When BeyondHQ founder Madhu Chamarty began elevating funding for his startup that helps companies resolve find out how to increase their workplace footprints in November, a former boss backing his concept linked him to a Silicon Valley insider named Elizabeth Weil.
A former Twitter government, working associate at Andreessen Horowitz and associate at secondary agency 137 Ventures, Weil had struck out just a few months earlier than to start out her personal agency, Scribble Ventures. The ultra-marathoner, letterpress printing side-business proprietor and mom of a six-year-old and four-year-old twins wrote again instantly that Chamarty’s concept was one she may have used sorely at Twitter. It was 8:30pm on a Saturday. Weil stated she may discuss straight away. Inside 45 minutes, Weil stated he may rely Scribble in — and herald a number of of her high-profile buddies. “Take into account your spherical finished,” Weil informed him.
“It was form of like the unique magic of Silicon Valley,” says Chamarty, who’s now ending closing the spherical — three or 4 of Weil’s community of buyers included — as a convertible observe. “She stated one thing I hear plenty of VCs say, but it surely was unimaginable to see the follow-through.”
Such are the retro ambitions at Scribble Ventures, the agency based in March 2020 by Weil, Annelies Gamble and Weil’s husband, Kevin. Scribble, which simply closed its first fund of about $42 million, seems to write down comparatively small preliminary checks into early-stage startups on the pre-seed, seed and sometimes Sequence A rounds, with 18 investments made thus far in firms like BeyondHQ, Close by, the native business-boosting startup led by former Slack COO April Underwood, and Certn, a background-check startup that raised about $22 million in November.
Scribble is a brand new fund, however the Weils are well-known in Silicon Valley’s tech hall. They met on the triathlon group at Stanford, the place she obtained an undergraduate diploma in economics and a grasp’s diploma in engineering, and he a grasp’s in physics. At her urging, she says, Kevin joined a fledgling startup known as Twitter in 2009 to construct its analytics group; Elizabeth, who had lower her tooth at VC agency Menlo Ventures, adopted six months later to work in company and enterprise improvement, amongst different roles. After 4 years, Elizabeth moved to Andreessen Horowitz as an working associate connecting portfolio firms to massive firms, then an investing position as a associate at 137 Ventures, a secondary agency. Kevin Weil left Twitter to run product at Instagram in 2016, earlier than shifting over to run dad or mum firm Fb’s crypto product efforts two years later.
Alongside the best way they made about 100 angel investments, together with many began by ex-Twitter staff, equivalent to Digits and Envoy, but additionally high-flyers like Coinbase, Postmates and Slack. Elizabeth Weil had met Gamble in a 6am spin class years earlier than. An achieved runner in her personal proper, Gamble labored stints at Barclays and as an early group member on Dropbox’s product analytics group earlier than investing for 4 years at WTI. She and Weil turned frequent brainstorming companions on the paths close to Weil’s residence within the Bay Space’s Portola Valley. “We joke now that we had been on the world’s longest job interview for one another,” Weil says.
Realizing that she most loved working with small entrepreneurial groups, Weil left 137 Ventures in January 2020 to work on Scribble; she and Gamble raised the fund by the Covid-19 altered summer time on distanced walks and over Zoom, from profitable tech founders, fellow enterprise capitalists, household places of work and a handful of small establishments.
Writing $250,000 to $500,000 preliminary checks, Scribble has backed 18 firms thus far, with plans to put money into about 40 — whereas saving half its capital to double down on rising winners — from its first fund. Weil and Gamble, a Forbes 30 Under 30 alumna, are its two full-time companions, with Kevin, nonetheless a vp of product overseeing Fb’s digital wallets platform Novi, as “operator in residence actually down the corridor.”
Whereas her former employer Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia and different companies look to preempt rounds of their winners and construct massive positions, Weil’s assured they’ll make room for Scribble, which she payments as “operator buyers with a collaborative mindset.” The market has loads of large-sized funds with possession expectations, and solo buyers with intriguing rolling funds however capital limits to their checks, she says; Scribble can slot in between. “The place is that collaborative test like outdated enterprise was once?” Weil says. “We truly like tech. We just like the Valley; nonetheless like plenty of issues which can be very uncool proper now.”
One key distinction, a number of founders backed by Scribble inform Forbes, is that in an age of performative Twitter threads on startup constructing, Scribble’s ex-Twitter executives give attention to problem-solving and actionable connections, not telling founders what to do. “They really are actually good individuals,” says Grant LaFontaine, cofounder of Whatnot, a startup constructing reside public sale or QVC-like promoting instruments for streamers. “I simply assume that’s an enormous differentiator.”
When Andrew McLeod was ending up elevating the seed funding for Victoria, British Columbia-based Certn in early 2020, he had stopped taking conferences when he heard from two buyers, Adam Bain and Katie Jacobs Stanton, that there was another group of fellow ex-Twitter leaders he wanted to satisfy. Reluctantly, McLeod met Scribble — then shortly made room for the agency to write down a small test into the seed.
By November, Certn was elevating a extremely aggressive Sequence A. McLeod made extra room for Scribble this time to write down a bigger test, and requested Weil to hitch his board of administrators. Alongside the best way, Weil stated she needed to ship McLeod one thing. “She stated, I do letterpress printing, and I’m like, I don’t know what that’s, I’m 33,” McLeod says. Customized thanks playing cards, hand-printed by Weil, arrived within the mail. The founder says he makes use of them on a regular basis.
“It’s like I’ve a superhero on my board,” McLeod says now. “You possibly can’t run that far, and do this a lot, except you’ve received a particular energy.”