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Spearhead will give $1M to 15 founders to invest freely

Applications to Spearhead’s third cohort open this week.
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Spearhead, an investment fund launched by AngelList’s Naval Ravikant and Accomplice’s Jeff Fagnan, plans to raise roughly $100 million for its third fund to provide founders $1 million each to invest in technology startups of their choosing.

The firm, created in 2017, initially provided founders $200,000 in investment capital sourced from Spearhead I, a $25 million vehicle, followed by Spearhead II, a $35 million vehicle. The group now plans roughly $100 million to give its founders 5x more capital to play with.

Each founder is allotted 15% carry in his or her fund, while Spearhead holds on to 5%. This time around, says Spearhead’s Jeff Fagnan, standout “leads,” or those tapped to deploy capital from the fund, will also have the opportunity to receive another $10 million to invest at the end of the two-year program during a culminating demo day-like event.

Spearhead is designed to train founders, who tend to be well-connected to the tech ecosystem and knowledgeable about startups, to be effective angel investors. Previous Spearhead leads include Shippo co-founder and chief executive officer Laura Behrens Wu, Scale AI founder and CEO Alex Wang and Rippling co-founder and chief technology officer Prasanna Sankar. To date, 35 founders have completed the program.

Applications to join Spearhead’s third cohort will become available this week. Those who participate will be encouraged to write checks at the pre-seed stage.

Spearhead is transforming founders into angel investors

“There’s starting to be gap opening up again at the pre-seed,” Fagnan tells TechCrunch. “Founders are the right way to fill that gap. Founders backing their most talented friends … founders backing founders is the right way for this to go. We need to redefine who thinks of themselves as an angel investor.”

To be eligible to become a Spearhead lead, you must live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston or New York City and run, or very recently have run, a startup. The firm plans to accept around 15 applicants.

“We are trying to build an active community within the leads and we’ve found smaller equals better; fewer people coming together and taking deeper accountability,” Fagnan said.

Spearhead leads can invest their capital in any tech startups, so long as there’s no existing equity relationship. Existing Spearhead investments include ZeroDown, Altitude Networks, Scythe, Airgarage, Cloosiv, Height, O.School, PopSQL, Superplastic and Sword Health.

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