Shooting For The Moon: Carl Runefelt, Founder, The Moon Group

"We strive to identify and invest in founders that are building game-changing business models in the blockchain sector, and we look to support fast-executing, technical teams that positively impact the crypto space and build the decentralized web."

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Carl Runefelt, aka The Moon, prefers not to be referred to as a crypto influencer, despite his one million followers on Twitter, nearly 130,000 on Instagram, and almost 32,000 subscribers on YouTube. I find this request particularly prudent at a time when the crypto world is going through its latest seismic shift, and demonstrating again and again that it indeed cannot be influenced.

Entrepreneur ME/Farooq Salik
Carl Runefelt, founder, The Moon Group

However, Runefelt claims to have enough skin in the game that proves not only his expertise (e.g. influence), but also the basis for his preference to be addressed as an entrepreneur and investor in the fast-moving blockchain sector. "I've personally invested in almost 400 crypto startups, because I am extremely confident that crypto will dominate the world in the future," Runefelt says. "It may take another decade before we see mass adoption, which means that there is still a unique opportunity to 'get in early,' and invest in many of those companies that will be a dominant factor in the world in the future. That's why I have invested and co-founded multiple crypto entities; for me, it's not enough to only bet my net worth, but my whole being is a big bet on crypto. I'm all in!"

Runefelt's rise to crypto prominence has corresponded with the increase of retail investors who follow the investment tips of celebrities and cryptocurrency holders on social media, which remains a non-traditional and still largely non-regulated source of advice for investments of any kind. For Runefelt, his crypto-centric social media fame was more a spontaneous development than planned. "In the beginning of my career, I started discussing my thoughts and views on crypto over social media, becoming one of the most followed online personalities in the crypto space," Runefelt explains.

"This led to me gaining millions of followers and slowly becoming one of the most followed key opinion leaders, creating affiliate and sponsorship deals, which helped me build my first capital to begin trading and investing." Currently, Runefelt is an affiliate with a number of cryptocurrency exchanges, such as ByBit, Phemex, and PrimeXBT, and I therefore ask what unique value he provides to his large online audiences. "I believe that I'm very transparent, I don't sugarcoat things, and I'm not afraid to be honest and tell people the hard truth, and I can see that people appreciate that," Runefelt replies.

His personal story also seems to have a strong captivating effect on people, especially youngsters- after all, it stars Runefelt as a university drop-out and grocery store cashier in Sweden who went on to achieve a Bugatti-driving lifestyle in Dubai in just a few years' time. "I had no real business experience, or even a degree from a university, but I had the will to be successful, and I set clear goals, researched Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, entrepreneurship, and how to build successful businesses," Runefelt recalls. "I believe that your success is not determined by your degree or work experience, but your mindset and belief system, whether you believe in yourself or not. What you believe becomes your reality."

A simple Google search on Runefelt will reveal that he is known as a fan of the law of attraction, and in this interview, he shares with me a number of mantras he used, such as "I am happy," "I am wealthy," "I am successful," "I am an entrepreneur," "I have a yacht," or "I have a private jet," all of which, he believes has helped reprogram his mind and "attract that very lifestyle." "I truly believe that I could have become successful in any industry, whether it's the textile industry, music, movies- it doesn't matter," he says. "It's all about the mindset and your belief system."

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Part of Runefelt's philosophy for success is also that one has to seize opportunities presented to them, and that is the reason why he has backed, for instance, the Solana blockchain-based and spacethemed video game and metaverse Star Atlas and its governnace token Polis, Solana's decentralized developer ecosystem SolRazr, and Victoria Virtual Reality Metaverse, which are just a few of his investments in the space. "I have had a few very successful investments where I made everything from 50 times up to 300 times by putting my money only on one single investment," he says.

"To date, I have already made back all of the money that I put into these startups, and I expect the rest of my investments to continue to make me a lot of money." Achieving high returns at an incredible rate has inspired him to direct his new earnings into startups and some equity investments, Runefelt adds. "I believe that I am one of the bigger liquidity providers in the space today, ensuring my money is always working for me, always growing," he says. "I never let them sit idle without making more money for me."

Runefelt's success formula also includes a strong commitment to researching and learning. Back in Sweden, he discovered Bitcoin while taking a deep dive into the topics related to the history of the world's banking and monetary systems, silver and gold investments, and so on, and he believed in this digital gold from the get-go. "In the beginning, I was making approximately US$1,500 per month [at a grocery store], and one Bitcoin back then was around $3,000, and when I went all in, everyone thought I was crazy, even my parents," he says. "My family had high expectations of me, and so thought I was reckless to spend all my time and money online, researching Bitcoin or this weird 'internet money,' not going to school, and only working in a grocery store. They saw me as a failure at that stage."

