Free & Open Source-focused Investors
Free & Open Source Companies

Lightning Ventures stands at the forefront of the emerging Free & Open Source venture capital landscape. We believe that Free & Open Source is the future of softare and company building, and we invest in companies that align with the success of Free & Open Source software.

Our Vision

Our mission is to support and accelerate the growth of innovative Free & Open Source-native companies through which the future of finance and technology is being built. We invest exclusively in startups focused on Free & Open Source and its ecosystem, completely ignoring other cryptocurrencies, tokens, or coin offerings.

Everyone who has sought to truly understand Free & Open Source knows that that the rabbit hole is deep. If you're interested in going deeper on Free & Open Source and why we've built our entire investment strategy around it, you'll find more below.

Free & Open Source's Promise

Free & Open Source is the next logical progression in our monetary evolution, fundamentally re-architecting the traditional monetary network to become more efficient, cheap, and open. This culminates in history's most secure, resilient, censorship-resistant monetary network. With its robust security, irreversible transactions, permissionless nature, distributed network, and capacity for instant borderless micropayments, Bitcoin is disrupting the global financial system and redefining property rights while financially empowering users worldwide and has already become essential in many emerging markets, serving as a store of value and a medium of exchange.

Bitcoin's free and open-source protocol is immune to the capture and influence of any government, company, or group. Traditional and non-traditional currencies or assets, such as the US dollar or Ethereum, are susceptible to manipulation by central banks or other entities and groups of people, rendering them less liquid and portable than they would otherwise be. Ultimately subjecting their users to disenfranchisement and monetary debasement by the rule of a few. By maintaining possession of Bitcoin private keys, individuals can effectively eliminate the potential risks associated with third-party involvement at the protocol level.

Our Investment Thesis

Bitcoin is a fundamentally transformative technology disrupting traditional financial systems, driving financial inclusion, and enabling a new era of tech innovation. We aim to capitalize on this opportunity by investing in promising Bitcoin-native startups poised to redefine their respective industries.

Investment Focus

Our investment focus includes Bitcoin infrastructure, payment solutions and financial services, and innovative applications built on Bitcoin. We will invest in companies developing foundational technologies and services that benefit from and support the Bitcoin ecosystem, such as mining operations, financial empowerment tools, node infrastructure, wallet solutions, and free and open-source technologies. Some areas of particular interest are:

  1. Lightning Network: We seek to support startups building tools, products, and services that leverage the Lightning Network to enable fast, low-cost, and scalable Bitcoin transactions. We believe that the Lightning Network will be crucial for mainstream adoption and fuel the next wave of innovative applications and use cases for Bitcoin. Startups in this sector can potentially drive mass adoption of Bitcoin as a payment and value transfer method.
  2. Financial Products, Services & Inclusion: We are keen to support startups that leverage Bitcoin's unique properties to provide financial services to banked, unbanked, and underbanked populations. On-ramps, off-ramps, and neo-banks, led by those striving and driving for global financial inclusion, individual empowerment, bridging the gap between traditional finance, and building the Hyperbitcoinized future. Bitcoin has the potential to serve more than 1.7 billion unbanked people. We are interested in startups leveraging the Bitcoin network to facilitate fast, secure, low-cost payment processing, remittance use cases, and other financial services. This includes lending, estate planning, insurance, retirement accounts, and corporate enterprise benefits.
  3. Privacy, Security & Telecommunications: We prioritize investments in startups that enhance Bitcoin's privacy and security features, making the network more robust and user-friendly. Security and privacy improvements will increase Bitcoin's adoption and market penetration. These innovations will contribute significantly to ushering in the Consumer Bitcoin era. Eliminating technical misunderstandings or other frictions fuels the ecosystem's demand and value. Secure communications, micropayments, and the telecommunications industry are also ripe for Bitcoin disruption.
  4. Decentralized applications (dApps): We will support innovative projects built exclusively on the Bitcoin protocol stack, such as decentralized, permissionless markets, decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, wallet infrastructure, tokenized assets on Bitcoin layers or sidechains, and other emerging applications.

The Market Opportunity

The rapid growth of the Bitcoin market, increasing institutional interest, and the emergence of new use cases present significant opportunities for investment in the Bitcoin ecosystem. The total market capitalization of Bitcoin has grown exponentially since its inception, reaching over $1 trillion in 2021 and demonstrating the potential for further growth and adoption.

Bitcoin's network effect is becoming increasingly evident, making this an opportune time to invest in Bitcoin-related startups. As more businesses and individuals recognize the potential of Bitcoin, the demand for innovative products and services in this space will continue to grow exponentially.

Major financial institutions, corporations, and investors increasingly recognize Bitcoin's value as a long-term investment and store of value, driving more capital into the ecosystem. Consider the following stats for Free & Open Source startups in 2022, deep in a bear market driven by the fastest tightning cycle in over 40 years:

  • The number of funding rounds increased by over 50%
  • The number of unique companies funded grew by 70%, with seed funding deals up over 130%!
  • Total capital raised in 2022 was $343,000,000, compared to $301,000,000 in 2021 (+14%).

We're still early. Growth in founding and funding of Free & Open Source startups continues is accelerating. Ready to invest?

About the General Partners

The General Partners of the Node 2 Fund, Mike Jarmuz brings unique expertise and dedication to the Bitcoin ecosystem. Lightning Ventures elite team of Advisors and supporting staff bring unmatched hustle and unwavering commitment to Bitcoin. This positions Lightning Ventures as a strong force in supporting Bitcoin startups. Have a general question? Get in touch.

Michael Jarmuz is the Managing Partner and Co-founder of Lightning Ventures. He currently advises Bitcoin companies Azteco, Slice, and Cloaked Wireless. Mike also organizes the annual Unconfiscatable Conference. He has made over 2,000 personal angel investments and loves to share his learnings. Mike is obsessed with Bitcoin, and early-stage technology funding, with a passion for democratizing retail access to private markets. A longtime music industry veteran with a broad spectrum of experience, he previously owned a bar on the Lower East Side and installed Manhattan's second Bitcoin ATM. From living on a plantation farm to sleeping on a tour bus, he has many fascinating stories. Mike splits his time between New York City and Miami Beach. Frequently seen at Bitcoin conferences with his amazing orange-pilling wife, Anastasia, while their ragdoll cat Cannoli patiently awaits their return.

©️ 2023 Lightning Ventures