Apr 5, 2022 - Economy

Base10 raises $460 million for third early-stage VC fund

Illustration of a robot arm holding a bag of money.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Base10, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, has raised $460 million for its third early-stage fund.

Why it matters: The firm's bet on what it calls "automation for the real economy" is definitely one that paid off during the pandemic as all industries had to adapt.

  • "Everything needs to happen online and some of the businesses that we invested in have been real life-savers during the pandemic," co-founder and managing partner Ade Ajao tells Axios.

Between the lines: "I think it’s really hard to be an entrepreneur today and look at these companies [Uber, Theranos, WeWork] and not think, 'if I get there, or when I get there' — because you are an optimist — how am I going to be the hero?'" Ajao says of the reckoning with power and impact among startup founders he's observed in more recent recent years.

  • Other noticeable changes since Base10's start include: all startups having distributed workforces (also a pandemic result), more of its peers investing internationally and more venture dollars in the market overall.

1 diversity thing: "For an industry that looks like this, it's surprising how much people think about [diversity]," Ajao, who is half Nigerian and half Spanish, says of the gap between the VC industry's homogenous demographics and all the talk of diversifying its ranks.

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