He proved them wrong, and today Runefelt says that his company employs 150 people across offices in Seychelles, Estonia, British Virgin Islands, as well as Dubai. "Lifestyle alone was a huge factor when moving to Dubai, not just for me, but for my future employees, because Dubai is filed with talent," he says. "If you're a crypto investor and business owner, this is the best place to hire. Also, it is a city of innovation, celebrating success and entrepreneurship, and leading the way for crypto investors and startups alike. These opportunities unfortunately aren't available in Sweden. Paying little to no tax here in Dubai really helps you scale your projects. Other countries are looking to either restrict or tax heavily, which is why Dubai made more sense."

To maintain the level of success he has achieved so far, Runefelt now has wealth management and investment teams that help him in analyzing deals and creating strategies, with his overall philosophy in this domain centered on the belief that blockchain and cryptocurrencies are the keystones of a new financial infrastructure. "We strive to identify and invest in founders that are building game-changing business models in the blockchain sector, and we look to support fast-executing, technical teams that positively impact the crypto space and build the decentralized web," Runefelt says. "We also have a thematic approach, whereby we seek exposure to the themes/trends that are on the uptrend, such were the metaverse and blockchain gaming in 2021."

Now, with popular crypto tokens plummeting more than 70% in value since November 2021, many crypto entrepreneurs and investors have returned to their drawing boards in an attempt to reinvent themselves. But not Runefelt- he says that he has always been cautious, and it's his hope that the bear market of 2022 will teach everyone that same quality. "I try to always advise my community to stay away from buying certain tokens and non-fungible token (NFT) collections, because many of them are very bad projects with very unclear fundamentals," he explains. "It's very obvious in the crypto market that people like to copy each other, because it's so easy to make money. I usually warn my audience to stay away from these obviously very bad ideas, because they will for sure fail and they will lose money."

In Runefelt's opinion, the crypto ecosystem might remain fragile for the next two to three years. "This always happens when you have extreme euphoria, you must go into extreme depression before the next cycle can start," he explains. "I've been very skeptical about NFTs and meme coins for two years already, even before they started to get traction, and I want my community to stay away from buying all of these entities."

Related: A New Frontier: Lessons Learnt From Exploring NFTs, The Metaverse, And More

But from a personal perspective, Runefelt says that he invests in a great number of new blockchain and crypto projects in the hope that quantity will unearth quality. "I think that at least 90% of all the tokens and coins that are live today will go down close to 0, and I'm also aware that maybe 90% of all the crypto startups I invested in will also fail, but I truly believe that, if I invest in 400 probably, 10 of them at least will be massively successful, and will pay for the other startups," he says. "I believe I'm already the most aggressive investor, but I think I want to take that to the next level and that I can easily invest in 1,000 crypto startups."

Going forward, Runefelt aims to keep growing his team, expanding the business, and investing aggressively, but one of this his goals is also to raise funds for charities that support children with disabilities. "One of the big things I'm doing this year is sponsoring a Formula 2 racing team, with my face, logo, and a quick response (QR) code on the car that enables anyone to donate Bitcoins to children with disabilities," he says.

And he aims to do all this and more from his base in Dubai, which Runefelt believes is set to become one of the world's key crypto hubs. "Lately, I sat down with some high-level insiders in the space from big exchanges who told me that they are very interested in setting up headquarters in Dubai, because regulators and the government is very positive towards crypto. That's why I personally have my headquarters here, and I expect others to do the same very soon," Runefelt concludes.

Related: Creating Impact (At Scale): Mundo Crypto Founder Mani Thawani

'TREP TALK: Carl Runefelt offers tips for entrepreneurs wishing to explore the crypto space

1. ADOPT THE RIGHT MINDSET

"Don't chase quick money, instead invest for the long term, and believe in your goals. Believe in yourself, visualize your goals, visualize your dream life and your ideal lifestyle, and you will achieve these things whether it's through crypto or any other business."

2. BUY BITCOIN "For me, it's very hard to respect someone as a crypto investor if they don't even have Bitcoin. In my opinion, you must start with Bitcoin, and then you can move into other coins, because going into crypto by buying Shibu or some of those NFTs first will only make you lose all your money."

3. FOLLOW CRYPTO ENTREPRENEURS AND INVESTORS ON SOCIAL MEDIA "It's always good to get inspired by other people who are doing well; however, do not ever blindly follow anyone, but make sure to always do your own research before acting on an investment or trade."

4. DO YOUR RESEARCH "Buying things randomly without doing any research is the easiest way to lose money very fast."

5. UTILIZE THE LAW OF ATTRACTION IN ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING "The law of attraction can help you with friendships, relationships, happiness, health, and really anything out there. I'm living proof that it it's very effective when you want to change your lifestyle, and make a whole lot of money, and become an entrepreneur."

6. MOVE TO DUBAI "Dubai is the best place in the world for crypto entrepreneurs."

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