Good to Have You Here
Lowercase Capital used to invest in startups and advise an array of companies and private funds. That was fun. Our approach was weird, just like our cowboy shirts. We learned a lot, helped as much as we could, and it worked out well for us.
But while investing is one of our things, it is not our only thing. So, in April of 2017, we announced we would no longer be raising new venture funds. In critical times like these, we think some stuff is more important than business.
What made Lowercase successful was our collaboration with founders. We rolled up our sleeves, designed product roadmaps, came up with new features, negotiated partnerships, attracted new users, recruited the core team, raised the next round of money, and honed the story. We also lent an ear and some love on those inevitably ugly days when the outlook is bleak and founders might lose hope. We invested small amounts of money and large amounts of time, attention, care, and empathy. Along the way, we played a small role in the creation of a few services that continue to shape the world, led by founders that we admire. While we aren’t raising any new funds, we still work daily with our portfolio of over 70 companies.
We are grateful for the success we have enjoyed, but we understand how much could be attributed to privilege. The venture and technology industries are frustratingly devoid of diverse voices. We think we can help by doing our part to accelerate a revolution that is upending the demographics of tech investing. So for over five years, we’ve been quietly backing the next generation of investors, specifically women and people of color, who have been starting their venture funds.
Now it’s time to apply what we’ve learned to causes we believe need urgent attention. Our democracy is in peril. This isn’t just the policy pendulum swinging. The United States is facing a constitutional crisis. In parallel, our global climate is in disarray and worsening every day. The world doesn’t have the political will to heal the planet, even as the lives of hundreds of millions of people hang in the balance. At the same time, our nation’s criminal justice system is a destructive, racist, and classist mess that is wrecking the lives of people of color and the poor.
In these core areas, as well as others, we are donating and investing millions of dollars and countless hours. We are bringing that same obsessive passion and expertise that powered the Lowercase portfolio and applying it to a new generation of startups, funds, and organizations dedicated to improving life on Earth. The ambition of these projects is unbounded because we know no other way. We are questioning assumptions, eviscerating obstacles to success, and funding the unfundable.
One of our favorite authors, Buckminster Fuller, wrote:
“We are blessed with technology that would be indescribable to our forefathers. We have the wherewithal, the know-it-all, to feed everybody, clothe everybody, and give every human on Earth a chance. We know now what we could never have known before-that we now have the option for all humanity to make it successfully on this planet in this lifetime. Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment.”
We are doing everything we can to make sure Utopia wins. Thanks for doing your part too.