For companies that want to grow at some point or keep growing, Venture Capital (VC) firms are the ones that are mostly able to help them out. It has been years since venture firms have been offering funding to businesses as an investment to help both them and their companies get funds. Just like the many VC firms available, there is one VC firm that is quite famous. It is the firm named Tribe Capital. This well-connected form in Silicon Valley has a plan to let a wider group of investors join them and begin investing through the program “Firstlook”.
Before we talk about the Tribe Capital Firstlook program, let us learn more about it.
About Tribe Capital
Tribe Capital is a private American and a $360 million venture capital firm that was founded in 2018 by three people who were together in Social Capital Investors. The three founders are Ted Maidenberg, Jonathan Hsu, and Arjun Sethi. Its headquarters is in Menlo Park, California that invests in seed-stage and early-stage technology companies globally. The firm also specializes in applying data science to all aspects of venture capital.
Tribe Capital “Firstlook” Program
Tribe Capital Firstlook program allows qualified individuals to co-invest in startups in deals underwritten and managed by Tribe Capital. These individuals are qualified only if they have a net worth that is more than $1 million, and an annual income of $200,000. It took two years for Tribe to privately test the program with limited partners. Moreover, Tribe acquired another venture firm Pif.vc to help in managing the new program. The three partners from this new firm would be the ones overseeing Firstlook.
As per Arjun Sethi, their vision for the program is – an online marketplace that, among other things, matches startups looking for funding with people who are not necessarily professional investors. Tribe took the crowdfunding capabilities of AngelList and mixed them with qualities of a more traditional venture firm. In short, the Tribe Capital Firstlook program would make tech investing more accessible to the masses.
So, Firstlook is a vibrant co-invest program that connects founders with strategic support and capital by offering them a select group of RIAs, family offices, global institutions, and high-net-worth individual access to trusted deal-by-deal co-invest opportunities managed and underwritten by Tribe Capital. This program aims to benefit both LPs (Limited Partners) and founders.
During the testing years since 2018, Tribe’s LPs have deployed over $256 million using Firstlook. Today, more than 300 firms and individuals in the partner network regularly invest, with upwards of 140 partners interfacing with their underwriting in any given month. This program is being introduced to the market where their LPs would now have the opportunity to invest through Firstlook directly into every company that they underwrite from the fund and into adjacent unique opportunities. The Tribe Capital is also inviting all founders who wish to participate in the program.
Tribe’s approach opens up a wide range of opportunities for both founders and co-investors, as shared below:
Firstlook for founders
Firstlook offers founders streamlined access to a network of trusted global support and strategic capital. This program’s advantage is that it can rapidly and accurately synthesize a bottom-up view of any company’s product-market fit across sectors and stages. Being a founder, you would obviously have a wishlist with:
- Raise capital through any situation without sacrificing execution. Get a trusted capital partner that helps founders raise funds, stay focused, and in control of their destiny.
- Access a global network of trusted advisors who can offer founders great opportunities for growth and expansion.
And just so you know, all these are available. And Firstlook brings all these to every founder in the program to get both funding and support. With Firstlook, founders can gain instant access to Tribe’s existing network and the network’s capital. Along with that, founders will also gain access to the network’s support and connections. This means that the founders can easily focus on building their business while Firstlook does the heavy lifting.
The process of the Firstlook program is quite simple for the founders. The Tribe Capital team would conduct quantitative research with the founder using their Magic 8-ball report. And if there is a fit, they would decide to invest and become the company’s and founder’s ally in perpetuity. What do founders get:
- The team would share their research with the founder’s team (company employees like the CEO and even the board members) to better grow their business.
- Funds of Tribe Capital and Firstlook are used to pull in fully aligned strategic partners and flexible capital that would allow the businesses to access a wide range of opportunities and support, including regional expansions, talent, business development, domain expertise, etc.)
- Just like data scientists and company builders who have helped grow companies like Slack, Facebook, and so on, Tribe Capital would work by the founder’s side to synthesize their N-of-1 story and strategy to help everyone realize and align with the founder’s vision.
Tribe created the Tribe Capital Firstlook program to help companies become flexible. They help in every stage and round to help in engineering the optimal forward path for the company.
Firstlook for co-investors
Firstlook offers high-net-worth individuals, RIAs, family officers, and institutions access to fully underwritten and managed venture and venture-adjacent opportunities. With Tribe Capital’s experience, they have understood that there is immense bi-directional value to be gained from connecting companies with investors of all walks of life who are looking to innovate and grow through technology.
Firstlook is engineered to offer a trusted onramp to deal-by-deal venture opportunities for everyone:
- Access: Tribe Capital only opens access to and invests in opportunities that exhibit attractive characteristics, as per their data-driven underwriting process.
- Trust: All options are underwritten using the full data science stack with the same standard Tribe Capital uses for their own fund.
- Management: Regardless of the source of capital, Tribe supports their portfolio companies to the maximum through the exit process.
So, when a co-investor joins Firstlook, they would get access to invest in these options and work alongside the community and team at Tribe Capital to evolve this platform together.
The process is simple. Being a co-founder, you can join and become a member. Tribe Capital would regularly share opportunities to invest through their vehicles that would fit the investor’s investment thesis. The Tribe Capital Firstlook program’s team would offer their time to personally walk through their underwriting to help elaborate on their approach, the investment, and the company.
Tribe Capital is aiming to create the next generation of venture capital firms by introducing innovative ways in their program. This would not just help startup companies but also those who are not professional investors.
Andrew Przybylski, Tribe Capital, email@example.com