Excellent. Much better solution.
This is this what NCF needs! +1
Congrats to your new gig but this new initiative of yours really came as a big surprise and put our months of efforts for the NCF grant committee suddenly up in smoke which is quite unfair. Hence I feel there is a need for the communities to know a bit background info on this new venture of yours. We had previously put in a lot of effort with the NEM committee before you started your new job at the NCF. I have many doubts regarding the capability, integrity and potential conflicts of interests of this NEM Ventures Incorporation Proposal made by you.
Before I start, I should make a full disclosure that you used to work for us as a NEM Advisor for our previously planned ICO when we decided to switch from NEO to the NEM platform in March this year. During that period you were with us, for the need of money, you had proposed several business ideas and asked us invest money into your various ventures, that include using our programmers and funding a NEM based ICO software as well as most recently asking us to invest in your own NEM Solo Energy venture where you serve as the CTO, together with your other principal partners David Mansell and Dave Hodgson. For many reasons I had declined your requests. Then since you took on the new job at NCF to review the applications, for the fear of a potential conflict of interest, you had resigned from the advisor post from our company.
While the NEM VC idea may have some merits on its own but the way you made a sudden coup of the NCF to stop all the previous NCF grant applications at the expense of many applicants who have spent months of efforts before you arrived to the scene, seized the opportunity to create a new job and career for yourself and your two own colleagues David Mansell and Dave Hodgson from Solo Energy with the $875,000 annual budget really left me flabbergasted.
As for the merits of the idea of a venture fund for the NEM community could still be debated, but to invest or to approve your proposal the way it is could be a big challenge. To begin with, none of the three general partners David Mansell, Dave Hodgson and yourself proposed by you now has any relevant venture investing or investment banking experiences at all. How do you plan to pull this off?
What do you guys plan to do with your Solo Energy venture to avoid any potential conflicts of interests after this NEM Venture fund if the same partners are still on both businesses?
I hate to say this but it was amazing to see what sometimes people can do to turn a public good into a private interest just like that. We were drawn to switch from our prior blockchain NEO to the NEM platform because of the well-known NCF and the vibrant global NEM communities that we treasure. Seeing your proposal will put an end to the current reputable NCF program is really disheartening, to say the least.
I appreciate there is a lot of frustration and emotion in your post, however lets keep this discussion on topic and based on facts.
To correct several innacuracies in this comment:
Solo Energy is not a NEM project nor is it Kailin’s project, it is an existing business that is implementing part of its a solution using NEM and will run an STO on NEM.
No application for NCF funding has been made or will be made from Solo Energy.
Solo Energy is seeking no investment from NEM VC and its shareholders are publically available through normal company listings in Ireland.
David Mansell is not involved with Solo Energy
Solo Energy is not “our venture”, we advise the founders and actively assist on various aspects of a company that predates and is independent from us. Based on points 2 & 3 there is no conflict of interest and if this should change will be freely communicated with Trustees.
I will leave the rest to Kailin and respond where needed but be careful with accusations that are untrue please and lets try and keep this relevant and constructive.
Thanks for the attempt for the clarifications. The information was based on the deck and the whitepaper that Kailin sent to us when he solicited money from us as well as from the Linkedin profiles.
Your CTO Kailin told me earlier the technology is and will be based on NEM. The NEM connection is clearly written in your whitepaper. Here is one excerpt:
6 Blockchain Framework
The development of the Solo Energy blockchain framework facilitates the use of digital smart assets with the following goals:
- Create an asset financing mechanism to encourage investment in Solo’s Virtual Power Plant system. This is done through the Security Token Offering for battery assets built on the custom Smart Asset System on NEM.
Regarding the qualifications for the three proposed general partners, could you kindly also enlighten us about the education or work experience that any of you may have in venture investing. If not, even any general business investing experience or formal education may also help to create some relevance, if any.
1. This is not a sudden coup of NCF. This is a well planned attempt to address the issues that NCF faces. Planning and discussion of this proposal has been ongoing for some time. I can understand that it may seem sudden to anyone not involved in the processes. though there has been public discussion about how to proceed and improve.
