being super innovative and diving into this Web 3.0 and investing in this space which is pretty amazing. The world is shifting really quickly, and all of these new areas really blow my mind. And I love the innovation side and we get excited about making investments into these areas as well. But I thank you guys very much for sharing your perspective. sharing all of the information you have today and the way that we like to end our show is that we like to give you guys the last word. So, anything that you want to say to startups or to investors I turn it over to you both. maybe you can start but I just wanted to say again guys, thank you very much for all that insight and glad you’re able to share that today. Thank you so much.
Neel: thank you so much Jeffery for having us. I think it was a great session and like it’s just like the questions were really amazing so it gives us more insight into what we think about ourselves as well as about how we see the world so thank you so much for that. And in last words, I think I just want to say that everyone should look into this space. This is going to be big. Web 3.0 is coming for good. So, whether you’re a startup, you’re an investor, you’re an individual, you’re a developer or you’re just a common folk, take a look at technology. take a look at Web 3.0 and see what opportunity you can make out of this.
Abhinav: Yeah, again thanks Jeffery for having us over here for the session as well. And yeah my message to founders would just be whatever industry you guys have been working on, it would be just great to have your expertise in your industry coming over to Web 3.0 and making something great together. So, that would be my message. We would love to kind of hear your perspective, take your knowledge and work together to build something which is really good.
Jeffery: awesome. I love it. And I think the other line that I’ll use to summarize all the great things that you guys talked about today is that hopefully everybody can do this together and we can open source and collaborate as much as possible around the world to help 3.0 really help change the way innovation is working in every country. okay that was awesome Abhinav and Neel, diving into the whole Web 3.0. And what I found exciting about this is that kind of a different show that we normally have. But what I loved about it was that we really got to better understand a different perspective of where the younger analysts are coming from and what they’re looking for and how they’re seeing the world change. And what I loved about this is that the guys really understood their whole tokenization D5, NFT’s, Web 3.0. of course all of this is surrounded underneath that infrastructure and how much this is changing the world in the next three to five years, just how scalable blockchain is going to be quant computing jumping in. And I love the whole supporting side of it, of collaboration and maybe this Web 3.0, not actual people, but maybe this also opens up governments and businesses to start to collaborate more and utilize the same tech and be able to open up and look for that world of utopia which is everybody being able to share and work together. I loved it all. great insights and of course there are two things that they look for perseverance and timing. So, keep up the hustle and thank you very much everybody for joining us today. if you enjoyed this conversation. please feel free to share with your friends or subscribe on Stitcher. Your support and comments are truly appreciated. You can also check us out at or for startup events, visit Thank you and have a great day.

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