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Angel Investor (Individual)
wlessin.com

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Investments

15

Portfolio Exits

6

About Sam Lessin

Sam Lessin is a New York-based angel investor who typically investsupto $100K in young companies. Lessin prefers to invest in very early stage New York and San Francisco-based companies with a technical founder. He aims to add value to portfolio companies with product input and introductions. Lessin is also the co-founder of Drop.io in August 2007. He invest in very early stage companies with technical founders primarily in New York and San Francisco. He does not invest in social media or advertising plays. He aims to provide value to his portfolio companies through relationships/network and product input.

Sam Lessin Headquarter Location

New York, New York,

United States

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Latest Sam Lessin News

Slow Ventures made so much money on solana, it paid for its $145 million fund 'many times' over, its cofounder says. It has ambi...

Apr 27, 2022

This story is available exclusively to Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now. Slow Ventures raised a new $325 million fund, bringing its AUM to $770 million, Insider has learned. The new fund sailed to its target because of investor fervor for Slow's creative strategies. It bought solana at $0.04 a coin when other VCs shunned it. Now, it has set its sights on DAOs. The biggest players in venture capital aren't all that adventurous, said Kevin Colleran, an early Facebook employee turned venture capitalist who cofounded his own firm, Slow Ventures. "So much of what is called 'venture capital' has simply become a matter of piling capital into things which everyone sees and knows is 'working,'" he wrote in a blog . "Our job is to push the envelope ahead of the herd of large funds." Now, his firm is growing its financial might to stay ahead. Slow told Insider it raised $325 million in new capital across a seed fund and a growth fund, bringing its total assets under management to $770 million. The fundraise highlights investor enthusiasm for the firm's methods, which include investing in crypto tokens and buying equity in " influencers " for a percentage of their profits. The firm filed paperwork in the fall to raise $195 million for its fifth seed fund and ended up oversubscribed and turned new investors away, Colleran said. He added that Slow didn't need more money to achieve its goal of leading seed rounds. The average check size hovers around $1.5 million, and most initial investments fall below $3 million. "It is never fun" to reject "new limited partners who want to invest their money with Slow but it's the right decision given our fund model," Colleran told Insider in an email. Established in 2011, Slow grew out of a small angel fund backed exclusively by five friends from Facebook's early days. Over the years, the firm's investor pedigree helped it nab lucrative stakes in tech companies like Slack , Airtable, Allbirds, Postmates , and Robinhood, and raise fund after fund. Last year, it took the unusual step of writing small checks directly to people, like content creators and serial entrepreneurs, for a share of their earnings. Buying equity in an influencer might be a gamble, but seed investors are in the business of taking risks. "We invest in usually a person — in an idea — before anything's built," Sam Lessin, a general partner at Slow, told Insider last year. "So much of our analysis is around 'do we trust the person?'" How one investment paid for a fund In 2018, Lessin took a bet on an engineer who he once tried to hire at Facebook. Anatoly Yakovenko had an idea for a faster blockchain for financial transactions and raised money to develop it through the sale of digital tokens. This was during a "crypto winter," when bitcoin prices plunged, digital-token sales had a reputation as fly-by-night operations, and venture capitalists pulled back from blockchain startups. Still, Lessin bought into solana at $0.04 a token and doubled down the next year at $0.23 each. Solana traded at $100.60 as of Friday afternoon, down from its peak of $260.06, according to Coinbase . And Colleran said that one investment was big enough to pay for the firm's $145 million fund "many times" over. He declined to be more specific. Will Quist, Kevin Colleran, and Sam Lessin are among the firm's leadership. Courtesy of Kevin Colleran The firm has since issued some of its tokens to its limited partners who wish to hold them, instead of selling the coins and returning cash proceeds, Colleran said. Investors jumped at the opportunity, he added. For its next act, Slow has set more ambitious plans. The firm is wading into decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, which are loosely formed groups on the blockchain. They've been used to fund companies, run social clubs , and even bid on a copy of the US Constitution. Slow doesn't care to buy assets so much as use DAOs to run companies, a twist on the corporate structure, Lessin told Insider in an email. Its first entity, Slow DAO , is buying land in Montana as an experiment. The firm hopes to prove the model and get a repeatable process for creating DAOs that it can use many times for other purposes. "Using DAOs to help humans better coordinate capital and labor in the real world is the name of the game," Lessin said. In his blog, Colleran said the firm would continue to look for nonobvious opportunities. "We take pride in funding founders from the earliest days," he wrote, "before everyone else comes knocking." Sign up for notifications from Insider! Stay up to date with what you want to know. Subscribe to push notifications

Sam Lessin Investments

15 Investments

Sam Lessin has made 15 investments. Their latest investment was in Every as part of their Pre-Seed on January 1, 2021.

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Sam Lessin Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

1/9/2021

Pre-Seed

Every

Yes

2

6/25/2019

Series A

Anomalie

$13.6M

Yes

5

1/5/2018

Seed VC

Blockdaemon

$3.28M

Yes

3

3/28/2017

Series C

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$99M

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10

2/2/2016

Seed VC

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$99M

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10

Date

1/9/2021

6/25/2019

1/5/2018

3/28/2017

2/2/2016

Round

Pre-Seed

Series A

Seed VC

Series C

Seed VC

Company

Every

Anomalie

Blockdaemon

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Amount

$13.6M

$3.28M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

Yes

Yes

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Co-Investors

Sources

2

5

3

10

10

Sam Lessin Portfolio Exits

6 Portfolio Exits

Sam Lessin has 6 portfolio exits. Their latest portfolio exit was Anomalie on May 17, 2022.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

5/17/2022

Acquired

2

1/26/2022

Acquired

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10

12/12/2018

Acquired

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10

5/1/2018

Acq - Fin

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10

5/29/2015

Acquired

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10

Date

5/17/2022

1/26/2022

12/12/2018

5/1/2018

5/29/2015

Exit

Acquired

Acquired

Acquired

Acq - Fin

Acquired

Companies

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Valuation

Acquirer

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Sources

2

10

10

10

10

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