D’Amelio family launches venture capital fund 444 Capital to invest up to $25 million in high-growth startups – TechCrunch
The D’Amelio family, including TikTok stars and digital creators Charli D’Amelio and her sister Dixie, are formalizing their investments in startups with the launch of a new venture capital fund, 444 Capital. The family partners with Doug Renert of Tandem Capital and producer Jeff Beacher of Beacher Media Group on the fund, which aims to support high-growth companies with strong end-user brands, including those in the direct space. to consumer, fintech, edtech, healthcare, insurtech and other B2B2C platforms.
The fund has a target of up to $25 million, some of which has already been raised and deployed.
The D’Amelio family said the fund will have a particular focus on startups led by women and minorities.
“Our family wants to help a new generation of female and minority entrepreneurs build great businesses. We hope to play an increasing role in leveling the playing field for startups over time,” said Dixie and Charli D ‘Amelio in a joint statement.
Although the sisters are the most well-known family members due to their TikTok fame, their parents Marc and Heidi also participate in 444 Capital.
We understand that the name of the fund is meant to refer to the number 4’s association with good fortune and positive energy, and will participate in the Series A stage and beyond.
“The new fund will join top VCs in investing in Series A and later series of fast-growing companies that want to accelerate their growth even further,” confirmed Greg Goodfried, Head of D’Amelio Family Businesses.
The D’Amelios were connected to Renert through Beacher, who had worked with several Tandem portfolio companies on their influencer marketing campaigns. Through her network, Beacher had a connection to the D’Amelios among many other influencers and digital creators. He and Renert have had discussions about creating such a fund, which has a similar goal to Tandem Capital. Renert notes that the fund does not conflict with his work at Tandem, as the venture capital firm has chosen not to raise any other funds at this time. But many Tandem LPs have returned to invest in 444 Capital.
The D’Amelios, Renert and Beacher will use their collective networks to find the deals and seek to co-invest alongside top VCs leading the rounds.
“We want to be additive and not try to compete with VCs, who we want to collaborate with,” notes Renert. In other words, the idea is to allow the fund to rely on the diligence of co-investors and use their termsheets and documents to act faster.
This year, 444 Capital will invest around $1 million per investment and expects to close around 20 deals. Given the D’Amelios’ ability to reach a wide audience of consumers through their online social media presence, some of the offers may include a promotional element from the D’Amelios.
“We are looking for companies with already strong brands that are growing quickly, differentiating themselves and aiming for a large market,” Renert said.
The decision to create a venture capital fund follows a series of recent seed investments by the D’Amelios.
Last year, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio invested in teen banking app Step. And last month the family, including sister Dixie and parents Marc and Heidi, backed Lightricks, an award-winning app developer behind a number of top creator tools for enhancing photos and videos, including Facetune 2 and Facetune Video, Videoleap and others. .
The team plans to make a full announcement about the fund soon, but cited Pair Eyewear, the eyewear brand that encourages self-expression with its customizable frames, co-founded by Sophia Edelstein, as an early example of a holding company. In Pair’s case, the new fund joined the NEA-led $60 million Series B, which had also touted the participation of another social media star, YouTuber and game streamer Ninja.
Fellow fund participants Beacher and Renert have backed a long list of startups and well-known consumer brands, including Airbnb, Lyft, NomNom, Outdoorsy and Tile.
The 444 Capital team plans to make a bigger announcement about the fund in the coming months.