There’s a difference between someone that finally got that black lives matter and someone that just doesn’t want to look bad.
She doesn’t respect people that are just giving crumbs of what they actually have to the unrepresented crowd, that’s insulting.
Even if you were on her bad side, you can get on her good side, but it can take work.
Acknowledging privilege doesn’t take it away.
She can acknowledge it’s harder for someone to get on an airplane when they are in a will chair without feeling bad about about her ability to walk.
Recognizing a privilege doesn’t put someone down.
Life being harder for a black person to get to the same level doesn’t mean a white person didn’t work as hard.
She wants everybody to have the same opportunity, not necessarily the same outcome.
She says “What I would love to be able to do, and all black founders and other founders would love to be able to do, is to wake up and start working on their thing and not spend 80% time defending myself.”
She raised $7m over 7 years.
The whole Backstage Capital experiment is a drop in the bucket, barely a series A round.
People that don’t want her on the industry are nervous.
Arlan and Jason had a lot of conflict at the beginning because she thought Jason was advocating lowering the standard to let women in.
We’ve had multiple investors that promised the world and backed out last minute.
Invested in 100+ different companies.
Invests pre-seed, usually 25k to 100k. Starting off with small checks.
The impact is starting to bear with companies starting to raise series A.
On larger investors for her fund: They are invited to come back to her found but she doesn’t want to be beholden to them.
She prefers to have like-minded people as her investors
Operators, big tech employees, etc.
Started 100k only last year.
Half the people that signed up are accredited, half are not.
Now we can start putting $250k to $1m.
She doesn’t like to say that underrepresented founders have lower valuation to same performance, but that white men tend to be overvalued while underrepresented founders are correctly priced. Otherwise she believes people will think something is wrong with the underrepresented founders.
She has great deal flow, even white men pitching her, who are doing well: high quality and quantity.
On NOT investing
Gives appreciation to companies she doesn’t invest on:
She built a lot of content:
Investor weeks, in and outside her portfolio.
Slack for top 100 of the accelerator even if she couldn’t accept them.
Accelerator in 2019
1900 applications in 5 weeks
Selected 24, in 4 cities, 2 countries, invested $100k
Top 100 got to be part of the Slack even if not invested on.
On joining the crowd
She thinks it wasn’t necessary to be in Silicon Valley to be a great investor even before the pandemic.
⅔ of her companies are not in Silicon Valley.
She wouldn’t consider investing in white men, her deal flow is too good.
She made exceptions, but they are very rare.
Underrepresented founders want her on their cap table.
What was it meeting by the big LP?
They are mostly guys.
They ask questions that make no sense.
They want explanations on startups that went to 0, when 80% will.
She feels her clothes get ripped and they point at each part of her body asking why it is fat.
Jason’s description of the experience of talking to the big LPs was triggering to her.
They don’t want to take a chance on the new.
Silicon Valley is a place of favours, she has a chapter on her book about how nobody is self-made.
Fleeting, a good example of her investments
Backstage Crowd has two lanes: accredited and non-accredited.
Fleeting: trucking company.
On the non-accredited track.
Raising fast on Republic.co, crowdfunding.
Founder wanted to be a doctor, he got to drop out of school, ended up working as a trucker.
He got taken advantage by a web developer company.
He knew what he was talking about, a perfect match for Backstage Crowd.
More than $1m in revenue.
Thousands of matches.
Her mother and brother invested in it, their first investment.
She tried to raise a $100m fund, it’s impossible. She can do the same model with a syndicate and have a great relationship with investors downstream.
It’s more fun with the syndicate than with giant LPs.
She says “I don’t think anything could have been more tailor made for us at this moment than syndicates.”
She is going to try to get one or two deals a month. What makes sense organically.
She’s doing an online course: How to Raise Capital for your Company From Scratch.
80% of the companies could do without any funding and bootstrapping
You want to have the investors chasing you and not the other way around.
She doesn’t like the idea of being seen as “having broken in”
She’s an outlier.
She has a way of thinking that most people don’t have.
It shouldn’t be this hard.
The first four years she didn’t feel she broke in.
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