MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Its Second Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Its Second Fund
Courtesy of MaC Venture Capital

While venture capital funding has taken a hit this year, that hasn’t stopped MaC Venture Capital from raising $203 million for its second fund.

The Los Angeles-based, Black-led VC firm said Monday that it had surpassed its initial $200 million goal for the fund, which dot.LA reported in January, over the span of seven months. MaC said it expects to invest the capital in up to 50 mostly seed-stage startups while remaining “sector-agnostic.”


“We love seed-stage companies because that’s where most of the value is created,” MaC managing general partner Marlon Nichols told dot.LA. While the firm has invested in local ventures like NFT gaming platform Artie, space startup Epsilon3 and autonomous sensor company Spartan Radar, Nichols said MaC—whose portfolio companies span from Seattle to Nairobi—would continue to eye ventures across the rest of the country and world.

“Talent is ubiquitous; access to capital is not,” Nichols noted. “What they’re building needs to matter; we’ve got to believe that this group of founders is the best team building in the space, period.”

Launched in 2019, MaC is led by four founding partners: VC veteran Nichols, former Washington, D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty, and former William Morris Endeavor talent agents Charles D. King and Michael Palank. Nichols described the team’s collective background in government, consulting, media, entertainment and talent management as its “superpower.”

In a venture capital industry where few people of color are decision-makers, MaC Venture Capital has looked to wield its influence to provide opportunities for founders of color. The firm says 69% of its portfolio companies were started by BIPOC founders and 36% are led by women, while MaC has also diversified its own ranks by adding female partners Zhenni Liu and Haley Farnsworth.

MaC’s second investment fund nearly doubled the size of the firm’s $110 million first fund, which it closed in March 2021. The new fund’s repeat institutional investors include Goldman Sachs, ICG Advisors, StepStone, the University of Michigan, the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, while the likes of Illumen Capital and the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois also pitched in as new investors.

“It’s a great combination of having affirmation from people who have been with us from the beginning and new people coming in that want to be a part of it,” Fenty told dot.LA.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Former Amazon and Lyft Execs Launch Incubator and Tech Talent Hybrid Startup

Steve Huff
Steve Huff is an Editor and Reporter at dot.LA. Steve was previously managing editor for The Metaverse Post and before that deputy digital editor for Maxim magazine. He has written for Inside Hook, Observer and New York Mag. Steve is the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC’s hit “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” He’s also a classically-trained tenor and has performed with opera companies and orchestras all over the Eastern U.S. He lives in the greater Boston metro area with his wife, educator Dr. Dana Huff.
Former Amazon and Lyft Execs Launch Incubator and Tech Talent Hybrid Startup
Photo by Ryz Labs

RYZ Labs wants to be a one-stop shop for startups looking to scale up and add new talent.

California natives Jordan Metzner and Sam Nadler created RYZ Labs, and their résumés make it clear they’ve got the knowledge and experience necessary to help others hit the ground running. In 2006, the pair launched California Burrito Co., a chain restaurant with international reach; in 2013, they founded the “Uber for Laundry,” Washio. Add in Metzner’s five years at Amazon and Nadler’s time at Lyft, and you have a potent combination of industry savvy and entrepreneurial flair.

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