What’s your vice? Former Walmart executive creates VC fund for naughty startups

Vice Ventures raised $25m from big name investors in its debut fund.

Like many VC firms, Vice Ventures comes to the table with a strategy. 

But the New York-based company’s focus has a touch more of an edge than your traditional investment firm.

The company, co-founded by former Walmart exec Catharine Dockery, just raised $25m for its debut fund, where it will focus its cash cannon on the markets less traveled — areas like cannabis, alcohol, “sex-tech,” gambling, tobacco, psychedelics, and more.

Corporate investors are buttoning down

Vice Ventures’ fund was backed by many big name money throwers, including Marc Andreessen and Bradley Tusk, showing that bigwigs are starting to loosen the tie when it comes to vice markets.

But many old school backers still prefer their ties like they prefer their billion-dollar deals: cinched. And that has long kept people like Andreessen from making these investments through his own firm. 

Blacklist companies finally have a dark knight 

Many VC firms are kept from investing in “bad companies” through prohibitive “vice clauses” that allow backers to choose where their money shouldn’t be invested (When it comes to investments, Andreessen is like a majestic eagle, people. You gotta let him fly!).

But, it’s becoming clear that it’s no longer just heathen millennials lookin’ to toke, vape and pleasure themselves in public (kidding).

Naughty industries have exploded, and Vice Ventures is proving that not even the poorest of the richest prudes are able to abstain from their true weakness: making money. That’s where Vice Ventures comes in.

Providing a platform for ‘dad’ investors to be ‘bad’ investors 

According to VentureBeat, the firm said it plans to invest around $500k in each of its portfolio companies, with a number of investments already made, including in companies like the canned CBD beverage brand, Recess, and Bev, which sells California rosé in a can.

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