2. I already highlighted some key information to you in private. I’ll quote here: “To give you a little more insight. There are quite a lot of proposals in the pipeline. Dozens have already submitted, and many more are in the process. If we funded them all, NCF would be exhausted and the market flooded with XEM.
90% of businesses fail. I would ‘venture’ to guess that the number is even higher if they use blockchain. It’s important to address this pragmatically.”
3. To call this proposal “unfair” because you already put time into your proposal, and now might be asked for something in return (equity) - seems a bit disingenuous. Especially since you’ve already been informed as to the state of NCF funds, and the sustainability thereof.
4. The work you’ve put into your NCF Proposal retains its value when being assessed from a VC standpoint as well. Investors would ask for similar information. Additionally, those of us reviewing on NCF can continue to assist in review for NEM Ventures.
5. Cosignatories entrusted with NCF in current form will also be entrusted in NEM Ventures. And NEM Ventures proposal cannot proceed without them.
6. “it was amazing to see what sometimes people can do to turn a public good into a private interest”
It might be in current proposals interest to receive funding without giving up an equity or mosaic stake, but it is in the public interest to protect the funds and make them sustainable, by receiving equity or mosaic stakes from funded projects.
7. I have no affiliations with Solo Energy, and Solo has no business dealings with NCF. I don’t see where the conflict would be, unless Solo, or beneficiaries of Solo, sought funding through NEM Ventures. - Which is not the case, and afaik, there are no plans for that.
In conclusion. Approval of NEM Ventures proposal allows NCF to focus time and effort into applicants for funding. This will improve the vetting process, provide for important consulting, ensure funds are more wisely invested, and grow the fund in sustainable fashion, for the future of NEM.
Current proposals waiting in queue, are not waiting because of NEM Ventures, they are waiting because we do not yet have a system like NEM Ventures.
This is interesting and I have only a small understanding.
My main question is will this hinder the creativity of those receiving funding?
Actually, it would have the opposite effect, allowing for greater flexibility and creativity. With closer oversight and dedicated consulting, rigid milestones would take a backseat to company progress.
Who is deciding all this? NEM is done for now. I think people like you guys with no experience in industry is making it difficult for startups to grow.
Who is deciding all of what? Did you read the proposal?
NEM certainly isn’t “done for now” Things are growing at an ever-accelerating pace. This is a key factor in creating the NEM Ventures proposal.
So, firstly i should probably give a little bit of my back ground as it addresses some of the issues you have raised and many reading this may not know me. I am an original stake holder, i was a part of the original core team and i am a founding member of the foundation, so i have been around about as long as anyone else. I have worked with the community fund since its inception and have actually played a key role in the funds operations since then also, with the exception that the foundation in the past has handled a some proposals prior to going to vote while myself and some others handled other aspects such as milestone reviews in those cases. So when you say my new job, it is certainly not new, and it has always been a role i have performed out of my own time as a volunteer - for nearly four years.
With regard to integrity, i have proven my integrity time and time again throughout my history in the nem, and i could not count the number of people that could attest to that. One notable instance of this, was when i discovered a flaw in an exchange which would have allowed me to drain entirely the wallets of multiple currencies. I should also note that at this point i actually had zero xem personally. Despite that fact, I exploited the flaw once to see if it would trigger any internal fail safe, which it did not to my knowledge, and proceeded to notify the exchange CEO immediately. Upon explaining the flaw to the CEO, he provided an address to which i should return the funds, which i did without any request of payment what so ever. The CEO did provide a generous reward for my actions and swift resolution though it was entirely unprompted. If i was anything but integral, i would have drained their wallets and gone to live on some tropical island.
Aside that instance, over the course of nearly 4 years with nem, I have recovered peoples stakes (2m+ xem) for them, i have been custodian of ICO funds, i am a trustee of the foundation, and I was also granted with being a cosignatory of the community fund because of others, including the core developers, faith in my integrity, which is also why i have always played such a large role in the community fund, as well as many many more instances. Integrity is something i have always strived towards and i have no intention of changing that.
