Tech

Paul How

Steve Wozniak tosses hat in blockchain VC ring

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has put his name behind EQUI Global, a blockchain-powered venture capital fund from the founders of a similarly named company that had failed to raise adequate funds earlier this year.

A blog post from EQUI Global announced the partnership, naming Wozniak as a co-founder along with entrepreneurs Doug Barrowman and Michelle Mone. The company seeks “to disrupt the venture capital industry—one that is considered to be extremely traditional.”

People can invest in the fund through the purchase of EquiTokens. Wozniak, as head of technology investments, will “help find the tech stars of tomorrow. Woz will then bring them to the table and the board of serial entrepreneurs will mentor and coach them with world class expertise and guidance,” according to the press statement.

Up to 80% of the EQUI Global fund will be placed in technology, while the remaining amount will be for assets such as real estate and collectibles such as art and vintage cars.

Wozniak said, “I get ideas pitched to me every single day in fact dozens and I always say no. Since I co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, this is about the second time in twenty years that I actually said yes, I want to be a part of this. It has to be something I really believe in and I really believe in EQUI… I know that we have something very special with EQUI. I’ve since enjoyed giving my feedback to the technical side of the initiative and will very much be an actively involved proud co-founder.”

Barrowman and Mone launched EQUI Capital last February. A March initial coin offering (ICO) was targeted to raise $75 million. After about a month, however, the company only managed to raise about 10% of its target, and its subsequent campaign that offered “bounties” to those who promoted the ICO online, failed to generate the desired funds. Reacting to complaints of so-called bounty hunters being paid only a small amount owed to them, a spokeswoman for Mone reportedly said that another company, AmaZix, was responsible for the bounty program.

Wozniak said of the new enterprise, “I am very pleased that my business partners are the respected Michelle and Doug… I greatly admire Michelle and Doug for their huge accomplishments.” He added that EQUI Global was already looking at more than 20 businesses to invest in.

Wozniak, an outspoken advocate of cryptocurrencies, is entering the blockchain business for the first time. Last February, he admitted to being robbed of cryptocurrencies worth about $75,000 at the time, through a credit card scam.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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