The Los Angeles startup ecosystem continues to get good news heading into the holiday season. A little more than two weeks ago we announced that super-angel Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital would be launching a dedicated LA early stage fund focused on the intersection of media and technology. Details were scarce at the time, other than the name, Lowercase Stampede, but today we learned who Sacca has installed to lead the new venture.
The man behind LA’s newest pool of capital — rumored to be between $25 million to $35 million in size to start — is none other than CAA business development exec Matt Mazzeo. For the last seven years, Mazzeo has been the right hand man of agency head of business development Michael Yanover, and together the pair have lead the top talent firm’s foray into the world of venture investments.
Mazzeo has spend the last few years splitting his time equally between the worlds of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, seeking to build a bridge between the often disconnected ecosystems. CAA’s most successful project under Mazzeo’s tenure is celebrity social content management platform WhoSay, which was incubated within CAA’s Century City headquarters and has since moved on to raise $14.4 million in outside financing from Comcast Ventures and Greylock Partners. More recently, the company launched Moonshark, a development studio connecting Hollywood talent like Jennifer Lopez and Stan Lee with innovative mobile app concepts. Beyond the projects disclosed publicly, CAA was known to be working on several stealthy ventures in the education technology and entertainment crowdfunding verticals.
Sacca, for his part, is known as an extremely successful investor with early stakes in Photobucket, Twitter, Uber, Kickstarter, and other prominant ventures. Sacca largely removed himself from the Silicon Valley scene, splitting his time in recent years between Lake Tahoe and Manhattan Beach. While in Northern California, he continued to invest in traditional consumer Internet and mobile ventures. While in Southern California, he dabbled more in film and entertainment. Lowercase’s only publicly disclosed LA investment to date is in YouTube influencer platform FullScreen.
Interestingly, Mazzeo is the first partner that Sacca has brought into the Lowercase fold, having operated as a lone investor throughout his career, despite his more than $1 billion of capital under management.
It’s little surprise that Sacca decided to expand the Lowercase brand to Southern California, given his familiarity with the market and the growing prominance of the startup ecosystem – validated by today’s Startup Genome report ranking it as the No. 3 startup ecosystem worldwide, behind Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv. With his existing relationships, connections, and proven eye for startup talent and opportunities, Mazzeo should be a strong addition to the already impressive Lowercase brand.
[Illustration created with image courtesy kla4076]