Alexandre Perrin represents Richard Branson's Family Office, he is responsible for the Virgin Group's blockchain investments, and identifies other opportunities within private equity and venture capital. He shared his views on Blockchain, what are the other high potential segments, and why the company was called Virgin.
Alex's comments come at a controversial time for blockchain, and AltaIR is closely watching as well.
In your view, where is blockchain headed and how long do we have until mass adaptation?
It's hard to give a precise indication on the timeline, but I suppose that institutional adoption will need to happen first. The greatest headwind to institutional adoption is regulation, custody and responsibilities when something goes wrong (e.g. fat fingers). Another alternative would be that the gaming community who have always been early adopters, use it first. I would suppose this could take at least another 2 years.
What are, apart from blockchain the most interesting sectors that show promise?
In my opinion: the future of transport, artificial intelligence, genetics and personalised medicine.
What do you look for in projects when assessing them?
We meet the team first and foremost. We ask other teams and funds in the industry recommendations, and we check the community of developers and users (GitHub commits, Telegram group size, engagement on these groups etc). We also believe that there should be a solid investment theses that demonstrates why Blockchain should be used instead of a traditional database.
Has Richard ever indicated why he named his company Virgin?
He was sitting with a group of friends trying to come up with a name. They couldn't find one because they were virgins in business. The name then stayed.
So far, Blockchain and crypto have showed itself to be somewhat of a challenge but one that attracts interest — what do you think needs to happen for it to finally become mainstream?
Institutional adoption, a stronger developer community, a stronger regulatory framework. We also need to have use cases that demonstrate that blockchain has a real competitive advantage over existing infrastructure.
It was great to receive industry best practices as well as to see what the Branson Family Office and Venture Fund is looking at. AltaIR is currently assessing similar segments and we will be focusing on high performance founders and companies in the future.