I have refused lucrative contracts on many, many occasions for the exact same reason I stood down from the contract with mulechain - of which i requested zero recompense for time already spent with mulechain which im sure you can attest to. The work i do with the community fund is important and for the entirety of my time working with the fund, i have not once ever introduced conflict of interest and that will not change. Even in the proposal, i have baked transparency and accountability into the system to create a culture of integrity and good behaviour long into the future.
Dave has already address the your concerns regarding solo energy so i will skip that entirely bar the raising investment for them.
I will also skip the points that loen has already covered to reduce the brevity of this post.
wrt to the ideas i ran by you, yes, sure i ran some ideas by you when we first spoke but to be honest i run a LOT of ideas by a lot of people, however i did not solicit money from you to realise these ideas. I was interested in collaboration, i help you, you help me, we both succeed in our goals. But i absolutely did not request or even suggest that you invest money into my idea’s. For the ICO software, this is something i have brought up with many, many people as it is a needed resources in nem. The reason it was raised with you is because 1. you wanted to do it for your own ico anyway 2. i had much of the xem back end already done, it would of just needed some modification in order to complete and integrate into a front end. When the idea of creating your own ICO software came up, you said that you had your own developers that could do it, so i suggested that i provide the xem processing aspect and we create a spin off, to which you were very open to doing, but that idea fizzled out over time as did our level of communication and eventually you switched to going for NCF. I really don’t see the issue with this?
As for raising money for solo energy, I absolutely did because i have full faith in their company, business model, management and every other staff member i have had the pleasure of working with and their ethos of helping making the world a greener, nicer and more sustainable planet to live on. I never usually publicly support companies, let alone seek investment for them but on this occasion i made an exception due to my experiences with and personal opinion of the company.
I believe we can do great things going forward with this new initiative, and so far we have received overwhelming support both internally prior to going public during the internal review period and since going public.There are many that recognise issues with the current NCF system and this is a solution to those issues as well as many more relating to sustainability and scope. I have even had a few other companies who are also going for funding be supportive of the initiative regardless of the fact they will need to provide equity in return. .
In relation to how experienced the team is, i will quote some of the profiles that we are in contact with regards management and non exec roles, but i will leave dave and david to jump in on their own, or if they want to expand on any of the other profiles:
A former senior manager of a traditional bank, who retired in their mid-30s having implemented innovative finance products now widely used across the industry, currently advising on the management of a $26bn fund and strong financial contacts
A former US based corporate lawyer from mergers and acquisitions, turned social and environmental champion, has worked at national government level facilitating trade partnership between local and overseas companies and also owned the business plan and business development for expansion of a large craft brewer into international markets.
A current board advisor and non-executive director to a +$400bn market cap international organisation that specialises in investment in high growth, early stage technology projects and commercialisation, previously has held multiple C-level positions in very large organisations across Asia.
25 years in building, developing and leading turnarounds for businesses. Roles include Commercial Director, Chief Commercial and CEO of a $1bn turnover, $300m EBITDA telecom business. Since leaving corporate life he has taken roles as partner in a private equity firm, chair of a bespoke recruitment company and NED positions in creative and disruptive businesses in a variety of industries.
A former EMEA director for a very large multinational Energy company, focussed in renewables, subsequently hired by the CEO of a major international technology company to set up operation and expand through EMEA organically and via M&A. Started his first funded startup at age 16.
This post is already quite long, so i will leave it at that. Regardless of your accusations, which i will put down to frustration as some misunderstanding, i wish you the best of luck with MuleChain as i think you have a solid business model and plan.
Hi there. By way of background - I’m a new registrant to this forum, but I know many of the NEM team and several projects that have submitted for funds. I’ve also spent the last 2 years working with several traditional VC funds, I advise several Blockchain projects evaluating different Protocols (and their associated funds), and have been looking at Crypto funds from a strategic and regulatory perspective. I do hold some XEM.
From what I gather, it seems there are two underlying problems this proposal is trying to solve:
To create increased value and returns for NEM (from returns on investments made by the NCF, and XEM price appreciation from increased adoption and exposure)
To ensure there are appropriately compensated resources dedicated to reviewing, selecting and managing potential investments the NCF makes.
