ConsenSys Strategy Chief Steps Down to Launch Venture Fund

William Foxley

ConsenSys chief strategy officer Sam Cassatt is stepping down to launch a new venture fund, Aligned Capital, with the backing of ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin. ConsenSys said Cassatt will stay on with the ethereum venture studio in an advisory capacity.

Speaking Friday at San Francisco’s TransTech Conference, Cassatt said his fund is seeking to raise $50 million for its first round. Aligned will focus on emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, healthcare, cryptocurrency and blockchain, according to a statement from Cassatt.

In a blog post published Friday, Cassatt said the fund is “designed to anticipate civilization-scale, evolutionary changes in human behavior.”

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Also backing Aligned is DARMA Capital managing partner Andrew Keys, another former ConsenSys executive. The amount of Lubin and Keys’ capital participation was not disclosed.

Although wholly separate from ConsenSys, Cassatt is looking to apply similar principles employed by his former firm, Cassatt said in a phone interview. While Aligned is still in its infancy, Cassatt said it’s looking to tackle societal issues such as safe artificial intelligence and mental health in the digital age.

“Not only [are we] looking for that societal change, but [we are] noticing that institutions … are no longer serving their purpose,” Cassatt said. “I think we are at a crisis point.”

Joining as an advisor to Aligned Capital is Nichol Bradford, the executive behind the Transformative Tech Lab organizing the Friday event in San Francisco. Nicholas Paul Brysiewicz, the director of development at the Long Now Foundation, is also listed as an advisor. The Long Now Foundation is best known as the entity building the 10,000 Year Clock inside a mountain in western Texas. Angel investor Seth Goldstein will be a venture partner, Cassatt said.

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As to the new fund’s long-term vision, Cassatt offered this:

“You can come up with a lot of things as to why something would make some money. We are looking at where there are these momentous stepwise changes.”

Sam Cassatt speaks at Ethereal Summit NY 2019, photo by Brady Dale for CoinDesk

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