Messina joins Ride Home Fund’s new $15M AI vehicle, backed by Andreessen, Dixon, Crowley

Trending 1 month ago 67

Tech seasoned Chris Messina and writer/podcaster Brian McCullough are launching a caller $15 cardinal money aimed astatine AI startups. The backers see tech luminary investors and founders specified arsenic Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, and Dennis Crowley, who are each investing personally.

McCullough has been moving his Ride Home Fund for 2 years now, a money which grew retired of his hosting the Techmeme Ride Home podcast. Messina, formerly of Google, Uber, and a erstwhile AI startup founder, is besides famed arsenic being the the inventor of the hashtag. Handily, helium is besides the fig 1 merchandise huntsman connected Product Hunt, which renders his quality to boost products reasonably unique.

Over email, McCullough told me: “Not lone has our inbound and woody travel switched to 90% AI, Chris was like: “The radical coming disconnected the seat close present are radical that didn’t wound astatine crypto, didn’t wound astatine web3, but they’re going present and they’re radical you would put successful immoderate they’re doing next, by definition.”

He adds that fixed the layoffs astatine each the tech platforms, assemblage graduates aren’t getting occupation offers from Big Tech companies immoderate more, truthful they are punting for speedy $100k to $500k checks to “just spell with this AI idea” helium says.

“It’s the champion endowment of the erstwhile procreation and the champion endowment of this procreation pulling the trigger astatine the aforesaid time. It’s astir a cleanable tempest situation,” helium added.

The money plans to beryllium the archetypal cheque successful astatine pre-seed oregon effect and deploy each its superior successful the adjacent 12-18 months.

The 506c money and fundraising volition adjacent on October 31. As a 506c fund, any accredited investors tin go LPs, truthful agelong arsenic they tin stump up the minimum $100,000 required.

Messina is yet jumping to the VC broadside of the array aft being a prolific angel investor.

Over an email interview, I asked Messina however investors are going to debar the pitfall of the existent AI hype cycle, which whitethorn good propulsion them into over-valued companies?

“We judge this is simply a generational reset successful however radical usage technology. Considering my acquisition building the societal web, I spot a akin displacement present arsenic I did backmost successful 2005,” helium said.

“Generative AI changes however bundle volition beryllium built and used — beyond what the iPhone started 16 years ago. It pb to generational bundle companies similar Airbnb and Uber (where I worked), which applied caller technological capabilities (GPS, payments, notifications) to change however radical understood and coordinated proscription and housing.”

“We’re likewise bullish that companies that we put successful present volition person a akin pb successful redefining calcified industries. We’re investing successful the productization of generative AI by founders who travel equipped with tactical cognition of vertical spaces similar compliance oregon do-it-yourself repairs (yes, we’re penning checks already),” helium added.

However, fixed that the larger players successful AI – the foundational platforms – are arsenic large arsenic they are, what volition marque it imaginable for tiny startups to vie against these leviathans?

“The opportunities we’re investing successful are excessively tiny and bespoke for the large incumbents to absorption on,” helium told me. “They’re creating wide intent platforms that can’t, by definition, beryllium excessively finely trained connected immoderate peculiar exertion space. Furthermore, designing the best experiences with generative AI requires heavy cognition of and empathy with customers from circumstantial industries  — some of which large tech companies typically deficiency (again, thing I tin talk to having worked astatine Google). They simply can’t determination accelerated capable with capable merchandise elegance to triumph the markets we judge are up for grabs,” helium said.

I besides asked him what hurdles AI investors face, fixed determination are already things specified arsenic the blocking of AI crawler bots happening.

“We get radical asking america each the time: where is the moat? Where volition the worth accrue? There are plentifulness of risks, but blocking AI crawler bots isn’t the apical of that list. We deliberation the radical waiting for wide sailing are insane and volition beryllium kicking themselves successful 18 months,” helium added.

Given Messina’s rather pivotal relation astatine truthful galore palmy tech companies successful the past, possibly this is the awesome that the AI startup roar truly has present kicked off?