Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder, venture capitalist and enthusiast Twitter userquietly announced a new initiative from his venture firm last week, Seven Seven Six (776): the 776 titans fund. The new fund, as the company describes it, plans to “focus on emerging managers, each with their own influential distribution channels and unique operational experience supporting start-up ventures.” The company added in a statement that each fund will operate independently and will receive an initial investment of $500,000 from 776, along with access to Cerebro (the company’s proprietary operating system) and ongoing support from Series, an enterprise digital finance platform , whose seed round was headed by 776.
Three teams have already received checks from Ohanian & Co.: Marques Brownlee of MKBHD Ventures (Brownlee has become known for his tech-focused videos on his YouTube channel and focuses largely on early-stage startups); brothers and sisters Allyson and Wes Felix of Crenshaw Ventures (Allyson is a five-time Olympian and founder of a lifestyle brand, and the two plan to invest in Web3, Metaverse and Fintech companies); and Cleo Abram of Huge If True Ventures (Abram is an Emmy-nominated video producer and journalist looking for moonshot ideas).
To learn more, we reached out to Ohanian last week with a few questions. He replied to them via email.
TC: Is the Titans Fund a spin-off of the 500 million dollars in capital through two funds that 776 announced last month, or through a separate fund of funds? And how much money is there to invest in total?
AO: It’s a spin-off from Fund II and we’re investing around $10 million.
What are the criteria for investments?
We’re looking for people who great founders are dying to make room for on their cap tables. Why? The combination of unique distribution and/or their reputation and experience. We’re looking for things that traditional VCs don’t have. This differentiation is what the best founders look for – everything else is just capital.
What is special about Cerebro and how does it help 776 scale its operations?
Cerebro is the operating system we developed that we use for all work at 776. Our team, Founders, LPs (and soon Titans) have their own logins and workflows.
I started like any good product manager, listing and ordering all the tasks I do as a VC, then sorting the most valuable, which were the most productive, and started building. The first was the network – we have a huge network that founders get a lot of value from, but it’s not very efficient to ask a human for an intro: “Do you know someone on Twitter?”. Databases are much better suited for this query, so our network search and intro tool was the first product we shipped, which allows founders to search over 44,000 contacts at any time, request intros with one click and forward them to whoever the team is with the strongest relationship to this contact.
[These fund managers] will be given their own access to Cerbero, which will help them allocate capital more efficiently and effectively – and should unlock some very interesting benefits of plugging this federation of funds into our global brain.
How many managers does the company want to fund here?
The ancient Greeks had 12 titans (the Olympian pantheon of gods we know today), but with the excitement and opportunities we’ve seen, it’ll be closer to 20.
Would 776 invest in an emerging fund that already exists instead of helping someone get started in the investing world?
Our main focus is on the promotion of new leaders. Many of them have previously invested in Angel, but we do not rule out supporting a Fund II.
They’re focused on diversifying the investing world, but fund-of-fund efforts are obviously also a smart way to spot deals that GPs might otherwise miss, so I’m wondering: do you intend the managers to have very different focuses or does 776 happily assist numerous other managers investing in Web3 type deals? Does 776 use scouts in this regard or do you plan to use scouts at some point?
We believe that all of these managers will deliver above average returns – the aim here is always excellence – and many of them will overlap with a generalist firm like ours, although we do a lot of web3.
Here are some themes we’ve supported so far: Generalist, Crypto, Consumer, Politics, Hardtech, and Construction. Thanks to Cerebro, we have insight into the companies our managers fund, but there’s no expectation or request for it [scouts for us]. They are titans managing their own funds which we are fortunate to be LPs.
Alexis Ohanian on his plan to back more emerging managers – TechCrunch Source link Alexis Ohanian on his plan to back more emerging managers – TechCrunch