How I Got Involved with HyperGuap
Here is my reflection on how I began supporting the HyperGuap VC syndicate.
My goal is to share my own subjective experience and to document my journey.
I tend to focus on personal relationships when I talk about business. I hope this transparency is helpful to others.
I will plan to cover all HyperGuap related things in various ways going forward.
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How I Met Gali
After I graduated college, I moved to New York City in the Summer of 2017. I didn’t know very many people who were also moving there, so I rented out a studio apartment in Murray Hill.
Thankfully, Alex Tsankov, whom I got to know from the entrepreneurial community at CU Boulder where I attended school, reached out to connect.
Back in college, I was working on building a productivity app and I loosely tried to recruit Alex to be my CTO.
Alex had built software that our university used to evaluate our professors from anonymous student feedback.
I always thought of Alex as one of the smartest people I met in college and I was eager to keep jamming on ideas with him now that we were both living in NYC.
After hanging with Alex for a few months, he mentioned that he followed this guy on YouTube that was from Seattle just like me, and spoke about Tesla in a really interesting way. Alex mentioned how much he enjoyed his content even though it was a relatively small YouTube channel.
Alex reached out to the YouTuber to grab a drink in East Village and invited me to tag along with him. This is one of the benefits of living in a major city - lots of people live there and can meet up for a drink.
Getting to Know Gali
Alex and I met Gali for the first time that night at a bar. Through conversation, I learned that Gali and I actually grew up relatively close to each other in Seattle but since he was two years older we didn’t cross paths growing up. With that said, we had a few mutual connections.
Over the course of the next several years, the three of us became close friends and intellectual colleagues where we actively talked about Tesla, startups and crypto.
Alex and Gali went on to film some early videos about ETH back in 2018 where they discussed if it was overvalued at a $40B market cap. Oh how the times change. :)
I remember we were all hanging out one day and Gali mentioned that he was rallying some Tesla shareholders to vote him onto the Tesla earnings call.
Sure enough, Elon Musk said “ok” and Gali spoke to Elon for 20 minutes straight.
I listened to whole thing live in utter amazement.
Gali went from our friend that was slowly building his YouTube channel to a superstar overnight. Shortly after the earnings call, Gali had broadcast interviews with major outlets like Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox.
Truthfully, it wasn’t until this moment that I really saw what Gali was building with HyperChange (his YouTube channel).
Gali, Alex and I remained close friends and frequently spent time together until the pandemic hit in March 2020 where we all dispersed from NYC.
My Private Investment Experience
I knew Gali had been making private investments beginning in 2019 but it wasn’t until he approached me about a SpaceX investment opportunity that I thought about getting involved in private deals myself. In the Summer of 2020, Gali facilitated a SpaceX investment in which I had the opportunity to participate in. You can learn more about this in my article about how I invested in SpaceX.
Gali wasn’t able to get all of his YouTube subscribers into his SpaceX deal and was looking for ways to set-up an investment vehicle for his followers to co-invest with him.
He ended up starting a VC syndicate called HyperGuap in the Fall of 2020. I participated in HyperGuap’s first deal, which was a $10M investment into Carta. If you’re curious about how HyperGuap was started and deployed $10M into Carta, you can learn about it in my article here.
In April 2021, Gali came to visit LA which is where I moved to after NYC.
Gali mentioned how much work went on behind the scenes to get the Carta transaction done for HyperGuap. He said it took so much time that it pulled him away from making HyperChange content for several weeks.
When we were going on a hike, he talked about wanting to bring someone on to support HyperGuap, otherwise, he wasn’t sure how much attention he could give to launching more deals.
I asked him some questions about what exactly he needed help with. As I learned more, I started to understand that he was mostly looking for support on investor relations and the operations behind the deals.
My day job is at a biotech startup called eGenesis where we’re aiming to solve the organ shortage. I support the company on the investor relations side of things and have helped the company raise $225M across two financing rounds which has made me familiar with managing a private financing process.
I have also worked for both a biotech family office and an angel investment group which has made me familiar with the investor perspective. In that line of work, I was putting together diligence docs and developing an investment thesis.
Since I had been watching Gali up close over the last few years, I knew he was someone that I would love the opportunity to work with if the opportunity ever presented itself. I offered to see if I could be helpful with HyperGuap.
I knew Gali had found Mo on the internet to support his HyperCharts business and that he could do something similar for HyperGuap. Understanding it could be a very competitive process, given the reach of Gali’s following, I asked Gali if I could begin helping right away to see if a partnership would work together.
The next day, we met up at Mendocino farms in Santa Monica to begin the onboarding process. I started to work through the hundreds of applicants that applied to join the HyperGuap syndicate. There were also a few things that needed to be done to close out the Carta deal.
One thing I learned from Gali early on was to take things one step at a time. I always want to scheme on the big ideas that will change the world but Gali made it clear that we just got to get one thing done and then things will start to add up.
So, following Gali’s wisdom, I grinded out all the HyperGuap applications and helped him close out the Carta deal. The next thing I know, we were kicking off our first deal together - HyperGuap Deal #2.
In the future, I will write about our second investment at HyperGuap which was completely different than our first deal into Carta.
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