She-VC How Lo Toney is changing the VC game by backing diverse emerging fund managers and startups
How Lo Toney is changing the VC game by backing diverse emerging fund managers and startups
About Lo Toney: Lo is the Founding Managing Partner of Plexo Capital, which he incubated and spun out from GV, based on a strategy to increase access to early stage deal flow. Plexo Capital invests as an LP into emerging seed stage VCs and also invests directly into select companies sourced from the Plexo Capital VC Network. Prior to founding Plexo Capital, Lo was a Partner on the investing team at GV where he focused on marketplaces, mobile and consumer products. Before GV, Lo was a Partner with Comcast Ventures where he led the Catalyst Fund and worked with the main fund where he focused on mobile messaging and marketplaces.
You can find more details in https://www.plexocap.com/
Questions to Lo Toney:
You have been a prolific investor, being a Partner at Comcast Ventures, Google Ventures, why do you think there is a need to create a platform to invest specially in emerging fund managers? Did you receive any set back when you pitched to the LPs?
Do you see further movement in the emerging fund manager space as more micro and pre seed funds are becoming institutional asset classes? Can you elaborate about the new market opportunities for emerging fund managers? And how has the market changed in the last 5 years?
What qualities and track records are you looking for in emerging fund managers? Tell us about the YC of GP accelerator platform that you are working on?
Fortune, June 2020 stated “Investment management is overwhelmingly dominated by white men and women are only 8% of professional investors”. There are only a handful of people of color who are GPs and far less black women who are GPs. What systemic changes are required to bring more capital deployment to women and diverse GPs?
Plexo Capital has a very strong portfolio as an LP investor in some great emerging funds as well as early stage equity investments. . How your risk profile adjustment has changed over years and do you think there will be further changes considering the uncertainties and volatility in the market?
For fund managers there is always the question on what is a good expected return? Achieving expected returns is not simply a function of high multiples. It depends on the risk profile and time and stage of capital deployment. Now when you are a fund of fund and also a direct late stage investor, how do you navigate those questions?
During an unprecedented uncertainty like this private companies tend to have a far less short-term volatility compared to publicly traded companies, which are subjected to rapid price changes from the market forces that may not reflect their underlying company fundamentals. As more companies tend to stay private, do you see the exit environment will look quite different than what it was in the last few years?
By recycling a realized gain as opposed to distribution. What is your thought on recycling the management fees?
Venture Capital has seen a great shift in the last 10 years where even pre-seed funds are now becoming an institutional asset class. Whereas more seed funds are launching full stack vc funds with larger AUM, to continue investing in the entire lifecycle of the startup. What is your perspective on the time diversification in private venture investing?
One of my favorite Sports Journalist Bryant Gumbel recently talked about Black tax at HBO Sports. Have you personally paid Black tax?
It is said that venture capital is all about identifying patterns in time. Yet some of the bigger ideas are unpredictable and sometimes those investment decisions can be non-consensus among Partners. To invest in such unpredictable big ideas one has to learn and see things differently, analyze markets that others are finding it non-sexy to invest in. I think venture capital is not a job but it is a lifestyle.
So how do you prepare yourself for such a lifestyle. What learning habits that you have or acquired ?
How do you analyze various thinking models?
How do you maintain work life balance?