Niv Dror is the name that’s making headlines in Silicon Valley at the moment. Working as an editor at a product editorial company called Product Hunt, Dror tattooed a shrugging emoji on his wrist. At the time, the tattoo didn’t have any significant meaning. Dror then moved from Product Hunt to join AngelList where he worked as head of marketing. But two years later, Dror started a venture-capital fund in Silicon Valley.
The fund was created to invest in promising tech opportunities but what’s surprising about it is the name. Dror decided to name the fund Shrug Capital stylized as ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Capital. The name was inspired from the emoji tattoo on his wrist and has raised $3 million in funding so far. The fund has also attracted attention from some of the most influential venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Cyan Banister and Marc Andreessen are two of the names already showing some interest on ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Capital.
For Niv Dror, the journey towards starting a venture fund has been long and unconventional, to say the least. It all began with a tweet. Speaking to a popular online magazine, Dror said that he just tweeted one day that if he ever raised a venture fund, he would name it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Capital. As soon as the tweet went out, it received mixed responses. However, Dror says that it was the tweet from Owen Brainard, Brainard Capital’s managing director, that inspired him to move forward with his idea.
Brainard responded to Dror’s tweet saying that the first step to starting a venture fund is saying “if I ever raise a venture fund.” This response inspired Dror to start working. The former Product Hunt editor says that he had always dreamt of becoming a venture capitalist. However, the idea that he could actually raise his own fund was nothing more but a far-fetched dream.
Dror told the online magazine that he got in touch with Owen Brainard two months after sending the very first tweet on his intention to raise a venture fund. Dror sought to know whether the director of Brainard Capital would be interested in investing in his new fund. At the time, the name ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Capital was already decided. Brainard agreed right away and became the very first investor in the venture fund.
Dror says that the goal right now is to create a portfolio of consumer-based companies. So far, Shrug Capital has struck a deal with HQ Trivia, a creative trivia-game-show app. According to Dror, the deal with the app has significantly improved the credibility of his venture fund allowing him to access more opportunities. Dror added that even though the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emoticon used on the fund’s name appears playful, the fund means serious business. He also revealed that the fund’s investors and founders love the name.