The firm announced the launch of its third fund, a $42 million vehicle that was “closed it in the depths of the coronavirus” according to Chirls. In addition, he highlighted the firm’s first external hire of Katherine Wu as a principal, who officially joined roughly a year ago.
She will be launching with Lines and Chirls a new program called Notation Moonlight this September, which is designed as a community of up-and-coming tech leaders who are considering building a company someday.
Chirls said that while Silicon Valley has a lot of infrastructure in place to help founders go down the path of starting a company, such resources were less prevalent in New York City and other smaller startup ecosystems.
Wu noted that more direct outreach through initiatives like Moonlight could help improve the pipeline of founders, particularly from less traditional backgrounds or from under-represented groups. “If we’re being totally honest in New York City, entrepreneurship and startups, they’re not as deeply entrenched into everyone’s minds as [they are] in San Francisco and Silicon Valley,” she said. The goal is to “just give them the tools … essentially bring our network to them.”
As for Notation’s new fund, there are some small tweaks. The bulk of the fund will remain devoted to the same geo — New York City — and the same general markets, which include enterprise software and infrastructure, blockchain, and other technical projects. Wu will add a bit more of a consumer flair to the team’s investment interests, and Notation is also intending to invest a small chunk of its fund in smaller startup ecosystems like Boston and Atlanta, where the firm recently made its first investment.
They are looking at these markets “For all the same reasons we loved New York five years ago — there’s great talent, there’s not enough capital, there’s not enough first check firms,” Chirls explained. That’s a sentiment that every founder can empathize with, and Notation now has even more capital to solve it.