By Steve Gelsi
Entrepreneur and veteran of Goldman Sachs’ Marcus retail banking unit Adam Dell is launching Domain Money, a new cryptocurrency platform that will be using social sentiment to help investors.
Dell, who is also the brother of Dell Technologies Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203822527/composite DELL -2.55% founder Michael Dell, put together a team from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS -0.45% for Domain Money. He has drawn $33 million in Series A financing from Bessemer Venture Partners, Maveron, RRE Ventures, SV Angel, Salesforce.com /zigman2/quotes/200515854/composite CRM +2.60% founder Marc Benioff, and Joe Lonsdale. Domain Money plans to launch a Series B fundraising round later in 2022.
“I’m a serial entrepreneur and I love building things,” Dell said. “The opportunity to work with 25 of my former colleagues from Goldman was a very exciting thing. Startups have flexibility and an ability to execute that larger companies don’t have.”
The New York-based company officially launched on Tuesday with 43 employees, many of whom worked with Adam Dell when he was head of product at Marcus from 2018 to 2021. Domain Money plans to hire up to 30 more people this year.
“Thematically, we are interested in blockchain technologies that serve a core banking function, such as DeFi money markets,” Dell said. “We believe there’s a class of investors who are familiar with and comfortable with Fidelity, Schwab and ETrade who don’t feel like those platforms are giving them robust access to the crypto asset class. We’re trying to serve that customer.”
Domain Money offers actively managed stock and crypto investment strategies managed by an expert investment team from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley /zigman2/quotes/209104354/composite MS -0.74% and Bridgewater Associates.
The unique features of Domain Money include its Signal product, which monitors social media outlets and assigns a social sentiment score to each type of asset. Domain Money tracks protocol health by looking at GitHub submissions within the blockchain developer community. The company also measures the flow of funds onto and out of exchanges an an indication of market sentiment.
“As we look at each of those components of the blockchain ecosystem, it’s apparent to me that this technology is going to become the future of finance,” Dell said.
Dell, who is CEO of Domain Money, said he sees a bright future for blockchain technology as the backbone of a more efficient transaction system that’s rapidly growing.
To illustrate the size of the market now, Dell pointed out that Visa Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203660239/composite V +0.84% handled about $10 trillion in transaction volume in 2021, while ethereum, the popular blockchain-backed cryptocurrency, accounted for about $11 trillion in volume.
The market for decentralized finance platform — or DeFi transactions, where consumers and institutions can borrow and lend money — totals roughly $200 billion in 2022, up from $1 billion in 2018. Non fungible tokens (NFTs) amounted to $23 billion in 2021. Stablecoin assets grew to $155 billion in 2021 from about $5 billion in 2018.
The company’s team of Goldman Sachs and Bridgewater Associates veterans manages baskets of stocks and cryptocurrencies for investors less familiar with the asset class.