When we launched Elefund in 2015, we believed that if we took the time to understand the challenges entrepreneurs actually face — not just the size of the market they were addressing — we’d be able to make good bets on some strong companies.
That thesis is what drove our decision to invest in Robinhood during the company’s earliest days (at a time when many of our peers thought we were crazy) as well as other now-successful companies like Carta, Calm, Pie Insurance, Astra, Astranis, and Hotel Engine.
We had a vision of providing entrepreneurs with a real partner along their journey; a team that would get done in the weeds with them to problem solve, and support them the same way co-founders work together. We were new to venture capital, none of us had previously worked at a VC, and sure we were a little naive, but the approach paid off.
With Elefund One, we invested $9.1M dollars into a range of companies mostly at the seed stage, and are on track to return over 25X of the fund. Out of 30 investments, nine companies and counting are on track for billion-dollar exits.
Most importantly, we’ve been there for our founders during some of their toughest times and provided so much more than funding. Sometimes offering a sounding board for an exhausted CEO, other times connecting the right people to the team. For example, we had been kicking around the idea of incorporating sports into Calm with Alex Tew for a few months, but the idea really came to life after we introduced Alex to our friend Jason Kidd to do a masterclass with the company. The move opened the floodgates for the company to start engaging with more athletes and teams.
Today, we are excited to share that we have closed Elefund’s second fund with over $30M of committed capital. We have big plans for the new fund, but not much is changing about our approach. We plan to continue to be there for founders at every stage.
We are, however (finally!) officially announcing that Nathan Rodland has joined the firm as a General Partner. We first met Nate when he was the co-founder / COO at Robinhood, and convinced him to join us in May 2019. While at Robinhood, he played a critical role in building the infrastructure that drives so much of the company’s success. For our companies at Elefund, Nate brings a ton of knowledge and experience to our founders from his time building teams across finance, HR, compliance, business development, and customer success. He has already partnered with a number of founders, helping them solve real-world problems and achieve massive scale.
A lot has changed in the last six years, but our thesis and our relentless focus on providing founders with a real partner have never wavered.