Web money

Building a female-led venture capital firm is often atypical and impressive

White men handle a whopping 93% of venture capital dollars. A miniscule 2.8% of dollars went to Black and Latino founders17.3% to teams with at least one female founderand only 2.0% to all-female founding teams.

Some VCs say there’s a pipeline problem, but female-led fund managers and BIPOCs know there’s no shortage of talented, diverse founders. Lolita Taub recently announced her first solo fund, Ganas Ventures, which is investing approximately $100,000 in pre-priming and priming Web 2 and Web 3, community driven startups in the United States and Latin America.

Taub’s journey to becoming a VC represents the circuitous route that women and BIPOC take. Limited partners, especially institutional investors, need to rethink their criteria for evaluating emerging managers. It is essential to understand that there is more than one way to become a VC and that the measurement criteria must change. Notably, women-led funds and BIPOC surpass funds established on a larger scale.

Taub began his 15-year career in technology working for corporations and startups, and the last six years in venture capital. She has invested in 91 companies, co-launched a fund and recently launched a solo fund. “One of my challenges has been social capital, establishing my credibility in terms of talent and ability to produce [among limited partners—venture capital investors—and diverse founders]“, lamented Taub.

Share capital is a set of shared values ​​that enables a group of individuals to work effectively together to achieve a common goal. “I’m not the only one; our whole community [diverse-led VCs] to this challenge,” sighed Taub. “How can I, where I am, help myself and help the community…direct capital to underappreciated and underrepresented founders and VCs?

For Taub, building social capital began on Twitter. She had engaging conversations that led to a deep understanding of the ecosystem supporting women-founded startups and BIPOCs, where the holes in the ecosystem were, and how she could fill the gaps. “I started doing social capital experiments where I put threads with calls to action,” Taub said. “For example, to funders, I asked them to share their thesis so founders could find you. To founders, I asked them to tell us about their company so investors could find them.”

The women and founders of BIPOC began self-reporting that they were raising capital using these Twitter feeds. For example, Janine Sickmeyer, general partner at Overlooked Venture, tweeted that she wrote her first angel check from one of these threads.

“I came from nothing,” Taub said. “We never had insurance and we went bankrupt. I always had to worry about money.” Her family background is not unusual for many women and BIPOCs launching startups or venture capital funds. Taub understands from first-hand experience how difficult it is to fund a startup or venture capital fund when you don’t have a lot of money, maybe you have student debt, and your friends , your family and colleagues are in similar circumstances.

As a result, Taub is mission and community driven and wants to create generational wealth for those who are underappreciated, overlooked and, often, unintentionally excluded from activities, such as high-potential entrepreneurship and investment in startups, which create wealth.

She wanted to become a VC, writing checks to founders with backgrounds like hers with sales and go-to-market strategies, which are her strengths. These founders related to her because she was not arrogant and spoke simple English.

She began building social capital among founders and backers through her outreach on Twitter. “I realized that I was getting all this flow of incoming transactions and couldn’t sustain them all,” Taub confessed. “I think I could do a program that matches these startups with the right investors.”

Ed Zimmerman, a lawyer, investor, startup advisor, and big proponent of diversity initiatives within the startup community, connected her with an SEC attorney. She could do it as long as she made introductions and did not act as a middleman.

Over the past two years, 3,000 startups have met over 800 investors via Twitter feeds. “We saw 51 checks written, worth $7 million, after the presentations,” Taub said. Data on the number of checks and dollars is self-reported, so the numbers are likely underestimated. I wrote about one such startup, Goodfynd.

Realizing there was a vast knowledge gap, Taub began publishing educational content, such as a newsletter with a momentous opportunities section through Medium, courses, and information sharing such as app announcements. accelerator on Twitter.

A general partner (GP) of Flybridge, Jesse Middleton, reached out to Taub on Twitter. He was sourcing deal feeds from his Twitter feeds. Long story short, Flybridge wanted to start investing in pre-seed startups. Middleton and Taub started a fund called Community Fund.

Flybridge became the sole investor in the Community Fund. Accordingly, there were no fees from which Taub could derive income. VCs earn money in two ways:

  1. Management fees paid for managing the fund.
  2. From carry, a share of an investment’s profits is paid to the investment manager on top of the amount the manager contributes in the event of liquidation, such as when the startup is acquired or makes an initial public offering.

Besides, she also became a scout for Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Taub was accepted into the Recast Enablement Program, a free educational program that provided Taub with an executive coach. Recast Capital generates returns through diversified exposure to emerging managers.

The coach helped Taub realize that providing free support to the startup community, running a fund that didn’t earn management fees, and having a full-time job weren’t sustainable for her. They and Middleton decided it was best for her to step down as co-GP for the Community Fund. She would still be a founder of the fund and a former co-GP.

In January 2022, Taub gave him two weeks’ notice for his day job and shortly thereafter announced his fund, Ganas Ventures. You must be an accredited investor to invest, but you can volunteer to be a mentor for those who are not. She is also working with AngelList to create a partner program where you can earn carry fees whether you are accredited or not.

How do you help communities that have historically been excluded from wealth creation activities, to create generational wealth?