Based in San Francisco Day One Companies announced a new second fund, allowing the startup venture capital firm to start writing bigger checks.
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The new $52.55 million fund is expected to allow Day One to invest between $500,000 and $5 million in ventures and potentially conduct pre-seed and seed rounds, the founder and partner says general of the company. Masha Drokova.
Drokova founded Day One in late 2017, a year that saw 153 venture capital funds opened, but only two led by women. While she says she doesn’t believe it’s harder to be a woman in the venture capital world, she admits she finds it amusing that it’s always a question.
“When I’m on these panels, nobody ever asks, ‘How does it feel to be an investor as a man?'” she says.
Drokova was born in Russia, which she left in 2013, eventually settling in San Francisco in 2015. With a background in communications, including a stint as head Runa Capital’s team—Drokova began exploring angel investing on her own. She ended up making 11 investments, writing checks averaging $15,000.
“I wanted to do public relations for companies in which I am a shareholder,” she said.
This experience led her to found Day One: A name that comes from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ philosophy that a business should have the same purpose and goals as the day it was founded, including being obsessed with customers.
Focusing on customers is one of the main things Drokova considers in any investment. With her background in communications, she also envisions businesses where Day One can help lead messaging and outreach.
The company’s first fund was $20 million, from which it invested between $100,000 and $500,000 each in early startups. Even though the firm typically invests in pre-revenue companies, 15 companies in this fund now have an ARR between $5 million and $40 million, she added.
The fund included investments in companies such as Superhuman, Not paying, Yumi, DuckDuckGo, MSCHF and Truebill. Truebill, a personal finance tool, has announced its $17 million Series C seed round earlier this month, led by Bessemer Venture Partners.
This first fund has already seen three exits, all through mergers and acquisitions, although day one is focused on long-term growth, Drokova said.
Diversity was also a theme of the fund, with investments going to 25 female founders and 33% of equity going to founders of color. The founders of the companies supported by the fund came from more than 20 different countries, she added.
Still, Drokova insists that diversity is not something the company actively pursues, but rather comes organically.
“It’s not a goal, but it comes naturally to us,” she said. “We really don’t make any effort for that.”
The second fund will continue with many of the same themes as the first, looking at customer-focused startups that Day One can help with cross-messaging, Drokova said. The company generally likes to invest in traditional sectors — including fintech, remote working and artificial intelligence — but is also branching out into less traditional sectors, like quantum technology and satellites, she said. .
Day One often works with companies such as Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Speed of light and Index Ventures on investment opportunities, whether in funding rounds or later, Drokova said. About $45 million of the new fund came from investors, mostly tech entrepreneurs, founders and executives of the first fund, she added.
Drokova expects the new funds to take around two to two and a half years to fully roll out, and while she doesn’t think it’s hard to be a woman in the venture capital world, she recognizes others. difficulties.
“We want to be the best investor these companies have,” she said. “That is what is difficult. You really have to stand out. »
Photo courtesy of Masha Drokova courtesy of Day One Ventures
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