i'm raising a fund!
Increasing the agency of exceptional individuals using both investment dollars and grants
What is this?
It’s me, Molly, announcing that I’m raising Moth Fund, an early-stage-focused venture capital fund that aims to increase the agency of extraordinary individuals using both investment dollars and grants.
Why are you doing this?
Over the past 6 months I’ve been working on grants at large: starting by experimenting with building infrastructure for grant fellowships, talent and team scouting for grant programs and VC firms, and learning everything that there is to know about the broader grant landscape. What I found is that:
The problem is not infrastructure. The problem is a dearth of grant fellowships that give out belief capital to promising minds at the whisker-end of innovation (e.g. reputational lines of credit from prominent figures as exemplified by programs such as the Thiel Fellowship)
The most valuable grants are the ones that provide both community and pathways toward other, more sustainable modes of funding after the grant money runs out (Ben Reinhardt articulated this best). This is why my grants will be geared towards funding people thinking of starting companies — while there should be more grants of all shapes and sizes, I believe that grants designed to solve specific gaps in funding can provide the most value to their recipients by organizing the program and people around a shared definition of success
Addressing both of these problems is exactly what inspired me to build Moth Fund — a hybrid venture fund / grants program. My goal is to establish a replicable funding model that aligns the economics to incentivize supporting incredible individuals from exploration all the way through to world-shaping company.
More personally, I’ve benefited from grants and early-stage funding throughout my life: financing my education, this research into grants, and enabling me to dive deep into many of my curiosities. I look around me and see many extraordinary people who deserve the same investment opportunities and more — and I intend to be one of the first to offer them. I firmly believe that investing in such people for the long run and helping them tell their stories is one of the most impactful and agency-inspiring things I can do. That’s why I’m doing this :)
What's the fund size and structure?
It will be a $5M fund. The fund is presently half-filled and being led by institutional LPs and operators at companies I’ve worked at such as Figma, Notion, Stripe, and many more. I'm currently looking for $100k+ checks from both institutional and individual LPs that believe in Moth Fund’s thesis.
99% of the fund will be allocated to investing in the companies of people and teams I believe in (sector-agnostic)
2% of the fund will be allocated to give small grants to curious young people with demonstrated drive to start companies in the future
Interested in investing or have more questions?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me @mollyfmielke — I'd love to hear from you!
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Congratulations on this new venture Molly.
Btw, If you need a way to find young people and distribute the grants to them, you should look into Atila: https://atila.ca/blog/tomiwa/atila-makes-it-easy-for-anyone-to-start-a-scholarship-or-grant/