Farukh Kitchlew | Feb 19, 2024 | 0
Ride home fund unveils a new $15 million!
Chris Messina and writer/podcaster Brian McCullough, who are Tech industry veterans are partnering to launch a new $15 million fund that supports AI startups. Notable investors and founders, including Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, and Dennis Crowley, are personally investing in the fund.
McCullough has been running the Ride Home Fund for the past two years, which originated from hosting the Techmeme Ride Home podcast. Messina, known for his work at Google and Uber, and as the inventor of the hashtag, brings his expertise as a previous AI startup founder and his position as the top product hunter on Product Hunt.
The investment from Andreessen Horowitz, Chris Dixon, and Dennis Crowley demonstrates their belief in the potential of AI in shaping the future of transportation. These investors recognize the transformative power of AI and its ability to enhance safety, efficiency, and convenience in the transportation sector.
Aims of the Fund
The fund aims to be the first to invest in new startups aiming to become big and start deploying all of its capital within the next 12-18 months to those startups. The fundraising period for the fund will end on October 31 of the current year, allowing accredited investors to become limited partners with a minimum investment of $100,000.
Messina, previously an active investor, is now transitioning to the venture capital side of the industry. When asked about avoiding over-valued companies in the current AI hype cycle, Messina expressed confidence in the fund’s approach, stating that they believe this is a generation of talented individuals from both the previous and current generations coming together at the right time.
The launch of this fund signifies the growing interest and investment in AI startups. With experienced industry veterans like Messina and McCullough at the helm, the fund is well-positioned to identify promising AI ventures and support their growth.
According to Messina, the opportunities they invest in are specialized and tailored for specific needs, making them less attractive for the big incumbents to prioritize. These incumbents focus on creating general-purpose platforms that cannot be finely tuned for specific applications. Additionally, designing optimal experiences with generative AI requires deep industry knowledge and customer empathy, qualities big tech companies often lack. Drawing from his experience at Google, Messina believes that these companies struggle to move quickly enough with the necessary product sophistication to capture the markets ripe for disruption.
When discussing the challenges AI investors face, Messina acknowledges concerns such as blocking AI crawler bots. However, he believes that these obstacles are not the most critical factors to consider. While risks are involved, he dismisses the notion of waiting for clear sailing and suggests that those who do will regret their hesitation 18 months after deploying their capital.