Announcing Tifo

April 11, 2024 holman

Quick little announcement: I’m launching my own kind-of-weird-venture-fund today: Tifo.

Over the last five years I’ve been doing a lot of angel investing- I’ve made close to a hundred direct angel investments, and then have made dozens of others through syndicates (which again, I highly recommend as a way to start out with angel investing).

I really enjoy doing it- when you’re focusing on your own startup or career, you get a ton of deep, targeted knowledge, but when you start investing across many different startups you start getting a ton of broad knowledge, too. And you end up running into a lot of fun experiences (for example, one of my investments ended up with me wiring ethernet on top of an NFL training facility… not something I signed up for, but really some crazy shit.)

Did you know you can just say you have a “fund” and that’s all you need to do?

Angel is kind of a weird thing, though: the span of “angel investor” can range from “here’s a check never talk to me again” to “they directly helped us make the IPO possible”. Sometimes it’s easy to get lumped in the former when really you want to be known for the latter!

Raising a full venture fund is a huge pain in the ass these days, though, so I’m kinda going halfway: running my angel investments as a fund, without actually raising the fund. There’s a bunch of brand reasons for this, as well as legal entity reasons. It also lets me better prep for raising a fund down the line if I ever want to do that (if at all).

One nice thing is that since I don’t have LPs, I can continue to do whatever the fuck I want, like include “fuck” in the post announcement. I can also invest in weird areas. Tifo is no different; the two main focuses are devtools and sports. Yeah, fucking weird combination, but it’s my fund, dammit, and I’ll cry if I want to.

Developer tools is pretty obvious if you’re been following along at home over the years: my background of GitHub and GitLab is really unique in the industry, and try as I may, my fifteen years in developer tools hasn’t led me to hate the area yet. Far from it: I still hate how we all code, and still think there’s so much to do.

Sports might be kind of new to some of you, but I’ve been falling into the business side in a deep way the last few years. For one, I’m a co-founder of WorkOn, a sports technology startup that will have some really fun things to announce coming up. Secondly… I’ve loved sports all my life (which is obvious if you understood the etymology behind Tifo), and I’ve been getting futher into club ownership in football (⚽️) the last few years. I also think most sports/tech startups are absolute trash. Rather than being disappointing, I think that fact is wildly exciting.

So Tifo. Already instantly the world’s number one sports-and-developer tools fund on the planet. If you’re working on something new, shoot me an email and let’s chat: [email protected].