Former YouTube exec Hunter Walk and former Twitter exec Satya Patel announced today that they are launching a new $35 million venture fund.
The fund itself is called Homebrew, which is a reference to the Homebrew Computer Club from the ’70s that helped spawn a wave of personal computer companies like Apple. And while Homebrew isn’t looking for on hardware or craft beer tech startups like the name suggests, its investment focus is still interesting.
In terms of investments, Homebrew is seeking companies that are building the “bottom up economy” — or startups that leverage technology to challenge major industry leaders, often with a fraction of the resources. (For example, the people building the technology 1o years ago that enabled news blogs with a team of 10 employees to break news faster and more consistently than corporation-owned news publications with over 100 people on staff.)
“For many decades, the cost, complexity, and rigidity of technology limited its power and benefits to large corporations - a top-down Economy,” Walk wrote in a blog post. “Today, we’re amid a transformation where technology is increasingly accessible enough, cheap enough, and flexible enough to empower individuals and small teams. Teams of five, 50, or 500 can compete with organizations tens or hundreds of times their size or create entirely new markets with innovative products and services.”
Walk said there are certain companies that are inherently building the bottom up economy better than others, including those focused on software-as-a-service for small business, API-based platforms, vertical marketplaces, direct-to-consumer services, and peer or collaborative economies. Homebrew, however, is less concerned with a particular industry or area of business when it comes to investments.
Homebrew plans to invest between $250,000 to $800,000 in in a seed round financing. The fund also wants to limit its investments to no more than 10 per year, which will allow Walk and Patel to serve on the board of the companies.