February 15, 2021•614 words
A lot of people like to play fantasy football (I'm told, in the US). Playing fantasy VC, is certainly one way that many people recommend to get into VC. I want to take that concept and flip it. Let's talk about my fantasy fund.
- Thoughts my own, not representative of any of the funds I work for.
- I LOVE the funds I work for. They're dream jobs. This is in no way a criticism. This fantasy fund is a reflection of my ideal world. It's not aiming to make return to LPs or work within the venture math scope. It's aiming to churn out what I want in the world, and to maximise my enjoyable work.
Working Investment Thesis 💸
852VC is a $XMM pre-seed to Series A stage venture fund in Hong Kong, investing globally in considerate, humble founders solving structural problems.
Geographic Focus 🌏
- Investing globally is important to me. Talent is globally distributed but capital is not. I particularly love underserved locations, e.g. Hong Kong. I like helping others, and finding hidden gems. I think global founders also spur on my development.
- I love Hong Kong. 🇭🇰 Thus, 852VC is so named for my love of home (Hong Kong). There is a huge gap in the ecosystem here for high conviction, fast moving, early stage (Pre-Series A) capital. I think someone should plug that, because a) if talent is globally distributed, some of that will be in Hong Kong. Other's lack of focus, would be our gain. b) There is be a high level of talent (though perhaps concentrated to a few) in Hong Kong. People are bi-lingual and bi-cultural - growing up bridging the two biggest tech ecosystems in the world. Moreover, the secondary school culture revolves around hosting projects and events, great apprenticeship for building products. (There are many issues why HK is still sub-optimal for starting startups, but that's another topic for another time).
Stage Focus 🌱
- Pre-seed to Series A is my sweet spot. Early stage venture, early stages of my career. - it's a perfect fit. I think it is most exciting to invest early, where more is unknown. I can learn more, because at this stage, new things are being discovered, off of which unicorns are hopefully being made. I can also get involved more, as I'm an operator/get your hands dirty kind of person.
Formula for startup success: Find large highly fragmented industry w low NPS; vertically integrate a solution to simplify value product. @rabois
Sector focus 📊
"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."
- I want to do good in the world. Considerate and humble founders help minimize the excesses/dick-ish behaviour that is now famous, e.g. WeWork. Solving structural problems also helps better the world.
- The focus is vague. I like seeing more, learning more, and experiencing more. That said, I lean more towards less deep-tech startups, and more consumer startups.
- Moreover, whilst sector expertise makes a HUGE difference sometimes, I don't think it will matter as much for the sectors I'm intersted in.
In these areas, this assumption about expertise is derived from my mental model of knowledge. 🧠
1) I think knowledge is a web, of connected "bits" of information.
2) "Bits" of information are more connected than we realise - often many different informations have unlikely parallels.
Thus, I think we know less than we think, even in our expert areas. Indeed, innovation requires that we know less - or all problems would already be solved. Conversely, because of the connections and parallels, we know more than we think. Pure information is less a differentiator than people think.