‘We’re investing, we’re incubating, we’ve got SPACs’ – TechCrunch

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Whether you are in some kind of place Turning point Currently, venture investors, old and new, have been very strong in recent years and have a limited number of partners. Maximum profit in decades..

Among the new VCs that are ticking are political strategist, lobbyist and founder of Tusk Ventures, Bradley Tusk. The company is only six years old, but its exit already includes insurance company Lemonade. Published Last July; went to smart lock company Latch Published this year Through a blank check company. FanDuel, this Acquired And now it may be spun off to public companies next year; And Coinbase Great success Direct listing in April. Tusk Ventures will be listed on more companies through partnerships with blank check companies, including mobility companies. bird And if that is Go through the convocation SEC and Circle financial..

“For me,” says Tusk. It’s like “it’s”, oh yeah, of course it’s the way [venture investing works] It works. And those who have been VCs for a long time said, “No, that’s not how it works. We’re in the middle of a crazy market right now.”

We talked to Task earlier this week about some of his recent bets, including Andrew Yang becoming Mayor of New York (the task’s adjutant was Yang’s co-campaign manager). He also acknowledged that he is helping to foster a new religion-focused social network, and that he is ready for another, following the $ 300 million SPAC formed last year. An excerpt from our conversation continues and is edited for length.

TC: It was news, so you said “Multiple sourcesAt Yang’s camp, your team says it’s responsible for his disappointing finish in the race. What do you think about it, and what was wrong?

BT: You can earn credits every time you win a campaign.So if you lose the campaign, you deserve responsibility, and I take it, Andrew because I felt New York City needed better options than those running for mayor. Was adopted for the race [and that] He will be able to hire based on talent. He will be able to attract truly talented people. But in the middle of the campaign, two things happened. First, vaccines became available and violence and crime surged in New York City. As a result, the zeitgeist shifted from COVID recovery to crime and violence, and the race winner Eric Adams was a police officer for 22 years and was the most relevant candidate to be able to address that one issue. I hope he will be a good mayor.

TC: If you’re marshalling Facebook lobbyists in political strategist hats, how would you respond to this week’s whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony?

BT: Obviously, they don’t listen to me. But I take a step back and just stop the charade. Part of the reason people don’t trust Facebook is because you pretend you can take your cake and eat it. And everyone knows it’s not true. You are doing business with them. To use this free service, you allow them to cash your data and sell it to advertisers to market things to you. In fact, I think consumers can deal with that trade-off. Instead, no one believes it because Facebook is constantly lying and saying, “No, no, no, we’re covering you, we’re not doing anything about it.” Hmm.

Facebook is at the same level as people, “See, this is our business model. This is the way we make money. If you want to be free, you need to do the following: If you want to pay, you can do it instead. ”I think all spins and all lobbying in the world will not change until they do so. [people’s perception of the company]..

TC: Do you think there is a wider range of cultural changes in the startup world?

BT: Yes, no. Given what we’re talking to the founders, and what we’re talking about politics, regulation, and the media, it’s probably much more careful than it was ten years ago. On the other hand, if you’re Uber or Lyft, whoever it is, your ability to operate depends on whether you get permission from the government or go ahead and launch it anyway. If it exists, I’m still going to take that risk. If you don’t take the risk, it doesn’t exist in the first place.

But the end of Facebook’s reputation, and the same for Google and others, has created the opportunity to have a startup that is truly privacy-focused. I’m currently working on a social media platform for religion. This platform is built by religious leaders for people in the religious community. The idea is to be anti-Facebook and we will protect your data. We do not monetize it. We can’t even control it.Community managers and leaders do so, so there are business opportunities that emerge from it [this backlash]..

TC: Does “working” in this social network mean helping you build it or investing in it?

BT: We came up with an idea, worked hard on it, funded the seed round, and are currently in beta testing.

TC: Is startup incubation something new to Tusk Ventures?

BT: That’s the first incubation we did from Tusk. We are currently working on something new in the esports gambling space. The answer may be to just go ahead and build it yourself, especially when people find holes in the market due to misunderstandings about the regulatory environment. And I think we now have the infrastructure, talent, and money to do it here. And we succeeded in the first couple, and our hope is probably to incubate about two companies a year.

TC: You are investing in that range. You have a men’s wellness company Ro, a lawn care company on Sunday. I used to think of this outfit as finding a startup that could take advantage of your political expertise, but it doesn’t seem to be uniform anymore.

BT: That’s still the case. As an early stage investor, we are looking for everything that is the same as all other early stage investors. We look at the founder and TAM and the underlying technology, but then we also ask two other questions. First, are there any gating regulatory issues or opportunities that can actually drive growth and valuation if it is resolved? And two, if so, can we solve it?

Using Ro as an example, [co-founder] Zach Reitano wanted to be able to provide people with prescriptions available by text message rather than seeing a doctor. .. .. Yes, if you can prescribe it in text, I think it will really lead to business expansion. Also, taking Sunday as an example, the original idea was to run a campaign in a truly left-wing city like Portland or Austin, mandate the use of organic fertilizers, and use it to actually create a market for products. It was to do. .. But Sunday grew so fast and so fast that they found that they didn’t have to do that. If you’re lucky, you may think that political issues don’t really come true.

TC: You say you have enough money to invest. In 2019 we closed the last fund for $ 70 million. Are there any new fund announcements?

BT: I can’t really talk about that. We are investing from a third fund. The fund you are talking about is Fund 2. So, by deduction, that’s right.

TC: Is it safe to assume that the deduction will be at least twice the size of the second fund, based on the growth of the general fund?

BT: [It’s] It’s pretty big and hopefully you’ll be able to lead at least half of the transactions we make. But at the same time, we really like being an early stage fund. We believe that every deal we make must be able to return to find, and you can only take those swings on the seed and A stages. So, on the one hand, it’s good to have enough capital, but the valuation is so high that you need more capital to win the deal. If you have a $ 400 million Series A fund, you need to have 5 birds in your portfolio to hit just triple. I would rather raise more and more money, make them smaller, and be able to work with a few clear winners in each fund to provide really good returns to investors. think.

TC: You are also $ 300 million Last year’s SPAC. You told me you can’t talk about this already. Will another SPAC come out of curiosity?

BT: There is another one we have lined up. The combination of not yet announcing the first deal and the apparent current blow to the SPAC market has prevented us from moving forward and raising funds. However, there are many places where you can combine the right regulatory expertise with the right company. This is true whether you are incubating something, investing from a fund, or doing a SPAC. It’s really limited mainly by how hard I work, and I’m willing to work pretty hard.

‘We’re investing, we’re incubating, we’ve got SPACs’ – TechCrunch Source link ‘We’re investing, we’re incubating, we’ve got SPACs’ – TechCrunch

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