Maybe it’s the tip of an period now that Sheryl Sandberg introduced she’s going to go away Meta. Nonetheless, to Kelly Graziadei and Joanna Lee Shevelenko, common companions at f7 Ventures, an early-stage enterprise agency, they’re carrying ahead of their new endeavor the affect Sandberg had on them throughout their time at Fb.
All of f7 Ventures’ preliminary seven founders are long-time operators who met one another at Fb and began the agency over three years in the past.
“Within the early days, there weren’t that many feminine leaders at Fb,” Graziadei mentioned. “And so fast-forward years later, we got here collectively.”
They wished to take their years of working expertise and roll up their sleeves to supply that value-add to early-stage founders, notably ladies and different underrepresented people, so they may assist them construct a basis to develop and scale and “in the end grow to be the following era or the following group of generation-defining corporations,” Graziadei added.
Sandberg and her enterprise accomplice, Tom Bernthal, are among the many listing of restricted companions backing f7 Ventures’ new $50 million fund. The listing additionally contains Paris Hilton, Andrew Bosworth, Justin Kan, SoftBank, J.P. Morgan, Perception Companions, Anthemis Group, Espresso Capital and Verdis Funding Administration.
“We’re so grateful for Sheryl’s ongoing help,” Graziadei informed NFH. “I felt Sheryl’s affect and management philosophy and advocacy for feminine leaders from my earliest days at Fb.”
She not solely had the chance to work with Sandberg after becoming a member of the corporate 12 years in the past, however recollects additionally working with individuals who additionally labored with Sandberg at each Google and Fb and who carried on her advocacy for girls having a seat on the desk.
Over a 12 months in the past, Lee Shevelenko and Graziadei determined to take the pure subsequent step of elevating an institutional fund to proceed investing in pre-seed and seed corporations. In Could, they closed the $50 million fund.
The agency invests primarily in founders creating expertise for the way forward for work, psychological and bodily well being and related communities. To date, the buyers have infused funding into 20 investments from this fund, and 39 whole since they began f7 Ventures.
Lee Shevelenko and Graziadei intend to spend money on about 45 corporations from their first fund with common examine sizes between $500,000 and $750,000, with some flexibility to go as much as $1 million.
In the meantime, Lee Shevelenko, who joined Fb previous to Sandberg, mentioned she additionally noticed the affect Sandberg made, which included construction and “group rigor,” and the dedication from others who adopted Sandberg to Fb.
Lee Shevelenko additionally recalled that Sandberg spoke so much about ladies falling sufferer to the “tiara syndrome,” placing their heads down, working laborious and ready for folks to note and faucet them for the following alternative.
“We shouldn’t wait to be tapped or anointed,” Lee Shevelenko added. “Sheryl mentioned we have now to go after the alternatives and drive the change we wish to see. Just like Kelly, it was a giant push for me to take the leap into enterprise from leaving our full-time roles as operators.”
Graziadei felt that Sandberg’s affect helped her broaden her view of what she thought was comfy for herself professionally. On the identical time, Graziadei was inspired to suppose “larger and bolder” and to push for, and go after, what she wished.
“That in the end fueled my want personally to take a leap to begin a VC agency and assist different ladies and underrepresented people,” she added. “With out that affect who is aware of if that is the spot we might be in?”