The founder of one in every of 2019’s most buzzworthy startups is placing on his VC hat.
Rahul Vohra, the creator of the $30/month subscription emailing service Superhuman, and Todd Goldberg, the founder of the advertising enterprise Mailjoy, are circulating a pitch deck to potential restricted companions, with plans to raise a $four million debut angel fund, Techhas discovered.
Goldberg declined to remark. Vohra didn’t reply to a request for remark.
San Francisco-based Superhuman has raised tens of millions in venture capital funding, attracting a $260 million valuation with a $33 million funding led by the revered agency Andreessen Horowitz earlier this yr. Quickly, Superhuman developed a loyal fan base and impressed a brand new wave of startups constructing for the “prosumer.”
“Superhuman has become an aspirational brand and product that many SaaS companies want to emulate,” Vohra and Goldberg write within the deck, obtained by TechCrunch. “Founders of these companies seek out Rahul as an investor. This helps us get into the hottest rounds — even the closed ones.”
Vohra and Goldberg have been seeding startups for the previous 4 years, in accordance to the deck. Both males have accomplished the Y Combinator startup accelerator and funded different graduates of this system, together with Tandem, which emerged from YC this summer time with funding from a16z, Vohra and several other others. One or each of the pair have additionally invested in Command E, a instrument that allows on the spot cloud search; Mercury, a financial institution tailor-made to the wants of startups; and Sandbox VR, which is creating premium digital actuality experiences in retail places.
Many of Vohra and Goldberg’s present investments, resembling Sandbox VR, Tandem and Mercury, are additionally a16z portfolio firms, as is Superhuman. We’re guessing Vohra has served as a form of scout for the agency, bringing in enticing offers for a16z to lead, with room for him to nab a pleasant allocation.
Vohra and Goldberg are hoping to gather capital from LPs to scale their funding exercise. According to the deck, they’ll make 25 to 35 offers with examine sizes ranging between $50,000 to $150,000. The fund will put money into the “prosumerization” of the enterprise, enterprise infrastructure, well being, health & wellness, “devsumer” & low-code/no-code, audio-first merchandise, creator instruments and “enterprization” of shoppers.
Indeed, the deck is filled with buzzwords. The “prosumerization” of the enterprise is tech-speak for work merchandise with nicer interfaces and extra premium options. A “devsumer” instrument is one that allows shoppers to full developer duties on their very own, i.e. with out coding — devsumer merchandise in the marketplace embody Airtable, Notion and Retool. Finally, the “enterprization” of shoppers merely means the rise of enterprise instruments constructed for shoppers first.
Vohra and Goldberg cite their expertise as operators as one in every of their “unfair advantages,” together with their skill to safe massive allocations (a good piece of the pie) in startups, their YC community, relationships with different angels & funds and their skill to get professional rata entry in later rounds.
Founders usually seek for established operators to be part of their cap tables for precisely these causes. Someone like Vohra may help startups foster relationships with big-name venture capital backers and make vital introductions to their very own quickly rising pool of shoppers.
The rise of micro-funds led by networked entrepreneurs, together with Niv Dror’s Shrug Capital or Brianne Kimmel’s new outfit, Work Life Ventures, for instance, may pose a risk to present institutional seed traders, who might not be as well-versed in particular sectors or ready to provide as a lot time to potential founders. On the opposite hand, many micro-funds co-invest with or are backed by VCs, which suggests returns from the fund find yourself in the identical pockets, in essence.
Deploying capital from a fund, nonetheless, is time consuming. How Vohra can stability constructing a Series B startup and investing in upwards of 35 companies stays to be seen.
Though Superhuman was based in 2014 — Vohra integrated the enterprise instantly after the LinkedIn acquisition of his earlier startup, Rapportive — the corporate is actually nonetheless in closed beta (these searching for entry have to be accredited for the service in iOS’s TestFlight, the place fixed beta updates are delivered). Today, it’s in style within the Bay Area tech scene the place the tagline “sent via Superhuman” has develop into a standing image of types. But many are unsure non-techies shall be prepared to shell out $30 monthly for a luxurious electronic mail instrument.
With that stated, Superhuman has a wait listing of 180,000 folks, in accordance to The New York Times, which spoke to Vohra in June. With a big and rising valuation, an electronic mail instrument with rave evaluations and a set of loyal followers, Vohra will possible don’t have any hassle navigating his approach into Silicon Valley’s hottest offers.