Alexia Bonatsos, née Tsotsis, the former co-editor of TechCrunch has announced the launch of her new venture tech fund, Dream Machine. She describes it as an “opportunistic seed fund, interested in AI, voice, AR, VR, IoT and blockchain.”
During her tenure at TechCrunch, Bonatsos became well-known in startup circles and made the necessary connections for her new venture. This enabled her to discover individual investors, founders and VCs who would soon invest in her tech fund. She said, “I was among the first people to write about Pinterest and Wish — when it was known as ContextLogic — and Uber and Instagram and WhatsApp. I started to wonder if I was in the right place at the right time — so, luck — or if I’m in the right information flows. I was curious: What if I’d been writing checks?”
In 2015, Bonatsos stepped down from her role as co-editor of TechCrunch. At the time, the reason given was to finish her masters degree at Stanford University, to develop her strengths in management, leadership and innovation. This move no doubt helped her prepare for her next venture in Dream Machine.
Presently, Dream Machine has already made 7 investments. Among these is TruStory, founded by Preethi Kasireddy, a former member of Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz. TruStory raised $3 million from Dream Machine, Coinbase Ventures and other funds. The company’s mission is to “bring authenticity into the digital and decentralized world” and plans to develop a platform for users to “discover and validate claims that people make online, whether in a blog post, white paper, website, or social media post.” According to Kasireddy, the blockchain space has been flooded with low quality information and false claims, and the TruStory platform would help people to sift through the noise to discover quality projects.
The combination of Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, the Internet of Things and other technologies with blockchain is promising. Over the past few years, all of these technologies have moved into the mainstream, shaping our lives in remarkable ways. Through Dream Machine, Bonatsos will contribute to permanent improvements to technology that will impact most people in positive ways, and she is not alone.
Amid government crackdowns on suspicious – and in some cases, completely transparent and legitimate ICOs, we are learning that there is still no shortage of funding for new blockchain projects. This is true, even in China where FUD was rampant about government crackdowns and bans on the thriving technology. In China, the government has partnered with private entities to build Hangzhou Blockchain Industrial Park, an incubator for blockchain startups, where individuals and companies can apply for government funding for their ideas, which includes subsidized rent in the available facilities. This is also true among the most well-known names in the world. Rockefeller’s VC firm, Venrock has begun investing in crypto. The $3 billion venture capital firm was created by John D. Rockefeller’s family, and is looking to put money into digital startups with a high probability for success. With the addition of Dream Machine to the sources of funding for blockchain projects, and the vision of Alexia Bonatsos driving it forward, we can expect great new ideas to come to fruition.