Ex-Bain Investor Launches $30M Web3 Consumer Venture Fund as Solo Founder

Ex-Bain Investor Launches $30M Web3 Consumer Venture Fund as Solo Founder

Madeleine “Mags” Kala, a self-proclaimed “lifetime degen,” is no stranger to beating the odds. Before becoming an investor, she co-founded an all-female blackjack team that sought to exploit gender bias to make a profit from the game, she told TechCrunch in an interview.

So it’s only fitting that Kala was able to raise his first fund as a solo GP focused on early-stage consumer startups in the Web3 space in just four months despite a broader crypto market downturn.

His Miami, Fla.-based company Double Down surpassed its original fundraising goal of $20 million in one month and closed its first fund with a total of about $30 million this week, according to Kala. . The fund has already made nine investments in mainstream Web3 startups, including Miami-based OnChain Studios, which makes Cryptoys, and Tally Labs, the company behind the Jenkins the Valet & Azurbala franchises.

Raising funds for Kala is no small feat, especially since women are deeply underrepresented in venture capital, not to mention the additional challenges that come with raising capital as a fund manager for the first time in today’s depressed venture capital market. Women make up less than 15% of decision makers in venture capital firms – a number that is almost certainly smaller in the crypto space, where less than 5% of entrepreneurs are women.

His success in building this fund is also, in part, the result of his deep experience in the consumer field. She has been investing in consumer-facing companies for a decade on behalf of Bain Capital and the family office of its co-chairman Steve Pagliuca. Kala said she decided to raise this fund as a “reluctant entrepreneur” after having conversations with investors and Web3 founders who encouraged her to take advantage of the relatively niche intersection of her interests. in consumers and cryptography.

“I believe the future of web3 is in the consumer, and I recognize that one of the things that I think limits that is actually the lack of good storytelling and go-to-market strategies around that, and communicate value to people who are outside of the crypto OG, crypto-native customer segments,” Kala said. “To me, it felt like a perfect fit for investors and the market, if you will… nobody else in crypto was doing it, so I decided to start the fund.”

Backers of Double Down include crypto and venture capital heavyweights such as a16z’s Chris Dixon and Marc Andreessen, Paradigm co-founders Matt Huang and Fred Ehrsam, the venture capital firm of Alexis Ohanian Seven Seven Six and consumer-focused LPs such as Paris Hilton and Sara Blakely. Kala says her LP base is made up of around 30% female LPs and around 30% BIPOC LPs.

In a nod to web3 culture, Kala says she is releasing the full game she used to raise this fund as a series of NFTs on OpenSea. She plans to post AirDrop pages to her LPs in the order they committed to the fund, starting with Pagliuca, Dixon and Ohanian, she added. Double Down is also launching a newsletter that will provide marketing and branding advice to web3 startups, Kala added.

“Consumer culture is key to driving widespread adoption of web3, and Mags brings a unique perspective as an experienced investor, strategist and marketer to invest in and support the next generation of top web3 startups on their journey to mass impact and scale,” Ohanian told TechCrunch in an email.

Kala says she plans to collaborate with some of the crypto-focused investors who are LPs in her fund on individual trades. The small size of her fund, she explained, will allow her to focus on the specific strengths she brings to the table rather than competing with larger companies.

For its investors, Kala’s experience in private equity is one such advantage, especially in today’s market.

“I’m used to being diligent and disciplined, and I think that resonated with a lot of LPs,” Kala said. “I’m not going to fly by the seat of my pants, especially given the market conditions.”

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