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Lolita Taub on Launching Her ‘Community-Driven’ Fund on AngelList

Lolita Taub on Launching Her ‘Community-Driven’ Fund on AngelList

Ganas Ventures is the first 506(c) Traditional Fund on AngelList led by a Latina woman.
  • Ganas Ventures is a $10M 506(c) Traditional Fund founded by Lolita Taub that will invest in community-driven startups across the U.S. and Latin America.
  • The fund will utilize a community-driven approach to day-to-day operations, inviting LPs to assist with everything from supporting portfolio companies to performing due diligence.
  • By being a 506(c) fund, Taub aims to publicly market Ganas Ventures to underestimated / underrepresented groups and bring them into the Ganas Ventures community.

Solo GPs are benefitting from the growth of VC communities. In Slack groups, Discord channels, online forums, and Twitter threads, solo GPs all over the world are sharing best practices, knowledge, and introductions.

Enter Ganas Ventures, a new $10M fund founded by veteran investor Lolita Taub that aims to harness the power of the VC community to invest in the best community-driven companies across the U.S. and Latin America.

“Community building is everything for GPs like me who didn’t come from wealth or have a powerful social network,” said Taub, who co-founded The Community Fund in 2020 and has also invested in companies like Career Karma, Mercury Bank, Syndicate, and Republic. “It feels like a natural progression to launch a fund driven by community.”

Per TechCrunch, Ganas Ventures aims to cut $100k checks into 75 pre-seed and seed-stage companies. Taub believes her community-driven fund model will enable Ganas Ventures’ success.

“The AngelList community will help me manage my fund, my LP community will help me raise capital and support portfolio companies, and my broader LaaS and Twitter community will provide deal flow and emotional support,” she said.

Taub spoke to AngelList about her investment thesis, her belief in community-driven funds and startups, and her ambitions for Ganas Ventures.

Matthew Speiser: How do you define “community” as it relates to the world of startups and venture?

Lolita Taub: You know a startup or fund is community-driven when its customers/LPs:

  • Identify as members,
  • Create value for other customers/LPs, and
  • Start the marketing and sales flywheel.

Examples of community-driven companies include some of the most successful startups in recent history: Airbnb, Reddit, MongoDB, Atlassian, Quora, Glossier, and Patreon. The output of community-driven companies for LPs is the potential for outsized returns and generational wealth. 

MS: Why is now the right time for a community-driven fund?

LT: The pandemic pushed us to seek a new path forward as humans and businesses. People are lonely and want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. 

Community-driven companies provide meaning to employees and customers, while simultaneously enabling a “go-to-community” approach which can lower customer acquisition costs (because of the word of mouth), create higher lifetime value (because of the connection), attract mission-aligned talent (because the community wants to see the company succeed), and is hard for competitors to replicate.

For all these reasons, I believe there’s an enormous opportunity to create outsized returns investing in community-driven companies now. 

MS: How will community manifest itself in the day-to-day operations of Ganas Ventures?

LT: The Ganas Ventures' LP community will be involved in everything from fund operations and strategy to due diligence and portfolio support via our operator-investor program—which all new LPs will be invited to join.

We’ll gather LPs’ skill sets, preferences, and time availability. As needs emerge, I’ll reach out to them in a low-lift, high-impact manner. What’s important about this model is that it treats our LPs not as a check, but as human value-adds to the fund.

LPs will join Ganas Ventures for our sense of community as well as the prospect of great returns. 

MS: Why did you want Ganas Ventures to be a 506(c) fund?

LT: The status quo is to be a 506(b) fund. But if you’re an emerging manager from an underrepresented community like I am, not being able to market your fund makes zero sense. 

By being a 506(c) fund on AngelList, we can reach more women, people of color, LGBTQ+, and other underestimated / underrepresented communities and bring them into the Ganas Ventures community. 

If more funds are to be led by people like me, we need to be more open minded about how things are done in venture capital. We must, as a community, accept that some of us need to do things in a non-status-quo way to launch, raise, and be successful as emerging fund managers. Ganas Ventures is a step in that direction.

MS: Why did you decide to partner with AngelList on this fund?

LT: I spent a couple months performing due diligence around fund formation and back office management for Ganas Ventures. I ended up choosing AngelList for several reasons:

  • Reduced complexity with fund formation and management because I manage one vendor relationship versus multiple (which means less work for a solo GP like me).
  • Simpler/fixed costs for the fund (which means more capital to deploy).
  • AngelList handles proof of accreditation (which means I have one less vendor to hire).
  • Easy LP onboarding / management experience (which means faster onboarding and potentially higher conversion).

MS: Do you see the community-driven fund model becoming more popular in the future?

LT: In the future, I think community-driven fund models will become the norm as communities prove to enable the success of talented emerging fund managers. I’m grateful that Ganas gets to be an early leader in this new evolution of VC, alongside our business partners, founders, funders, and friends. 

___

Apply to invest in Ganas Ventures.

Disclaimer

This document and the information contained herein is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the interviewee and may not reflect the views of AngelList or any of its affiliates. This post is not intended to be an offer or advice of any kind. Past performance is not indicative of future results. All examples of past investments included in this presentation are purely for illustrative purposes and may not reflect the complete list of investments made. There is no guarantee that any fund will achieve the same exposure to or quality of portfolio companies held by any existing syndicate or fund. An investment in venture funds involves a high degree of risk and is suitable only for sophisticated and qualified accredited investors. Quotes included in these materials related to AngelList's services and should not be construed in any way as an endorsement of AngelList's advice, analysis or other service rendered to its clients.
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