Alumni Ventures

Learn how Alumni Ventures offers venture capital investment opportunities to accredited investors.

December 19, 2023
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Individuals can get into venture capital investing with Alumni Ventures.

For decades, venture capital has been synonymous with innovation and the potential for wealth creation, mainly due to billion-dollar valuations and leading firms in Silicon Valley. At the same time, venture investing has been notably inaccessible to individuals.

Fortunately, one venture firm is now working to allow accredited investors to participate in venture capital investment deals that have long been limited due to the sophistication they require.

Meet Alumni Ventures.

It’s no secret that the venture capital ecosystem has seen a reset since 2022, including a slower IPO market and renewed valuations. Yet, according to Luke Antal, Co-Founder, Chief Community Officer at Alumni Ventures, this could be the ideal time to get into the venture game: In past cycles, these signals predated excellent investment opportunities to come.

By investing through Alumni Ventures today, investors gain exposure to modern, promising startups and their exciting growth potential.

How do they make it happen? In under a decade, the Alumni Ventures team has expanded from their HQ in Manchester, New Hampshire, to:

Ultimately, every deal conducted by Alumni Ventures strives to deliver two value-adds:

Providing high-ROI, diversified venture portfolios to accredited investors

Investors can participate in high-quality portfolios of 25–30 companies for as little as $10,000. To date, nearly 10,000 individuals entrust Alumni Ventures with their venture investing — totaling over $1.2 billion in capital raised.

Elevating the startup ecosystem as the world’s co-investor of choice

Alumni Ventures’ suite of CEO Services provides portfolio companies with exclusive access to the firm’s network of 650,000+ community members and 6,000+ startup experts. By linking startups to new connections, capital, and customers, Alumni Ventures can attract founders on the rise in their respective industries.

“By developing this enormous network and gathering really deep data on our community members, our CEO Services function stands out in the venture industry as delivering outsized value to founders
in our portfolio.”

Luke Antal,
Co-Founder, Chief Community Officer at Alumni Ventures

3 reasons people invest in venture capital as an alternative asset

While venture capital has long been associated with established firms, here are three potential benefits of adding VC to your personal portfolio today:

1. Return potential

Venture capital has delivered impressive performance over the last 25 years. This long-term performance horizon and prospects suggest VC is compatible with the average retirement fund.

2. Better portfolio diversification & risk mitigation

Much like real assets, venture capital as an asset class is largely uncorrelated to the public markets, making it a prime opportunity to diversify and anchor a retirement portfolio.

3. More value in private markets than ever before

At a macro level, we see half as many public equities as there were 20 years ago. Meanwhile, cash and growth opportunities have increasingly moved to the private side — and the largest endowments and institutions have already grown allocations respectively.


The Alumni Ventures ethos: promoting access to the perks of venture capital

Despite the benefits of the venture capital asset class, individual investors have historically had little to no access to investment opportunities in startups.

Why?

Since its inception the venture industry has received large portions of its funding from large institutions like endowments, and pension funds that can write checks for tens of millions of dollars. For quite a while, individual investors seeking exposure to the venture ecosystem have lacked a dedicated entry point.

That is — until the emergence of firms like Alumni Ventures.

In 2014, they set out to provide access to the benefits of VC by inviting accredited investors across America to participate in large, diversified venture portfolios. Fast forward almost 10 years, and the firm has supported nearly 10,000 individuals accessing the asset class and has established a space within venture designed for individual investors.

“From the very beginning, Alumni Ventures was conceived to be a disruptive presence in the venture community and bring venture portfolios to the market of 15 million accredited investors in the US alone.”

Luke Antal,
Co-Founder, Chief Community Officer at Alumni Ventures

3 ways Alumni Ventures empowers individual investors in the VC space

As venture capital grows increasingly accessible to individuals, Alumni Ventures stands out as an entry point to venture investing in three ways:

1. Alumni Ventures leverages its community of 650,000+ to source high-quality, highly competitive deal flow

At its foundation, Alumni Ventures is a network-powered VC firm. Its community of 650,000+ professionals is leveraged to source highly competitive, high-quality, and high-ROI deal flow.

How do they ensure this quality? It comes down to due diligence.

Like most established VCs, the Alumni Ventures team relies on four core criteria: the founding team’s skill, early traction, market promise, and a differentiator (i.e., rare IP or an economic moat). On top of this, every deal in its funnel is rigorously vetted and evaluated by the sponsoring fund, a specific Investment Committee, and the firm-wide Alumni Ventures Investment Committee to gauge the quality and potential return of the investment.

“We have an unbelievable proprietary network of over 650,000 people who opt in to join our community. Most are graduates of top universities and extremely successful in their fields. We tap that expertise to
the benefit of our portfolio company founders which is a part of our special sauce that differentiates us
from typical venture firms.”

Luke Antal,
Co-Founder, Chief Community Officer at Alumni Ventures

2. Alumni Ventures mitigates risk through large, diversified portfolios

Alumni Ventures offers a variety of venture fund offerings, but all are anchored in the strong belief that the right way to invest in venture is to build a large portfolio diversified in multiple ways.

