Chris Sacca retires from VC... and Shark Tank
Chris Sacca, one of the earliest investors in companies like Uber and Twitter, today announced that he has decided to stop making investments in technology startups. This also means he will stop appearing on the television program Shark Tank and that his venture capital firm, Lowercase Capital, will not raise another fund.
Why retire? Sacca tells Axios that, at age 41 with two kids, he no longer feels he can devote the 24-7 time to his startups that he could in the past. "The only way I know how to do this is full-time, or really all the time, because I take my companies so personally and feel the need to help them as much as possible. I know there are people who can successfully do this as more of a lifestyle career, but that's just not me."
Bio: Sacca is a former Google lawyer who became one of Silicon Valley's first "super angels," a group of individual investors who raised outside capital to back companies before they were mature enough for mainstream venture capital. He also would become known for raising special purpose vehicles to buy up pre-IPO stock in Twitter, and at one point appeared to have the best-performing VC fund of all time. He became an occasional "shark" on Shark Tank in 2015.
Backstory: In 1995 Sacca was in school in Ireland, and passed time in class by trading "10 questions" notes with a girl across the aisle. One of her questions was what Sacca wanted to do when he grew up. He had forgotten about the question and his answer until he and his wife found the old notebook a year or so ago. It basically laid out Sacca's future career, saying that he'd do something high-risk/high-reward, spend half his time in the mountains (Sacca is known for his startup jams in Truckee) and that, at age 40, he'd stop and do something he cares about more. "My wife and I read that and just stared at each other," he says.
What's next: Sacca says he is interested in entertainment, and has nabbed a recurring role on a new Zach Braff sitcom (if it gets picked up). He also plans to launch a podcast (not focused on startups) and has had conversation about a variety of other television projects. Finally, Sacca ― who says he will never run for elected office ― says he is a stalwart member of "the resistance" who is working with potential 2018 and 2020 candidates. There also are some side projects in the works around climate change and criminal justice.
Firm future: Sacca's Lowercase Capital partner Matt Mazzeo will continue to manage out the existing portfolio and serve on a handful of related boards, but there are not yet details on his future plans (he declined comment via email). Don't be surprised, however, if Mazzeo continues investing under a different banner. It's also worth noting that Lowercase only collects management fees during the first two years of fund life, so there is no expected fee drag.