The Who and Why of the YC Venture Fund

I recently heard that Twitter’s former chief operating officer Ali Rowghani is going to play a big role in the new Y Combinator venture fund. I suspect he’s running it, based on the fact that multiple LPs who have been doing diligence about the fund have been asking about him, but that still may be up in the air. 

Regardless, we can expect Rowghani, who was also CFO at Twitter and Pixar, to be involved in one of the most mysterious and controversial funds in a while, maybe since Andreessen Horowitz. That fund marked a shift in how VCs operate, moving to an agency-style model. 

This one, which I have more details about below, might mark another turning point in VC: the moment that we truly stopped defining funds by the stage of capital they target and acknowledged that access truly does matter more than capital.

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Successful early-stage investors have a comparative advantage in access. And successful late-stage investors have a comparative advantage in capital.

As capital gets commoditized, access become more important. Early investors have an edge.

Doug Crets commented on this article.
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There will be an implicit conflict between VCs who want to come in with a certain level of ownership in the A or B round and YC wanting to invest beyond its seed stake.