Whilst I think this proposal’s broad aims are on the right track, I actually think the solution proposed puts the two objectives in conflict with each other.
If the fund is trying to generate the highest possible returns, the NCF should provide the company with ALL the funds they think they need up front to obtain the best possible resources in order to meet their objectives ASAP - ie building, and shipping product (and thus generating revenue). Creating complex milestone-based funding release structures will mean unnecessary time is spent both by the startup and the NCF team creating and complying with paperwork, rather than getting on with it. It also doesn’t allow startup founders the latitude they may need to deviate from the agreed plan should a new, more lucrative opportunity arise that they hadn’t foreseen, which could create a bigger, more profitable business. And sometimes those opportunities have limited time windows which means decisions have to be made very quickly.
That’s why in a Traditional VC model, funding is provided in one go for the company’s founders to manage as they see fit during that particular funding round. Further rounds of funding can be raised later, but it is up to the startup, not the investors, as to when that follow-on raise happens.
Further to the point about the higher NCF team management overhead - this is subsequently reflected in the proposed NCF annual operational costs, which are 4x what you would expect for a $10m fund (typically management fees would be 2-3%, particularly given the proposed additional 20% carried interest incentive). I get this is a bit like an accelerator model, but even then the costs are so high that once you factor in potential startup failure rate (assume 1/3 succeeds, which is very optimistic), likely exit multiple (5x would be very ambitious in 7 years for seed stage) and net of original fund $10m, operational expense and 20% carried interest, the fund would actually make a loss, not a profit. And that’s not even factoring in follow-on rounds and equity dilution.
In conclusion, I’m not convinced about the economics of this proposal. In order to support a team of that size and cost, the fund would need to be much larger. Or, the team needs to be a lot smaller, and probably have more direct experience in VC economics if the primary focus is to help generate a return for the NCF.
+1 This sounds reasonable and I share your opinion. Success though is more like 1 in 10 vis-a-vis 1/3 like you said, and that may not even be a unicorn.
Just a quick tidbit.
In prior discussions, some have said things need to be done this way, or that way, but the truth is that every deal will vary, and needs to be negotiated.
There is no one-size-fits-all procedure or schedule. Start ups often do need flexibility, as things don’t always go exactly as planned.
These same points apply to the NEM Ventures proposal itself.
Not really. It would be to create sustainability of the funds. Due diligence would be done, as in traditional VC, to prevent funding businesses likely to fail, but the core focus is not necessarily to maximize returns, “for NEM”
Yes, but for the purpose of point 1. - To ensure resources are available to legally pursue sustainability.
Regarding your points about excessive compensation. Keep in mind that this is the initial first stages, forming legal entities, writing documentation, building website, etc. - For more elaboration on this point, I’ll defer to Kailin and/or others.
I strongly encourage viewers to click the link provided at the bottom of the outline posted here, and read the full text of the 22-page proposal.
Ok fine, but I’ve read the whole 22 page proposal, and the cash flow statement is very light in detail of how those OpEx are being spent, with the year 1 split of Startup cost at $107K and the remainder for what can only so far be assumed to be headcount and marketing (especially if you’re expecting to have 5 GPs, an Analyst, an Admin and a variety of paid advisors). Are the paid advisors included in the ongoing $760K+ Per annum?
And if the purpose is to drive sustainability of the funds, that’s not being achieved as the current economics still don’t break even. It would make more sense to start with 1 or 2 GPs, and add more as the number of projects under management increased. Whilst of course DD needs to be done to weed out scam projects, there’s still a lot more work involved in monitoring and helping the projects succeed toward that 33% success rate.
Leon, @leoinker what is your role in this? I was actually wondering why you were in our NCF committee asking questions on our project earlier. Many of you from myCoinvest were involved in our company’s NCF grant application for some reasons that until today I do not understand. I see that you also have a strong vested interest in the new NEM VC formation. May I ask why?
