Two years after founding venture capital firm Moxxie Ventures, Katie Jacobs Stanton turns to a former Twitter friend as an equal partner in the firm’s new fund.
Alex Roetter has joined Moxxie Ventures as Managing Director of their second $ 85 million fund. Roetter was most recently president of Larry Page-founded air taxi startup Kitty Hawk. With the fund, the partners plan to continue investing in early stage startups across a range of tech areas, but this time writing bigger checks and leading more rounds.
News of Moxxie’s new fund and partner was first reported in Forbes‘Midas Touch Newsletter this weekend.
In an interview, Stanton said she believes Moxxie Ventures can compete due to the focus on underrepresented founders and the experience she and Roetter can offer entrepreneurs. Stanton spent six years at Google, worked in the Obama administration, then spent more than five years at Twitter, where she notably led international growth and media partnerships; most recently, she co-founded #Angels, a group of current and former female Twitter executives investing personally together, and spent three years at Color Genomics as chief marketing officer.
Roetter straddled Stanton at Google, then worked more closely with her as an Engineering Manager at Twitter from 2010 to 2016 before spending three years at Kitty Hawk. “The operational experience of each of us is unique,” says Stanton. “Then [our focus on] how to create more equitable capitalization tables, on the investment side and also for venture capital funds. ”
Of the 27 companies in Moxxie’s first fund, 36% were founded by women, 40% by people of color, 8% by black founders and 43% by immigrant founders, according to the firm. Almost half (46%) of Moxxie’s evolving sponsor base, the investors who give money to the venture capital firm for investment, are women, while check writers make up more than half of them (46%). half (68%) of the total. Eighteen percent of its LPs identify as Black, Native or Colored, representing 29% of the capital raised.
While Moxxie’s first fund is still relatively young, five members of the company’s portfolio – Certn, Clubhouse, Daily, Nearby and Superpeer – have raised follow-up rounds. Stanton and Roetter have also been active personal investors. When Stanton raised Moxxie’s first fund, she had supported 40 companies; she has personally invested in 50 today, including Airtable, Cameo, Coinbase and Shape Security. Roetter’s portfolio of angel investors includes Stedi, Veho and a number of companies he has invested in alongside or after Stanton, including Clubhouse, Digits and Mainstreet.
But Stanton learned several lessons the hard way with Moxxie’s first fund. Some institutional investors have stated that they are unable to support a first fund of its size or with a solo partner. And with checks flowing fast and furiously to startups with higher buy-in amounts, it had to raise seven Special Purpose Vehicles, or SPVs, to maintain stakes in its emerging winners, a time-consuming and less lucrative option.
With her fund of $ 85 million – the duo were aiming for $ 75 million – they hope to increase check sizes from $ 250,000 to $ 500,000 to $ 1 million or $ 1.5 million, leading about half of the rounds. table (Moxxie has already led a handful) and plans to raise an opportunity fund for later stage investments in his portfolio down the road. Investors in Moxxie include Global Endowment Management, Goldman Sachs, Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective and individual investors including Anne and Susan Wojcicki, Tiny Sharkey and former Midas Lister Rob Hayes.
“We wanted to be pragmatic and realistic about what we could achieve from a property perspective. And I think that’s probably our cruising altitude going forward, ”Stanton says.
During the pandemic, Stanton joined Roetter in Boulder, Colorado, where he had previously moved from the Bay Area; Moxxie will remain based in the future. Roetter notes that most of the startups the two meet stay in Silicon Valley, but see an advantage in living “outside of this little bubble.”
Roetter plans to look specifically at companies working on developer productivity, practical uses of artificial intelligence, financial and climate technologies, an area in which he shares a close interest with Stanton, the world’s most mindful investor. consumer of both. “The climate is the biggest problem we face as a planet,” says Roetter. “It’s a reorganization of the whole economy, the way the whole economy has been moved online or the whole economy to mobile first. And it turns out that you can’t retool the entire economy without having massive growth and massive investment opportunities.
Moxxie Ventures also plans to hire someone “younger and cooler” later this year to help them examine Gen Z-focused businesses. Stanton’s three children, she notes, are “terrible” sources of business flow.
Staying fresh might prove to be the biggest challenge for Moxxie, as his partners won’t necessarily be able to impress new waves of entrepreneurs with war stories from Twitter a decade ago (although anecdotes about the Jack Dorsey’s management whims are probably always welcome). Roetter says the two are hoping their investment network will make up for this, as the credentials and stories of Moxxie’s founders lead to new opportunities for the company. “Money is increasingly becoming a commodity, and what is valuable is differentiated aid,” he says.
Stanton, meanwhile, maintains that Moxxie is only able to hit his stride now. “It takes time,” she says. “As an operator, you are used to things moving very quickly, and the adventure is [about] very different relationships. At least until Tiger Global starts cutting more startup controls.