BSV first quarter update: Growing our portfolio and team
In July, we officially launched Basis Set Ventures to focus on improving work productivity through artificial intelligence for white and blue collar workers. Thanks to an abundance of great ideas being created and the many brilliant entrepreneurs working on approaches to this space — not to mention the incredible support from partners, advisors, and our families and friends — we’ve already made a great deal of progress.
First of all, we’ve been thrilled to join forces with a handful of promising AI companies over the past few months. They each bring machine learning to a different aspect of the workplace, but one striking commonality stands out: 75% of our initial portfolio companies are run by female CEOs. While we don’t intentionally seek out companies based on the gender of their founders, it is exciting considering that overall, female CEOs only get 3% of venture funding.
We’ve previously highlighted portfolio companies like Clara Labs and Falkonry, and we’re pleased to now welcome another of our companies into the public eye: Sourceress, a recruiting platform that’s making use of machine learning and data modeling to reinvent how people find jobs. Sourceress just came out of stealth and announced a new $3.5 million round of funding that includes Lightspeed Venture Partners and Y Combinator, to name a few. They’re sparking change in the workplace, and they’re hiring!
In addition to building our portfolio, we’ve been building our own team, too. Today, we’re excited to welcome our newest member of the investing team, John Mannes. I got to know John while he wrote for TechCrunch and was immediately impressed by his knowledge and sincere interest in the machine learning and AI space. He’s humble, sharp, and extremely hard working (he authored ~500 articles in less than 2 years at TechCrunch). We’re pleased to have his mix of analytical and vision-driven mindset looking at the scores of interesting companies and entrepreneurs endeavoring to bring AI-powered solutions to increase workplace productivity.
We’ve also brought on several very active fund advisors — including Peter Welinder, Niniane Wang, and Kurt Varner — who’ve been working with us closely on evaluating portfolio companies, hosting intimate events, and building the fund.
Finally, we’re hiring a data scientist to help build up our quantitative deal sourcing and evaluation engine. Contact us if that might be you!
2017 has been a big year for BSV and the AI space as a whole, with great momentum as we charge ahead toward 2018. We’re honored to be working alongside this thriving community of people and companies that are using machine learning approaches to spark material change in work productivity.