In 2020, Thrive Capital asked a cohort of folks — including Glossier VP of Communications Ashley Mayer, Cityblock Health co-founder Toyin Ajayi, Umbrella co-founder Lindsay Ullman and Tribe AI co-founder Jackie Nelson — if they wanted to be scouts, or invest tiny checks on behalf of the firm with a potential for shared upside.
Instead, the four-person group had an idea: Why not pool the scout capital they were being offered and formalize it into a micro-fund to be invested out together. Checks wouldn’t just come with one stamp of approval, but four; and instead of playing subtle scouts, the four operators can see and back a broader range of companies.
After all, invest for the job you want, right?
Twenty checks and two years later, the quartet decided to pitch another idea, this time as a firmer bet on themselves and to a broader group of investors. The vision, launching publicly for the first time today, is Coalition, a fund and operator network designed to increase diversity on cap tables and help founders access some of the top minds in tech.
The fund is a $12.5 million investment vehicle with investors including the founders of Zola, Box, Glossier, Chief and Solv; as well as senior executives at startups including Stripe, Chime, Airtable, Maven, Gusto and Ro. Traditional investment firms also cut checks into the debut fund, such as General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins, Lux Capital, Cowboy Ventures, Homebrew, BoxGroup, Lowercarbon Capital and, of course, Thrive Capital, which lit the fire in the first place.
Coalition has been on the market for over six months and has invested in a dozen startups, including Mos, MicroAcquire, Zaya Care and Aunt Flow, as well as a slew of stealthy startups.
In addition to investing, the co-founders have brought together a…