Omar Hamoui leaves Sequoia for L.A.-based Mucker Capital as it looks to lead more Series A deals

Mucker Capital, the now eight-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based pre-seed startup accelerator and venture outfit, has brought aboard Omar Hamoui, a partner at Sequoia Capital for the last six-plus years, as its third general partner.
Hamoui joins firm cofounders Erik Rannala and William Su, along with several other investors on the team who are collectively working to fund pre-seed, seed stage and with Hamouis help Series A stage deals in the L.A. region, as well as elsewhere in the U.S.
Muckers largest exit to date appears to be the L.A.-based shopping and rewards platform Honey, which was recently scooped up by PayPal for $4 billion in cash; Mucker was its first investor and the company went through its accelerator program. The firm also has stakes in ServiceTitan, NEXT Trucking, Emailage and AuditBoard, among others of its bets.
To find out more about Hamouis previously unreported move, we were in touch earlier today with Rannala to catch up a bit.
TC: When did you start talking with Omar? Did this move involve a recruiter? Is he moving to L.A. for the role?
ER: Weve known Omar for several years. He had moved back to Southern California hes originally from here and was covering L.A. and the surrounding areas for Sequoia. We got to know him better while collaborating on companies and he ended up leading rounds in two of our portfolio companies, NEXT Trucking and Papaya.
While wed been historically more focused on pre-seed and seed, we had also been opportunistically investing in post-seed and early Series A rounds, and contemplating [a new, Series A stage fund that Mucker expects to raise] for some time. Somewhat serendipitously, Omar actually broached the topic with us independently. Given how well we were already working together, it made a lot of sense for him to join the team.
TC: How many funds have you raised to date? What sizes have they been?
ER: Were currently investing out of our fourth seed fund [which closed last year]. Wed also raised a separate early-stage vehicle to invest in follow-on rounds for our pre-seed and seed investments and other post-seed and early series A opportunities. In total, we raised a little less than $90 million last year.
TC: What will Omar be doing, specifically? How will the general partners divide up your coverage?
ER: Omar will be focused primarily on post-seed and early Series A investments, writing $2 million to $3 million checks. The three of us will collaborate across all our seed and early stage investments, though Omar will be point person on post-seed, and Will and I will continue to focus on pre-seed and seed.
TC: Youve been at this for a bit with Mucker Capital. What, if anything, has changed in the last year or two in terms of the L.A. scene?
ER: The L.A. ecosystem has been scaling and maturing rapidly since we started Mucker. The technical labor force here is roughly the same size as the Bay Area, so weve always had a wealth of talent. And the quality and sophistication of entrepreneurs and technical talent just keeps getting better and better as the ecosystem grows and evolves. We continually see more people relocating to L.A., and downstream investors spending more time here.
The vast majority of follow on funding here still comes from Bay Area firms, which isnt a surprise considering so many firms are headquartered there [so] overall, we believe L.A. is still underfunded relative to the size of the ecosystem and the opportunities here. Thats one of the reasons weve been expanding the scope of our post-seed and early-stage investing and bringing on a third partner to focus on it. As there are more exits like Honey, Snap, and Oculus, we see more and more people recirculating back into the ecosystem starting companies, angel investing, and joining startups. [In the meantime], indigenous venture capital here in L.A. has lagged behind the growth in number and quality of opportunities that we see.
TC: You arent focused exclusively on L.A., correct?
ER: Over the past couple of years, weve continued to expand the geographic scope of our investments finding companies in places where Silicon Valley VCs havent really been investing, especially at the pre-seed and seed stage. Some of our recent investments are Modus in Seattle, GoFor in Ottawa, Resilia in New Orleans, Pei in Austin, and Kast in San Diego.
TC: What company did Mucker miss, and what did you learn from the experience?
RN: One investment we passed on very early was Dollar Shave Club, and its certainly one we regret. We met Michael Dubin a few months after he launched the site and his original marketing video went viral. We obviously didnt get it. Generic razor blades from Korea? Funny video? Pass!
See also:
Leave a comment
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«     2020    »