Phenomenal Ventures has already raised a $6m debut early-stage-focused fund from investors including Dropbox, Quora and Pinterest founders, and Slow Ventures and Tribe Capital. Around 38% of limited partners are founders or former founders, while nearly half of the fund’s investors self-identify as women and 12% as Black.
Phenomenal Ventures is co-founded by lawyer and author Meena Harris, and AngelList and PlaidHelen previous Head of Marketing Helen Min. The two have met while both were early employees at Facebook.
Phenomenal Ventures’ launch is noteworthy, especially in light of the challenges currently faced by the tech sector, which is experiencing a decline in funding for female founders and sector-agnostic layoffs. Despite this, the firm has already invested in 13 companies, with nine being spearheaded by underrepresented founders.
While the firm does not have any specific diversity mandate or quota, its founders have acknowledged that their past experience working in tech, for companies without underrepresented founders, has shaped their network of contacts.
Phenomenal Media and Phenomenal Ventures will continue to operate as two separate legal entities. While the Phenomenal brand’s roots lie in e-commerce, the firm is focused on investing in software enterprise companies, fintech and the future of commerce.
Harris hopes that Phenomenal Ventures will enable her to have a “mission-driven impact” on the tech industry.