Leadout Capital: June 2022 Newsletter

Dear Leadout Capital Community,

June is the month in which we celebrate Pride and observe the Juneteenth holiday granting the opportunity to reflect on society’s positive progress towards greater equality of access to opportunity, as well as the significant challenges still to be overcome. Access to economic opportunity is a cornerstone of broader equality and social justice. This is what we are endeavoring to push forward with the Leadout platform and community.

As we publish this newsletter, it is hard not to feel that the world is in a heightened state of flux and uncertainty driven by economic, political and social challenges. Rising inflation, war in Ukraine and continued issues from the pandemic are creating economic hardships. A news cycle filled with racially motivated mass shootings and threats to women’s and LGBTQ rights makes clear that there is still work to be done to achieve a more just and inclusive society.

Support for LGBTQ+ Businesses Year Round: Shout out to our friends at Ladies who Launch for all of their work including compiling this resource list of funding and marketing support for the LGBTQ+ business community.

The Macro Environment: Our Partner Steve Brownlie shared his outlook on the current macro environment and its impact on early stage venture here on our blog. Check it out here: Thoughts on the Economic Environment.

Despite a more challenging fundraising environment (for both companies and investors) we note that U.S. VC funds raised a record $128.3B across 730 funds in 2021, a 47.5% year-over-year increase as compared with the previous record of $86.9B set in 2020. Given the re-set across the board and in the tech sector specifically, we anticipate this capital will be invested with a laser focus on revenue growth and profitable unit economics at scale.

Supporting Founders: VC industry is a people driven business, we believe at Leadout it is important that each interaction with founders feels genuine and not always transactional. As investors, it is important we remember to have empathy with founders. Founders put everything into these companies and it makes all the difference when they encounter encouraging and energetic investing teams.

Leadout’s First Operator Advisory Group Dinner of 2022

Our Operator Advisory Group, many of them pictured below, is comprised of highly talented and hardworking experts that act as advisors to our team and our portfolio companies. When Leadout partners with founders, we support our teams by extending our networks for talent, contemporaneous knowledge, as well as customer introductions and the Operating Advisors are a core component to this network extension.

Dinner gathering in SF in May to celebrate the FII Announcement with our Operator Advisory Board.

How to Raise a VC Fund Fund: 15 Tips From Women Who Have Done It

Leadout’s founder Ali Rosenthal and other female GPs are featured in this article by Maren Bannon of January Ventures about how to raise venture funds and build leading firms as an emerging manager. As founders and as entrepreneurs ourselves, we can empathize with our founders on how difficult it can be to go from zero to one. We are so grateful to be part of this community of brilliant women founders, entrepreneurs and founding GPs who have or may someday decide to charter their own paths in venture.

All Raise VC Summit 2022

The All Raise VC Summit is the largest convening of active female and non-binary venture capital investors for networking, learning and deal-sharing. This year was All Raise’s 4th year hosting the VC Summit and it was nothing short of amazing. The Summit featured panels, workshops, and keynote speakers focused on topics such as: diversity in venture capital, the macroeconomic environment, supporting founders, and more. We left the VC Summit feeling passionate about the progress being made for women in the ecosystem. Here are some takeaways from the summit:

Be Present and Listen First: Be present, focused and purposeful to access greater creativity and to bring out the best in us all. Celebrate and draw confidence from the work we do as women. And for our allies to other women and non-binaries, be helpful: remember why you are here and take on the work of creating equity everywhere you go. An important part of our job as women or non-binaries in the venture capital industry is making sure other women and non-binaries feel included. We have an opportunity to support other women around us and help them achieve their goals.

Be Direct: “Closed mouths don’t get fed.” Be authentic and direct with communication to be the change you wish to see. And listen for how you can help: professional support comes in many flavors: mentorship opportunities, transparency, supporting each other’s projects, sharing resources. Being direct and purposefully about building our networks for support personally and professionally is vital.

Helen and fellow female investors at the All Raise Summit.

New Investments:

AFi is a payment platform to help American and African small businesses pay each other. The company was founded by Evita Grant, PhD.

BiggerPicture is a SaaS platform for the logistics industry that quickly and efficiently manages inventory at the most critical juncture for the entire supply chain; the dock door. The company is led by co-founder and CEO Deema Adada.

CropConex is a supply chain management platform streamlining the sales and exports of specialty crops from emerging markets. CropConex is located in the San Francisco Bay area and is led by founder and CEO Brianna Dickey.

Credit Reporting Services (CRS) is the single platform for all credit, fraud and compliance needs, helping companies make powerful, accurate data-driven decisions. CRS is located in San Francisco and is led by its founders: Marco Buhlmann, co-CEO and Stephen Hawkins, co-CEO and Ali Jelveh, CTO.

Stealth: an AI platform for skills mapping in the modern workforce.

Portfolio Company Highlights and Mentions:

Axiom Cloud announced their DOE-Funded “Refrigeration Energy Management” grant has received approval and will proceed into the Deployment and Operations phase. CisionAxiom Cloud’s DOE-Funded Project

BlockSpaces — Rosa Shores, the co-founder and CEO of the blockchain node infrastructure provider was featured in Forbes — ‘Two Women at the Forefront of the Blockchain Industry’ as well as PR NewswireBlockSpaces Announces Seamless Lighting Integration

Centrly was selected as a 2022 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. WEFTechnology Pioneers 2022

Kraftful launched their new analytics product this month and received an award for best product launch from Products by Women.

Near Space Labs was selected as an honorable mention for Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards in two categories — AI & Data and Best World Changing Idea NA. Fast Company World Changing Ideas (05/03/22). The company was also featured in AxiosExclusive: Near Space Labs Launches New Generation of Imaging Tools (05/31/22) and Aerospace.coffee101 Top Aerospace Startups & Companies (New York)

Pawscout expanded its product line with a new low-cost quick response (QR) code pet tag to make protecting and caring for pets more affordable and accessible. Pet Product NewsPawscout Introduces ID Tag with QR Code

TheVendry continued to grow GMV and user base. If your organization has individuals who plan corporate events, particularly in NYC, please consider suggesting they use theVendry.

Welcome to our Summer Interns!

We welcomed two summer interns to the Leadout Team: Cameron A. Washington and Eliza Migdal. Cameron is a rising senior at Prairie View A&M University studying Business Administration in Finance. Cameron recently completed a year-long venture capital curriculum program led by the Black Venture Capital Consortium (BVCC). Eliza is a rising junior at the University of Chicago studying Economics and Computer Science. Eliza interned with Leadout last summer and joined us for the second year in a row.

Jobs Board

Best,

Ali, Steve, Yun-Fang and Helen

For our previous update, click here. Follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter for the latest.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store