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Revolutionary News from the Third Generation of the Internet

Adam Benayoun, co-founder of Collider Ventures and Collider Labs—a venture capital fund and accelerator focusing on blockchain and Web 3.0 technologies—is driven by a strong belief in the future of cryptocurrency. He is committed to dismantling the existing power structures that dominate the internet. In Israel, he is actively nurturing a new generation of entrepreneurs poised to deliver innovative solutions for the burgeoning decentralized economy

Yoel Tzafrir, in collaboration with ICBW3. 03 September 2023


Adam Benayoun
Adam Benayoun | Photo: Niki Tork

In March 2020, amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the founders of Collider, a venture capital fund focused on cryptocurrency, blockchain, and Web 3.0, initiated Collider Labs. This accelerator program is designed to support early-stage companies, even those at the conceptual phase, by providing guidance and resources.

 

Adam Banyon, alongside co-founders Avishai Ovadia and Ofer Rotem, aims to cultivate digital asset, blockchain technology, and Web 3.0 entrepreneurship in Israel, assisting entrepreneurs from the outset. "We invest early, with modest amounts, opening doors for entrepreneurs by connecting them with investors and customers and linking them to potential users," explains Banyon.

 

This approach has proven highly successful, giving Collider an edge over larger global funds through its ability to identify and leverage innovative technologies early on. The venture into the nascent realm of Web 3.0 content requires significant bravery—a quality Banyon and his team possess in spades.

Collider stands out in the Israeli venture capital scene as a unique entity, deeply rooted in the crypto space from its inception. Termed a "Crypto Native" within professional circles, it dedicates its resources entirely to crypto-related ventures, affirming a strong belief in cryptocurrency's future.

 

Launched in 2018 with an initial funding of around ten million dollars, Collider has since backed over 30 startups engaged in blockchain technology and digital assets through seed and Series A funding rounds, encompassing both equity investments and token purchases. Entering 2022, it embarked on raising capital for a second fund, securing approximately 60 million dollars towards an 80 million dollar goal. "Investing during a bear market, rather than at a peak, would have been more ideal. Nonetheless, dedicating funds to crypto, blockchain, and Web 3.0 is a matter of conviction," Bennion notes, underscoring the fund's strategy and philosophy.



What will you invest in?


Collider aims to channel investments into security, cybersecurity, insurance, and risk management sectors—any technology promising to enhance the safety of the Internet's third generation. The global market often overlooks security, presenting Israel with a strategic advantage, thanks to its significant investments in encryption, cryptography, and cybersecurity. Israel boasts a wealth of accumulated knowledge and high-quality human capital, comprising both military veterans and academic researchers. These individuals possess exceptional skills and capabilities that align seamlessly with the needs of Web 3.0, a distinction that Israel shares perhaps only with the USA.



What are the investment criteria?


Collider, much like any other venture capital fund, prioritizes investing in individuals who are not only talented but also possess strong ethical values. The next step involves evaluating the market potential of the solution that the entrepreneurs propose—ideally, it should address a significant issue within a sizable market and carry a competitive edge. Only after these criteria are met does the fund consider the technological aspect, specifically focusing on innovations that advance a decentralized economy.



The tech giants have become monopolistic entities


Adam Benayoun's journey from a young immigrant from France to Israel at 16, alongside his mother, to becoming a key figure in the Web 3.0 revolution, encapsulates a remarkable tale of innovation and foresight. His early introduction to computers and the nascent internet laid the groundwork for a 15-year career as an open-source entrepreneur, culminating in the creation of a trading platform for developers. His tenure as a partner at the global accelerator 500 Startups further deepened his exposure to the investment landscape, where he contributed to the growth of startups across 60 countries, including 25 Israeli ventures.

 

Benyon's transition from a Web 2.0 entrepreneur to a Web 3.0 visionary marks a pivotal shift in his professional path. He views Web 3.0 not merely as an evolution in technology but as a revolutionary paradigm that champions decentralized, collaborative models over centralized control. "The underlying blockchain technology, while not new or inherently fascinating, and cryptocurrencies, which are often seen as speculative assets, are not what excite me," Benyon asserts. "Rather, it's the potential to establish atop blockchain a decentralized system of incentives that prevents any single entity from exerting control, fostering a cooperative environment among numerous participants. This aspect of Web 3.0, where 'the counter' cannot simply be 'taken down,' is where its true, transformative potential lies.


Adam Benion characterizes Web 3.0 as a pivotal force capable of reshaping the internet by dismantling centralized power structures. He sees it as a return to the internet's foundational principles—a network built on distributed, open protocols that support the creation of services, products, and cryptocurrencies. This evolution promises to restore control to ordinary users, wresting it from the handful of tech giants that currently dictate the digital landscape. Benion criticizes these corporations for their monopolistic practices, including their ability to arbitrarily restrict user access and suppress competition. He highlights the restrictive impact this has on innovation and the broader internet ecosystem. With Web 3.0, Benion envisions a breaking of these barriers, offering a path towards a more open and equitable digital future.

 


Take advantage of the historic opportunity


The guiding principle at Collider's headquarters in Tel Aviv's business hub on Ha'arbaa Street is "Shaping the future of the distributed Internet." This ethos mirrors the fund managers' strategy of actively investing in digital assets and nascent startups, aiming to bolster the growth of new companies, protocols, and products that will underpin the digital local economy. It's a blend of ideological commitment and enthusiasm from pioneers who ventured into cryptocurrency investments during a time when it was widely dismissed.



You talked about a small and limited group that is actually harmful to the development of innovation. Where will the change in Web 3.0 be reflected?


"Today, accessing your bank account inevitably means navigating through centralized gateways. My vision is a return to publicly owned protocols, the only approach to crafting a system free from singular control," Benion posits. His excitement lies in the potential for such decentralized systems to bring about radical transparency and immutability in transactions—once recorded, they cannot be altered.

"This opens the door to revolutionizing audit processes. The need for extensive auditing bodies, both internal and external, and complex regulatory frameworks primarily aimed at record-keeping, could be significantly reduced," he explains. By safeguarding data against unauthorized modifications, these systems prevent the manipulation of databases for biased interests.

Benion sees a future where costly human tasks are replaced by AI-driven automation, leading to reduced operational expenses. Furthermore, these open protocols would facilitate system interoperability, enabling entrepreneurs to build new businesses on these platforms. "This shift will rewrite the rulebook entirely, reinstating public trust in our systems, correcting the current system's flaws," Benion concludes, highlighting the transformative potential of decentralization to rectify what once was an advantage but turned into a liability.



Much depends on regulation


"I hope Israel will embrace the European and British models, allowing us to seize the monumental opportunity before us and transform the crypto sector into a driving force for technological advancement, creating a robust industry beyond mere exchanges. If we don’t act swiftly and wisely, we risk being left behind. Addressing regulatory challenges will attract more investment and entrepreneurs, significantly expanding the industry. Israel has the potential to be a world leader in this arena," reflects the sentiment on the urgency for regulatory clarity to foster growth in the crypto sector.




In collaboration with ICBW3.


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