Sofia Amoruso Launches Founders Trust Fund • TechCrunch

Sophia Amorusothe creator bad gal And Girlpussshe has The movement beganempowered generations of women, and did just that I did a businessman victory lap — the last one that you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to other founders because it’s a “distraction.” I’ve also raised rounds, ran out of venture capital funding, Filed bankruptcy And He was sued.

“I’ve seen the whole chain of what worked and what didn’t,” the entrepreneur said in an interview with TechCrunch. “It’s the not-so-great things I can often help founders anticipate or just avoid.”

It’s her high-profile and rock-solid experience in the Silicon Valley lights that finally gave Amoruso the operating experience needed to launch her own company, Trust Fund.

Amoruso says the Trust Fund, ironically named because “nobody handed her anything,” is launching with a $5 million goal, aiming for a check size of between $50,000 and $150,000. I already got checks from tech people. Notable investors include numerous a16z partners such as Marc Andreessen, Andrew Chen, Chris Dixon, entrepreneur Eve Williams, and icon Paris Hilton, as well as support from investors Ryan Hoover and Sarah Const of Cleo Capital.

The Trust Fund is looking to support digital consumer businesses, and has already invested money in an undisclosed workplace collaboration tool. Amoruso has been an angel investor for four years, and has invested $1 million of her capital in 23 startups, including Pipe, Liquid Death, and Public.

“As a small fund, I’m not necessarily looking for diamonds in the rough,” Amoruso said. She noted that other funds have the resources to do more due diligence and legalize companies, while the trust will look for social proof in some way. She prefers small companies that make money and act as if they are copycats.

Along with the launch, Amoruso told TechCrunch that it’s earmarking $1 million of the fund for people outside its network. Accredited investors are Called to apply To write checks for $2,000 to $10,000 in the first investment vehicle.

She’s looking for diversity at her hat table — “because there are far more women who can write $2,000 checks than there are women who can write $200,000 checks.” Regardless of the local community, it does not have a diversity mandate when it comes to building a portfolio.

“I plan to invest in men and women, and everything in between. And if anything, why not invest in franchising and riding dude coats?” Amoroso said. “As a woman, why wouldn’t I want to invest in the advantage a man has, like, feel free to post that — that’s right.”

While the female entrepreneur is definitely looking outward to fuel her next venture, she’s also looking inward. Much of the Amoruso brand is associated with Girlboss, a word she coined to describe self-made, entrepreneurial women. Girlboss became a memoir, a company, a Netflix show and a movement associated with empowerment—before it morphed into a sexist trope, used to describe the controversy over high-profile women in leadership, often stepping down from office.

Amoruso is no exception to this volatility. The entrepreneur quit her company, Nasty Gal, in 2015 after she became embroiled in multiple legal suits, as well as the difficulties of growing at any cost. “You raised the valuation so high at Nasty Gal, we were making $12 million in earnings when we valued Index at $350 million. Expecting the next increase at a $1 billion-plus valuation was unrealistic.”

When asked about Girlboss, Amoruso said that it “was a big part of my story. But also… at what point can I tell a new story?”

The entrepreneur views her past as a lackluster story and a competitive advantage, adding that she “doesn’t see honesty as a risk.” Among the traits the Trust advertises as value added, they included: “Building a culture that doesn’t get dirty because we’ve done it wrong…and right” and “Navigating the media when they like you and when they don’t”. “

What is clear is that, similar to her previous endeavors, the Amoruso brand is what makes people bet on her again. She has more than 120,000 newsletter subscribers, more than 100,000 followers on Twitter and more than half a million Instagram followers. She thinks she could use it to “evangelize” her portfolio, celebrity-style, but also the operating experience that founders value during a downturn.

A16z’s Andrew Chenwho said he personally invested in Amoruso’s new fund, described it as a “0-1 founder who watched and did it all…[there are] Very few people have done all of this and want to dedicate their careers to helping the next generation of founders.”

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