Meena Harris declared to the world how proud she was of her aunt Kamala Harris when she made history as the first Black woman US vice president. Now, we’re sure Kamala is saying the same about her niece.
It was recently reported by TechCrunch that the lawyer and author closed a $6M early-stage-focused fund for her co-led venture firm Phenomenal Ventures, which started as a side hustle just a few years ago according to the outlet.
The investments came from firms including 776, Tribe Capital, Slow Ventures and founders from tech companies including Dropbox, Quora and Pinterest, TechCrunch reported.
“We feel really confident in our ability to succeed, but also wanted to start modestly and just do the work, despite some of the uncertainty around the economy,” Meena told Tech Crunch. Phenomenal Ventures was originally a small operation where Meena was making activist T-shirts and has since evolved beyond just merchandise, into a venture firm. The company was launched by Meena and her co-founder Helen Min, who met as early employees at Facebook. According to Tech Crunch, the firm idea came in 2021.
“Every company that Meena and I have worked for — as startups employees at Facebook, Slack, Dropbox, Uber, Plaid, Quora, AngelList, they are literally all by non-underrepresented founders — our networks very much reflect those companies and the networks we were a part of for so long, to say we’re going to turn [down] that deal flow that surfaces because of the network we’re a part of… I don’t think [that] super makes sense, especially not for fund one,” Min told Tech Crunch. “Venture is all about leveraging the unique access that you have.”
Tech Crunch reports that the new fund allows Phenomenal Ventures to participate in pre-seed to Series A rounds, averaging check sizes around $100,00 to $500,000. The firm has invested in 13 companies so far, nine of which are built by underrepresented founders.