Dear underestimated founder, funder, & friend fam: let’s celebrate our wins together!

Photo by Hugo Ruiz on Unsplash

Yes, there are many terrible startup-VC statistics about our community, and, yes, we have a long way to go. But we must not let them take the energy that we need to change the space! We must remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint and that in order to maintain our emotional wellbeing and stay strong through trying times, we’ve got to take a moment and acknowledge the good work that we’re doing and celebrate our wins!

Terrible stats

Source: Giphy

US venture capital investment partners stats:

  • 78% White (11% Women, 67% Men)
  • 15% Asian/Pacific Islander (3% Women, 12% Men)
  • 4% Latinx (1% Women, 3% Men)
  • 3% Black (1% Women, 2% Men)

US venture capital deployment in underestimated founder stats:

  • Since 2015, $15 billion has been raised by Black & Latinx founders, representing 2.4% of the total venture capital raised in this time
  • Between 2018 and 2019, Black & Latinx women founders raised a total of $3.1 billion; which represented 0.67% of total venture capital invested those years
  • In 2020, women-led startups received just 2.3% of VC funding

Of course, take time to feel your feelings. And when you’re ready, take a breath and make a space in your mind and heart to celebrate our wins. Let’s talk about our venture capitalists and our fundraises!

Stats to celebrate!

Source: Giphy

US venture capitalists — Between 2018 and 2020, we went from 200 to 250 Black & Latinx VCs.

  • 32% Women, 68% Men
  • 70% Black — 18% women, 52% men
  • 30% Latinx — 14% women, 16% men

US underestimated founders — In all time, 300+ women founders have raised $1 million or more (52% White, 18% Black, 16% Asian, 16% Latinx); 305 Black & Latinx founders have raised $1M or more (45% Women, 55% Men, 31% Latinx, 69% Black); and in the first half of 2021, 900 diverse founders fundraised a total of $18 billion of capital (23% Black & Latinx, 77% Women).

And there’s more…

You and I, in our community, have also accomplished a lot on a grassroots level. So, let’s celebrate that too!

Source: Giphy

Community wins to celebrate

Thanks to your participation in our LaaS initiatives — which aim to provide a safe and supportive community, resources, and tools for early-stage underestimated founders, funders, and friends — together we have created a:

And we can all feel proud of what we’ve accomplished together and celebrate:

Source: LaaS
  • Twitter: Hundreds of founder questions answered
  • Newsletter: 40+ newsletter issues providing insight and resources to underestimated founders, funders, and friends
  • Startup-Investor Matching Tool — 1.7K+ intros made between underestimated founders and investors; 35 checks written with the value of $4.2M+ to underestimated founders
  • GP-LP Matching Tool — 10+ intros made between underestimated GPs and LPs; 1 check written to an underestimated GP
  • LaaS Community — $700K+ in SaaS tools/sources savings; dozens of complimentary tickets valued in the hundreds to events like SaaStr and Techcrunch Disrupt; dozens of hires and some checks written amongst members🎉 🎉 🎉 Congratulations and thank you for being a supportive member of our community! 🎉 🎉 🎉

Our community’s stats

We are in every continent with the exception of Antarctica and are proudly…

  • 78.7% aspiring founders/founders, 29.1% aspiring investors/investors, 9.9% LPs
  • 48.9% BIPOC, 34% White, and 13.5% Asian (3.5% abstained)
  • 49.6% female and 46.8% male
  • 63.8% Millennials, 17% Gen X, 12% Gen Z, 4.3% Boomers (2.8% abstained)

Thank you for supporting our community

I am grateful to you because it’s clear that you care about our community, and on a personal level, I’m grateful that you have chosen me as one of the servant leaders to our underestimated founder, funder, and friend fam. I don’t take that lightly. It means a great deal because my parents always taught me that it’s the biggest honor to be invited to be a supportive community member and that when members of a community all participate we all win.

More specifically, I want to thank you for allowing me to work on two of my personal goals:

  • to help increase the dollars going into underestimated founders and
  • to help increase the number of investors that come from our communities

Thank you for being human and caring deeply about our community and me. In fact, you made me tear up with your survey submissions because, in them, you shared your appreciation for our community and for my community work. And you put your money where your mouth is — 87% of you care enough to call out that you want to pay for a membership to all the services/products LaaS provides to honor the value they provide and to help me afford the support needed to maintain and create more tools, events, and resources for you.

And that just means so much because I do balance a lot on my plate and I’m a phenomenal giver but a poor receiver. So, I’m listening to my therapist’s words “work on receiving without guilt,” listening to you, and launching LaaS Community Memberships.

Stay tuned for an invite to the LaaS Community in my newsletter and note that memberships will go to pay fractional teammates to support our initiatives and create new resources to help us on our journey to startup-investor success.

Epilogue

My wishes: I wish for all of us to never forget to find the light in the darkness and to always celebrate our wins. I wish to always serve our underestimated founder, funder, and friend fam and I dream of the day we can all tweet about how we created generational wealth in community.

For now, on a tactical level, I want to make LaaS self-sustaining via subscriptions, hire a team, and refocus on my VC career and do what my heart most desires: to write checks — to the best founders and GPs — and create generational wealth for my fam, for me, and then to reinvest a big portion of it into our community!

And I can feel it in my bones: we’re going to change the startup-VC world and create generational wealth in community!

Special shout-outs

I want to give a special shout-out to Josh Taub for being a godsend. He programmed the Startup-Investor Matching Tool, the GP-LP Matching Tool, and my LaaS assistant bot. Josh also volunteers his time (on a weekly basis) onboarding investors onto the tools, troubleshooting, editing my posts, and finding no-code and low-code ways to make LaaS operations a bit less manual. And then there’s a lot of manual work that needs to get done, like aggregating, creating, and amplifying content. There are graphics to be made, community management stuff, and so much more. I do the bulk of the work in this area and RJ Ruggles lends a hand with content aggregation, graphics, and some community soundboarding/operations. He has done all of this on a contractual discounted hourly rate. I am grateful for all of it.

FAQ

When is the LaaS Community Membership launch? The LaaS Community Memberships launch is today, November 21, for our founding members, and will open up to the world in December. To learn more, make sure you sign-up for my newsletter here.

What are LaaS Community Membership benefits?

Source: LaaS

Where can I learn more about Laas? Visit thelaas.co

How can I ask LaaS a question? Message her here.

Lolita Taub is a stealth mode GP and Scout at Lightspeed Venture Partners, where she invests in community-driven companies. With 15 years working within the Silicon Valley ecosystem, she has accomplished $70M+ in sales and made 80+ investments as an angel investor and VC at Backstage Capital and The Community Fund. Lolita is also a Co-Founder of the Startup-Investor Matching Tool, the GP-LP Matching Tool, and LaaS. Forbes and Inc Magazine have featured her as a woman promoting investment in underestimated founders and funders. She has a BA from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the IE Business School. Most importantly, she is a dog mom to the cutest Dachshund mix, Choco.

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Still looking for more resources or support? Follow me on Twitter @lolitataub and visit LaaS, a bot that provides community, resources, and tools for early-stage underestimated founders, funders, and friends.

About investing in community-driven cos + supporting our underestimated founder/investor fam. @lolitataub

About investing in community-driven cos + supporting our underestimated founder/investor fam. @lolitataub