- Samir Kaji and Hana Yang created Allocate to help more investors access venture capital funds.
- The company just completed a $15.3 million Series A funding round led by M13.
- In six months, Allocate has onboarded more than 200 investors, and has 600 investors on its waitlist.
Samir Kaji and Hana Yang know firsthand how tough it can be for even wealthy investors to build venture capital portfolios.
In jobs managing private equity and venture capital relationships and venture manager diversity at First Republic Bank, they watched individual investors and family offices get blocked from investing with venture capital managers on a regular basis. One reason was high investment minimums, which can range from $1 million to $50 million. Another was the difficulty of vetting these managers.
“To build a great portfolio you have to see the universe of qualified, great managers,” said Kaji, who, along with Yang, have worked with over 1,000 venture capital managers over the years. “You have to have the time to diligence these managers which requires a lot of work. You have to be able to access these managers because access requires relationships plus high capital minimums. And then ultimately, you need an easy way to track these investments. The vast majority of the families that we were working with didn’t have it. Most individuals are just completely locked out of the sector.”
So, in late 2021, Kaji and Yang rolled out Allocate, a digital investment platform that gives family offices and wealth advisors access to top-tier venture funds and co-investments.
The standard minimums through Allocate are just $100,000. The platform aggregates investors’ capital into Allocate feeder vehicles, giving venture capital managers the chance to access non-institutional investors without the hassle of sourcing, managing, and administering these allocations.
“We do this by pooling investor demand into a single purpose feeder vehicle that invests in the underlying fund or a set of underlying funds,” said Kaji. “Such pooled vehicles are done in accordance with SEC rules on investor counts.”
The company just completed a $15.3 million Series A funding round led by M13 with participation from Bedrock, SignalFire, and Intera Capital, and returning investors Tusk Venture Partners, Urban Innovation Fund, Fika Ventures, Anthemis, Basis Set Ventures, and Broadhaven Ventures.
In six months, Allocate has onboarded more than 200 non-institutional investors, and has 600 investors on its waitlist. Those 200 investors have pumped $125 million into venture capital funds through the platform.
Through its latest round of funding, the platform will use the money to hire talent to help vet the waitlist of retail investors, family offices, and wealth managers. Allocate is looking for this talent with the help of referrals, its venture capital talent pool, and recruiters.
The company currently has 17 employees across three departments: engineering, compliance and operations, and sales, said Kaji. Its current team members came from a myriad of companies across technology, venture capital, and financial services: SVB Financial Group, SVB Capital, Hamilton Lane, AngelList, Bowdoin Endowment, iCapital, Fidelity, First Republic Bank, Kauffman Fellows, CircleUp, Gradifi, and Vistaprint.
See the 17-page pitch deck Allocate used to raise over $15 million.