New $15 Million Fund Launched for AI Startups

Tech veteran Chris Messina and writer/podcaster Brian McCullough have announced the launch of a new $15 million fund aimed at supporting AI startups. The fund has attracted investments from prominent tech luminaries including Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, and Dennis Crowley, who have all invested personally in the fund.
McCullough, who has been running his Ride Home Fund for the past two years, has expanded his fund to focus on AI startups. Messina, known for his roles at Google, Uber, and as a previous AI startup founder, is also famous for inventing the hashtag and is the number one product hunter on Product Hunt.
McCullough shared that their deal flow has shifted to 90% AI, and they believe that the current wave of AI innovations is being driven by talented individuals who are venturing into AI after not joining the crypto or web3 trends. These individuals are receiving significant support because of their exceptional capabilities and potential.
The fund plans to be the first check-in during the pre-seed or seed stages and will deploy all of its capital within the next 12-18 months. It operates as a 506c fund, meaning that accredited investors can become limited partners by contributing a minimum of $100,000.
Messina, who has been an active angel investor, is now transitioning to the venture capital side of the table. When asked about the risk of investing in overvalued AI companies during the current hype cycle, Messina noted that they see this as a generational reset in how people use technology, similar to the shift that occurred with the rise of the social web in 2005.
He emphasized that generative AI has the potential to redefine various industries, especially in niche areas where big incumbents are unable to focus. The fund plans to invest in companies that are productizing generative AI and have a deep understanding of specific industries, which big tech companies often lack.
When questioned about the challenges AI investors might face, Messina mentioned that while there are risks, blocking AI crawler bots is not a top concern. He believes that those waiting for clear sailing in AI are missing out on valuable opportunities and anticipates that they will regret their decision in the next 18 months.
Given Messina’s successful track record in the tech industry, the launch of this new fund indicates that the AI startup boom is gaining momentum.