Now that the NCF has been killed by this new NEM VC gang for the pursue of its private interests, I would like to speak out freely as a XEM POI holder and a NEM community member. I did invest in a lot of XEM earlier because I believed in it and I still do despite the recent financial losses. Our MuleChain project will still go on with NEM and we will continue to treasure very much the support from the vibrant NEM communities all around the world. We would not be interested in pursuing the NCF or the future VC fund anymore due to the loss of confidence in the current NCF management which is under the very same NEM VC sponsors.
My impression during the last few months dealing with the NCF and the NEM community at large is that there are a lot of genuine nice people and I made a lot of friends both at the Foundation level and at the various local communities. Most of them conducted themselves professionally and politely. Sometimes I feel they are so nice they behave like lambs. That was exactly the danger that there may become room for a wolf pack to prey on them and seize the opportunity for their own private interests.
I maintain my views on the lack of integrity and honesty in the sponsors of this new NEM VC initiative. Back in March, right after our announcement that we are going to apply for NEM community fund grant after winning a NEM pitch competition locally in Southern California, the NEM VC initiator Kailin @kodtycoon who was an advisor of our company at the time had threatened to resign. He seized on the opportunity that he has the connections and know-how on how to help us apply the secure the NEM grant for us. I felt being blackmailed but I decided to let him go. I voiced my concern with a high level person at the Foundation at that time and I realized Kailin was indeed one of the original member for the NEM Foundation but unfortunately had not had the chance to make a fortune from the appreciation of XEM in the early days like others did and hence he has always been on the lookout for the next opportunity to make a killing. This NEM VC Incorporation project seems to foot the bill.
Throughout Kailin’s employment with us he has been incessantly asking for cash for his projects and the time of our programmers to develop his own side ventures. I politely declined the requests on several occasions but it has come to a stage that it has become a nuisance to our main business. I do not understand why he was so desperate for money. For that very reason alone I felt alerted and had declined to invest in his various project proposals.
Then came the surprise that he got a job at NCF. Not sure it is a paid job or an unpaid job but he clearly took over the management and the decision making to become the gate keeper for all the pending NCF grant project applications all of a sudden. He made us jump through a few more hoops. We felt it was just a fact of life and we complied professionally. Before he took over we were told by the NCF team at that time that the new guidelines were published and we were in good order at number 2 position after Sernez’s voting first. We had been waiting for a few more weeks not knowing what was going on.
So the coup came a few days ago. Basically this NEM VC’s own grant asking voting project jumped the line to become the first for voting. Not just that, they went further to stop and cancel all the other projects from being voted immediately despite months of work. Isn’t this self-serving to the extreme? This new NEM VC gang seems to take control of the management of the NCF and started making decision for the Foundation now. Isn’t this a coup or what?
Everybody knows that it is not difficult to get the NCF voting passed if any NEM project has a decent business value. The NEM VC gang even meticulously went through the careful design to lower the quorum threshold down to 2% in the new guidelines before the coup so that they could get as easier passing through the voting process themselves.
@leoinker if this coup has been in the work for a long time and this turned out to be the perfect moment for you guys to jump on it to execute the plans, it does not legitimize anything. It does not matter how long a wolf pact had waited before they finally decided that this is the moment to jump on the lambs. A laughter is a slaughter.
I simply feel this ill-conceived plan will create a lot of future troubles for the NEM Foundation. This move may really kill the good will and reputation that the NEM board members have worked hard to help NEM Foundation build in the earlier days, especially if this new NEM VC project is going to be manipulated for private benefits and left in the hands of only a few unscrupulous individuals. If the idea is really good, the persons given the opportunity to run it as general partners will have to be professionally recognized reputable and experienced industry professionals, not left in the hands of some inexperienced, uneducated individuals simply because they are at a crony position to seize the opportunity.
For the community members at large, we will need to distinguish whether the vote is for an ideologue of whether NCF should go for a modified way of operation or is this for these inexperienced individuals to get funded for their own benefits. If this is really for the benefits of the NEM Foundation, I suggest they remove themselves from the general partner position. Let the Foundation board make the selections of the general partners and we members could come up for a vote to decide who should be the ones to manage it for us if the VC idea has already gotten the vote approval first. There is simply no way for such a reputable well-established foundation like NEM to let the system be manipulated so easily by a few individuals this way or else we NEM members would really be considered lambs.
