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Ex-Bain investor launches $30M web3 shopper VC fund as solo feminine founder • TechCrunch

Magdalena “Mags” Kala, a self-described “lifetime degen,” is not any stranger to beating the percentages. Earlier than she turned an investor, she co-founded an all-female blackjack crew that sought to take advantage of gender bias to make a revenue via gaming, she informed TechCrunch in an interview.

It’s becoming, then, that Kala was capable of increase her first fund as a solo GP centered on early-stage shopper startups within the web3 house in simply 4 months regardless of a broader downturn within the crypto market.

Her Miami, FL-based agency, Double Down, blew previous its preliminary fundraising goal of $20 million in a single month and closed its first fund with a complete of ~$30 million this week, in accordance with Kala. The fund has already made 9 investments in web3 shopper startups,  together with Miami-based OnChain Studios, which makes Cryptoys, and Tally Labs, the corporate behind the Jenkins the Valet & Azurbala franchises.

Kala’s fundraise is not any small feat, particularly contemplating that ladies are deeply underrepresented in enterprise capital, to not point out the added challenges that include elevating capital as a first-time fund supervisor in at the moment’s depressed enterprise market. Girls comprise lower than 15% of decision-makers at VC corporations — a quantity that’s virtually actually smaller within the crypto house, the place lower than 5% of entrepreneurs are ladies.

Her success in placing collectively this fund can also be, partially, a results of her deep background within the shopper house. She has been investing in consumer-facing firms for a decade on behalf of Bain Capital and its co-chair, Steve Pagliuca’s, household workplace. Kala mentioned she determined to boost this fund as a “reluctant entrepreneur” after having conversations with traders and founders in web3 who inspired her to leverage the comparatively area of interest intersection of her pursuits in shopper and crypto.

“I consider that the way forward for web3 is in shopper, and I acknowledge that one of many issues that I believe is limiting that’s really the shortage of fine storytelling and go-to-market methods round that, and speaking the worth to people who find themselves outdoors of the crypto OG, crypto-native buyer segments,” Kala mentioned. “To me, it felt like an ideal investor-market match, if you’ll … I believed, nobody else in crypto was doing it, so I made a decision to launch the fund.”

Double Down’s backers embrace crypto and enterprise heavyweights reminiscent of Chris Dixon and Marc Andreessen of a16z, Paradigm co-funders Matt Huang and Fred Ehrsam, Alexis Ohanian’s VC agency Seven Seven Six, and consumer-focused LPs reminiscent of Paris Hilton and Sara Blakeley. Kala says her LP base is made up of ~30% feminine LPs and ~30% BIPOC LPs.

As a nod to web3 tradition, Kala says she is releasing the total deck she used to boost this fund as a collection of NFTs on OpenSea. She plans to airdrop pages to her LPs within the order wherein they dedicated to the fund, beginning with Pagliuca, Dixon and Ohanian, she added. Double Down can also be launching a e-newsletter that can present recommendation on advertising and branding to startups in web3, Kala added.

“Shopper tradition is crucial for driving mainstream adoption of web3, and Mags brings a novel perspective as an skilled shopper investor, strategist, and marketer to put money into and help the following technology of high web3 startups on their journey to mass affect and scale,” Ohanian informed TechCrunch in an e-mail.

Kala says she plans to collaborate with among the crypto-focused traders who’re LPs of her fund on particular person offers. The small dimension of her fund, she defined, will permit her to concentrate on the precise strengths she brings to the desk slightly than compete with bigger corporations.

To her traders, Kala’s personal fairness expertise is one such benefit, notably in at the moment’s market.

“I’m used to doing actual diligence and being disciplined, and I believe with plenty of LPs that has resonated,” Kala mentioned. “I’m not going to fly by the seat of my pants, particularly given market situations.”


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