Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder, venture capitalist and enthusiast Twitter user, quietly announced a new initiative from his venture, Seven Seven Six (776), last week: the 776 Titans Fund. The new fund, as the company describes it, plans to “focus on emerging executives, each with their own influential distribution channels and unique operational experience supporting start-ups.” 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 continued support of Series, a digital financing platform for enterprises. whose seed round was led 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 generally targets early-stage startups); brother and sister 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 ideas for moonshots).
To find out more, we reached out to Ohanian last week with some questions. He responded to them via email.
TC: Is the “Titans Fund” a $500 million capital split between two funds that 776 announced last month or a separate fund of funds? And how much money is there in total to invest?
AO: It’s a spin-off of Fund II and we’re investing about $10 million.
What are the criteria for investments?
We’re looking for people for whom great founders absolutely want to make room on their cap tables. Why? The combination of unique distribution and/or their reputation and experience. We’re looking for the things that traditional VCs don’t have. This differentiation is what the best founders look for – everything else is just capital.
What’s so special about Cerebro and how does it help 776 scale its operations?
Cerebro is the operating system we built and use for all the work at 776. Our team, founders, LPs (and soon Titans) have their own logins and workflows.
I started out as any good product manager and ranked and ranked all the tasks I do as a VC and then sorted the most valuable tasks that were the most productive and started building. First there was the network – we have a huge network that the founders have learned a lot from, but it’s not very efficient to ask a human “Do you know anyone on Twitter” for an intro. Databases are much better for that search, so our network search and introduction tool was the first product we delivered, allowing founders to search over 44,000 contacts whenever they want, request intros with one click and send them to the person on the team with the strongest relationship to that contact.
[These fund managers] will get their own access to Cerbero, which will help them deploy capital more efficiently and effectively – and it should bring some very interesting benefits to having this federation of funds connected to our global brains.
How many managers does the company plan to fund here?
The ancient Greeks had 12 titans (the Olympian pantheon of gods we know today), but with the excitement and opportunity we’ve seen, it will be more than 20.
Would 776 invest in a nascent fund that already exists instead of helping someone enter the world of investing?
Our main focus is supporting new managers. Many of them have invested in Angel before, but we don’t rule out supporting a Fund II.
You’re focused on diversifying the world of investing, but of course fund of funds efforts are also a smart way to spot deals that GPs might otherwise miss, so I’m wondering: are you planning on making the managers very different? or does 776 like to support many other managers who invest in web3-like deals? Does 776 use scouts or plan to use scouts someday?
We believe that all of these managers will deliver outrageous returns – the goal here is always excellence – and many of them will overlap with a generalist company like ours, although we do a lot of web3.
Here are some of the themes we’ve supported so far: generalist, crypto, consumer, policy, hard tech, and construction. Thanks to Cerebro, we have insight into the companies that fund our managers, but there is no expectation or demand [scouts for us]† They are Titans who manage their own funds in which we are happy LPs.
This post Alexis Ohanian on his plan to support more emerging executives – TechCrunch was original published at “https://techcrunch.com/2022/03/13/alexis-ohanian-on-his-plan-to-back-more-emerging-managers/”