Lastly, moving from community oriented decentralization to a profit-driven centralization managed by a few individuals against the trend is definitely not a good thing for the NEM Foundation.
Usually in debate, a person will present an argument, and follow up with supportive facts, but it really just sounds like you’re on attack mode, and there’s really no logical reason for it.
Since you named me in your accusations, I feel forced to respond. I still hope we can keep an air of professionalism here.
Afaik, majority of NCF members were supportive of your proposal, and you answered questions well. As you know, in your initial proposal, there wasn’t any information regarding dispute resolution. In a peer to peer network, involving valuables and personal belongings, transported across borders of varying legal jurisdiction, this is a critical element to address.
As you also know, I asked about this, and you/your team wrote an article with explanation. I specifically stated I was satisfied with the answer.
As is clear by the chat log, I was the most engaging with your team. And there was nothing negative said at all! I was trying to help!
I am an unpaid volunteer who often works full-time hours simply out of love of NEM and the community. I actually have intended to keep this more-or-less private, so I can retain my status as a normal NEMber, and engage in the banter and discussions on a level playing field with other NEMbers.
All this talk about coups, wolves, sheep, stopping progress, etc is a distraction.
2% must now vote ‘yes’. It’s nearly the same standard as before, except that now an abstention from vote no longer carries more weight than voting no, and the rules are more clearly defined.
Previously, With a quorum of 3%, and 65% majority, it was effectively 1.95% must vote ‘yes’ - So we have actually made it harder to pass vote, not easier, as quorum of 3% is always reached, unless bag holders abstain from vote to give more effective “no power”
You make a lot of accusations with no real substance, so I don’t know what more to respond to. If you have critique of the proposal, let it out, but try to present them as clearly defined points so there’s progress in the discussion instead of mud slinging.
Thanks Ralph, yes that point aligns precisely with what I said above.
Solo Energy is an established business with a platform that already exists in production. The team are very happy have found and be active members of the NEM community and are building p2p energy trading via NEM into the platform. It will be about 30% if the overall stack and dev time (at Solo’s suggestion) is being provided to internal NEM projects such as SDK to help get involved further. The asset financing mechanism you highlight is an STO, which will accept various currencies and the token will be a NEM Mosaic. It is STO though, nothing to do with NCF or ventures and was happening prior to NEM being selectes as the technology. I am unsure why you feel the need to highlight Kailin as the CTO multiple times, it is transparent and public information, he is the blockchain CTO on technical and professional merit, there is another CTO for the energy side, again on technical and professional merit
I think Leon highlights some very pertinent points in regard to many of yours.
Even with that experience, we arent asking for trust in us, we are bringing in profiles of people far senior in non exec and advisory capacities as per the proposal. We are also wrapping the process in a more rigorous and transparent process than is in place to protect the NEM community and give us the ability to fund project into the future rather than public funds being consumed for free with little/no return to then community for that.
Its disappointing to read some of the personal and unprofessional comments and behaviou in this thread. We still encourage you to consider the proposal to solve some problems with the current NCF in a constructive manner and would welcome working with you and the MC team for the benefit of NEM ongoing.
In terms of experience, as you can see in the proposal, there are several profiles who have been spoken to about this which address your experience concerns. 2 of which have indicated that once NEM commits to this and the.details can begin to be discussed, will come onboard. As to our specific experience, in the team you have:
A founding member of NEM that has been involved in NCF since it started with the confidence of the community and core devs
Someone who has run multiple finance raises worth more than the NCF at present and managed the startup and growth of a multi million pound company. Also has strong VC networks including fund of several billion dollars
Someone else who has advised multiple boards and startups while also personally starting a tech company that was profitable in less than 12 months and currently valued at $1m+.
Hi @xemnewbie the intention is help supoort people turn the creativity into viable businesses by advising and partnering more than is possible just now. Where its not a commercial one, the NFP will still help fund smaller creative projects under the grants. Just now there is a 3-6 month backlog on applications due to workload on volunteers as well, so it will help speed things up once running