Q&A with Pialy Aditya and Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne, The WOCstar Fund
The next Amazon, Google, or Uber is being created right NOW We believe it is being created by diverse/inclusive teams that aren’t on most investors’ radar.
WOCstar Fund I is changing the trajectory for smart investors and high-potential startups. We aim to capitalize on the financial market’s investment gap by sourcing and investing in opportunities that other funds are missing due to their size, networks, pipelines and biases. The WOCstar team is positioned to invest in a way that makes startups successful and able to deliver value to investors. We see potential and opportunities that other investors and traditional venture capital firms don’t have access to. And while others are competing to outbid each other for deals and spots on the cap table, we’ve built a growing global network of diverse founders and teams that we are prepared to invest big on.
Our investment strategy is simple. Invest early in undervalued, high potential companies. Invest where our capital, our network, business connections and knowledge can be a game changer.
WOCstar website: https://www.wocstar.com
Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO, Steve Case, Case Foundation Chairman
AXIOS OP-ed u
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What’s the Market Opportunity?
Diverse teams that include women of color (WOCstars) are the fastest growing entrepreneurial population and they are poised to unlock tremendous value. In 2017 alone (most recent data available), U.S. based WOCstars generated $380 Billion in revenue. Unfortunately many family offices and investors didn't share in their success or returns and are destined to miss out on future startups unless they join the WOCstar Fund as an LP.
What’s your current pipeline?
We know many of you haven't seen success stories, IPOs, huge exits or valuations from this population. However, we have met with a number of promising WOCstars that are on the cusp of success and greatness. It’s the reason we came into existence. It’s the reason we’re giving you this opportunity to join us today. The WOCstar team has compiled a proprietary pipeline of deals that all share three key traits - (1) undervalued, (2) high return potential, and (3) lead by diverse teams able to grow market share and monetize their businesses. Industries we are investing in include Consumer, Health & Wellness, Big Data/AI, and Enterprise.
How are you mitigating risk?
We are mitigating risk by starting with 20+ years of experience as well as a strong investing and operations track record. We build upon that with a great ecosystem of investors, partners, and institutions who are committed to the success of the WOCstar Fund, the startups and our LPs. It started with Day 1 with a commitment and true partnership with JPMorgan Chase and an op-ed by Jamie Dimon (CEO, JPMorgan) and Steve Case (Case Foundation). It includes family offices, foundations, high net worth individuals, NYC Economic Development Corporation, Wharton, Republic, top accelerators and others.
Pialy Aditya and Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne, The WOCstar Fund
Innovation-driven growth executive with ability to scale both multi-billion-dollar corporations and startups. Co-founder at Mintbox (fashion-tech pioneer). GM at ShopYourWay (multi-billion loyalty program). 5 years of investments at Ernst & Young Corporate Venture Capital division. Active advisor and angel via Republic (AngelList spinoff). Harvard MBA. Stern BA.
20+ years of wall street, technology, philanthropy and policy at firms JPMorgan Chase and Sun Microsystems. Graduate of Wharton School of Business, University of Michigan, and 500VC Unlocked/Stanford University. Active angel investor.