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Youtube

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.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.