We are founders who help other founders with strategic and tactical support. We start long before their first fundraise and build relationships that we hope last for decades.
After delivering solid returns on our first fund (3.66x cash returns to-date*) we launched our rolling fund as an ongoing vehicle to deploy capital into the early-stage companies we’re helping.
- Early-stage investments from Tyler Willis and Julian Weisser—co-founders of On Deck (helped over 1k companies get started that are worth >$10B) and Unsupervised (Enterprise AI startup backed by Coatue, Eniac and Disney).
- Our goal is to be the partner of choice for founders who are in the figuring it out stage, we enjoy working with founders at the moment of company formation.
- We’re both co-founders of high-growth companies, so we know how to support founders, and we each have proven early-stage investment track records.
- Backing early-stage technology companies with valuations lower than $50m.
In 2015, Tyler raised Kepler Ventures as a sole GP. That fund has already delivered significant cash returns for LPs (3.66 DPI, net) and is very solidly a top-performing fund.
We started working together in 2015, when Tyler backed my first startup. A few years after that, we started investing together. We’ve now invested over $10M in 100+ companies including Wander, Primer, Loyal, Atmos, Pogo, AstroForge, Secureframe, Levels, and Motion.
We invest in the earliest rounds of a company and have invested in the seed rounds of companies like Patreon, Lattice, Wander and Traba.
- Patreon: Sustainable funding platform for creators. Series F, $4bn valuation; >$400m raised from Index, Thrive, Accomplice, and others.
- Lattice: People management software to develop high-performing teams. Series F; $3B valuation >$300m raised from Tiger Global, Founders Fund, Thrive, Khosla, and others.
- Wander: Verticalizing the $100B+ short-term rental industry. Series A; $20M raised from QED, Redpoint, Susa, and a16z. Raised a $100M credit facility from Credit Suisse
- Traba: Flexible shifts on-demand. Series A; $20M from Khosla with Founders Fund, General Catalyst, and others.
Given our experience, we are comfortable partnering with founders and companies very early. This ability, and our reputation as being someone founders can text at any time, is a competitive advantage that allows us to select great people to work with as they build enduring companies. That allows us to deliver excellent returns for LPs.
Founders see us as people they want to work with. We’ve been on the same journey they’re on: building a successful business as outsiders without the early advantages of fame or institutional support, and growing that business in a way that earns respect and support from excellent customers, name-brand investors, and talented employees. We give relevant advice and treat founders the way we’d want to be treated, so founders want us to be involved early on.
We work with ambitious companies that have the potential for a >100x return, which means that many of our companies go to 0x. Obviously, it’s hard to know anything for sure at the early-stage, and we’ll be wrong more often than we’re right. We have a high-bar for the teams we work with and the potential if we are right, so that making a few successful companies would deliver great returns to the fund. We take a disciplined approach to portfolio construction and are a better fit for LPs that take a long-term view and want to build a diversified portfolio over time.
- This fund will invest exclusively in tech companies with valuations under $50m
- Our minimum investment will be $9,999
- Our maximum investment will be $50k or 12% of the quarterly fund (whichever is higher)
- This fund will not invest in the same company over multiple rounds, follow-on investments will be done separately via SPVs where that is possible
- GP’s will contribute at least $25k/yr
We do this because we love supporting founders. This Rolling Fund allows us to give friends and LPs the chance to participate in the angel investing that we’d be doing regardless, but without the traditional overhead that usually goes into fund management.
Please read this section carefully.
- We are co-founders at high-growth companies, which is an incredibly demanding job. It is likely we will miss some good investment opportunities due to our focus on our startups.
- This fund will only make investments that are above the fund’s minimum check size. We may make smaller investments (<$10k) personally, which could result in profitable investments that are not shared with LPs of the fund.
- Follow-on investments (after the fund has done its maximum check), or in companies with above a $50m valuation, will not be made from the fund. We may make these investments personally or through other vehicles. This could lead to us making profitable investments that are not shared with fund LPs.
- Julian is a co-founder of On Deck and helps hundreds of companies there without investing in them, including introducing those companies to other investors. It is very likely that some of these will be profitable investment opportunities that are not backed by this fund.
- On Deck has the right to invest in On Deck fellows before employees can invest personally. It is possible this fund could miss profitable investment opportunities because of this.
Disclaimer: Past performance does not predict future returns. Investing in startups, or in funds that invest in startups, is risky. Please diversify your investments and invest an amount that you’d be comfortable losing entirely.
The investments and returns data above and accessible via external links may include investments made off of the AngelList platform. As such, AngelList has not taken any action to verify such data and makes no representations as to its accuracy or completeness. All investment value estimates and return multiples are calculated net of any fees, expenses or carry. The outcome for any unrealized investment is highly uncertain. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. The companies and venture partners featured in this note and accessible via external links were selected due to their notoriety in the startup and venture capital community. This list is provided for illustrative purposes only and is not an exhaustive list of all investments made or involving the Fund Lead. A full list of the Fund Lead’s investment history will be made available upon request.
*This statement on returns data provided September 4, 2020.