Faye Maidment Promoted to Associate!

And wants to invest in interactive media, gaming and new social medias.

By Maria Salamanca

Faye (left) with Aagya, CEO and co-founder of Aavia, in their natural habitat.

I can’t believe it has already been a year since Faye joined our team. Some of this is due to the warped world of COVID but most of it is that she hit the ground running from day one. I don’t say this lightly, but I am certain in Faye we have one of the most incredible consumer investors in the industry. She has shown us an amazing combination of: out of the box thinking, operator hustle, and thoughtful optimism. In just a year, she has become a crucial part to our team and a go-to resource to our founders, who will be the first to say how much of a game-changer she is. Our team feels lucky to be part of her early journey in venture and is excited for the future founders that will get to have her in their corner. I am also personally thrilled to have a thought partner in this rapidly changing tech world.

I asked Faye what she learned thus far from her first year here are some of her highlights:

  • Portfolio support is one of the most important but least talked about parts of the job. We are in the business of customer service, lest we forget. As an ex-operator often found deep in an analytics dashboard, I can say it’s a perk to work with our portfolio companies. Sourcing, diligence and funding is all very well and good, but let’s be honest, there is more to investing than posting sweet nothings on Twitter. Enter: post-investment, pre-investment’s older and wiser sister. The stage where hard work begins and the ego is left to sulk at the door. Working truly in the weeds and offering support when needed has been a humbling experience. In my first year at Unshackled I’ve witnessed umpteen product launches, supported several downstream raises and interviewed key first hires. The takeaway? A founder’s job is the hardest one here and we mustn’t ever forget it.
  • Venture Capital has no business being so transactional and opaque with the very people it wishes to partner with. Year one has been an enormous learning experience for me, mostly in the importance of building relationships with founders. Trust in this industry is earned, not bought and it starts with connecting with inspiring entrepreneurs wherever and whenever they choose to reach out. I’ve received countless emails from immigrant founders that include the words: “thank you so much for responding” — which is maddening because it’s quite honestly the least I can do. Trust is also earned through tough conversations with honesty at their core. I’m now bold enough to call a spade a spade when I see it, so founders don’t get duped: i.e. if other investors are requiring 25% of your company at pre-seed — they aren’t the right partner.
  • Surrounding yourself with 🐐s will help you stay focused on the mission. It takes a village to raise a child and by village I mean, Maria, Manan, Nitin, Sarah and E’mani plus Alex (First Round Capital), Amanda (Cowboy) and Jomayra (Cowboy), who I owe a lot to for helping me cultivate my thinking to become the best investor I can be (with lots more work to do!).
  • The weird and wonderful is fundable. We invest in game-changing ideas and those who have unique insight and know-how to execute. I entered Venture to fund those creators who gave me ~chills~ with their bold vision for the future and who were prepared to hu$tle to get there. I want to double down on this now. My risk appetite for virtual worlds and their economies is large. I believe with social 4.0 we’re ushering in new frameworks for human interaction, no longer settling for linear entertainment and the hollow connection of yesteryear. If you’re building for community, development and the creator economy across synthetic realities, I want to hear from you. With NFTs we’re just minting the surface.

If you’d like to get in touch with me or see what life if like outside of work catch me on the bird app: @maidmentfaye or @faye at Dispo or writing High Tea 🐸☕!

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