Stage

About one-third of every Alumni Ventures portfolio is allotted for growth-stage startups. Meanwhile, two-thirds of each portfolio funds seed-stage and Series A startups, which are high-velocity and hold great potential for rapid growth.

Sector

Alumni Ventures takes a balanced approach to investing across all active sectors of the venture ecosystem. In 2023 for example, investments in innovation centered generative AI and ML, climate technologies, synthetic biology, and cybersecurity.

Geography

Terrific investments can be found anywhere in the world, not just in the major hubs where Alumni Ventures has offices (Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Austin). The firm taps into its national and global networks to maximize opportunities for its investors across all geographies.

Vintage Year

Alumni Ventures encourages its investors to have an annual allocation budget for their venture investments. Performance by vintage can vary, and maintaining an ongoing allocation to venture continues an individual’s portfolio diversification.

Lead Investor

Alumni Ventures has relationships with hundreds of venture capital firms and individuals, and focuses its efforts on work with partners who have a history of success in the asset class.

The best part? They make it relatively simple to access these diverse portfolios. By making one investment, accredited investors can benefit from Alumni Ventures’ intensive due diligence, expert-led portfolio building, and (hopefully) ROI — with little-to-none of the lift.

The firm’s routine diversification also enables individual investors to anchor their portfolios. Venture capital is largely uncorrelated to the public markets, while data analysis by tech and VC researcher Steve Crossnan suggests larger venture portfolios can reduce risk of loss due to the power law in VC.

3. Alumni Ventures only co-invests alongside other established, leading firms

Alumni Ventures exclusively co-invests with VCs who lead rounds and negotiate terms with proven sector and/or stage expertise.

More specifically, Alumni Ventures’ 50 full-time investment professionals look beyond buzzworthy brand names to evaluate the long-term potential of the lead investor. After all, the lead ultimately signs the term sheet, attaches themselves to the company for years to come, and influences its success (and thus, the returns for its clients).

Here’s an example of this ethos in action:

  1. Alumni Ventures vetted a co-investment in Sesame, a marketplace for pay-per-visit medical appointments with an impressive team and market potential: Roughly 10 million American families dedicate 5% or more of annual household income to medical bills.
  2. They discovered the round would be led by Joel Cutler, Co-Founder and Managing Director of General Catalyst. Cutler is a two-time Midas VC and an early investor in Airbnb and Kayak — two prominent consumer marketplaces.
  3. Cutler’s sign-off on Sesame — another promising marketplace venture — gave Alumni Ventures the confidence to move forward.

The results?

Sesame most recently raised a Series B round of $27 million led by Google Ventures, with ongoing participation from Alumni Ventures, General Catalyst, Coefficient Capital, and more.

“Alumni Ventures finds founders who swing for the fences. They’re not just building a business — they work on
game-changing, market-changing, world-changing ideas.
And we give them the early capital to get going. I get chills every day when I go to work with them.”

Laura Rippy,
Managing Partner at Alumni Ventures

In the midst of a hypercompetitive venture environment, Alumni Ventures looks for flywheel effects

From its mission to promote access to VC to its highly competitive deal flow, the three differentiators detailed above help Alumni Ventures stand out as a great option for accredited investors saving for retirement.

Every step of their process builds upon itself, creating a continuous feedback loop:

  • Thanks to Alumni Ventures’ CEO Services and network-powered deal flow, the firm can source and attract high-quality investments while bringing a unique value-add to portfolio companies.
  • Carefully designed portfolios and a highly engaged investment management team is meant to keep investors happy. After experiencing an investment in VC with Alumni Ventures, many investors return to write additional checks.
  • Satisfied accredited investors recommend Alumni Ventures to their circles, which can grow the network, further simplifying fundraising, fueling the firm’s operational flywheel.

As accessing high-quality, high-return deal flow is more competitive than ever for VCs, investing via Alumni Ventures flywheel is an opportunity to tap into the stability and predictability offered by experienced investors in the space.


“Especially over the last three years, the VC world has
become enormously competitive. You need an edge to get into these competitive deals”

Luke Antal,
Co-Founder, Chief Community Officer at Alumni Ventures

Ready to add venture capital to your portfolio? Invest with Alumni Ventures through Alto.

Where Alumni Ventures exists to provide accredited investors access to venture investing, we founded Alto to ensure every accredited investor saving for retirement could anchor their portfolio with alternative assets — a strategy traditionally reserved for high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors. But according to a recent report from Cerulli Associates, more financial advisors are turning to alternative assets to diversify their clients’ portfolios.

In tandem, Alumni Ventures and Alto empower individual investors to participate in venture capital, benefit from the firm’s flywheel effect, and diversify their investment portfolios through a self-directed IRA for years to come.

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Take control of your portfolio and your future

Invest in venture capital and similar alternative assets using tax-advantaged retirement funds.