A focus on diversity reaps rewards for this Los Angeles investor
Since Cross Culture landed on the Los Angeles scene with a sub $50 million fund, Nichols and his partners have notched three exits and seen the paper value of the fund’s portfolio grow by an aggregate of 2,085 percent, according to people with knowledge of the firm.
And Nichols and his partners have done it by backing one of the most diverse pools of startup founders in any firm’s portfolio.
The firm has also already enjoyed some success from early exits.
Gimlet, the podcasting company that Cross Culture backed at a $36 million post-money valuation, sold to Spotify for approximately $230 million. The firm’s other exits include MessageYes, which was sold to Nordstrom, and Skurt, which was acquired by Fair in February of last year.
Nichols has been instrumental in getting the firm in front of fast-growing companies like Airspace Technologies, a provider of on-demand logistics services; PlayVS, the company bringing esports to high schools around the country; and the new mobility company revolutionizing rental cars, Fair. These companies have all seen their value jump in recent months.
For Nichols, the success of these companies is an imperative. Not just to make money, or to prove out his thesis, but because of what failure would mean for other firms that take a broad approach to their investment thesis trying to back the best founders — no matter their background. Nichols believes it’s important for the venture industry, for the economy and for the broader society.
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