Teenage podcaster turns to investing with $140 million in funds
A 24-year-old university dropout from London has turned his popular tech podcast into a $140 million investment company for tech start-ups.
Harry Stebbings, who dropped out of his law degree at King’s College London to focus on his tech investing podcast, 20VC, received investment from industry giants like Spotify and Calm, as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Stebbings started the podcast as a way to help pay for his mother’s multiple sclerosis treatment, as well as to form connections in the tech industry.
While some large venture capitals firms have started their own media firms, like Silicon Valley giant Andreessen Horowitz’s publishing company Future, it’s uncommon to see media commentators go into investing.
However, some social media influencers have leveraged their online fame to start investing, like YouTubers Jake Paul and Jimmy Donaldson, better known as ‘Mr. Beast’.
Stebbings first started his investing in April last year, focusing on start-ups that surged in popularity during the pandemic, like audio social network Clubhouse and virtual events app Hopin.
His podcast, 20VC, has also featured many investors that later contributed money to his start-up fund, like Hopin’s founder, Johnny Boufarhat.
There has been a surge of venture capital into the European startup scene in recent months, as investors that grew in size during the pandemic-induced tech boom seek to put their profits into the next big thing, like ‘instant delivery’ apps.
Stebbings, who grew up in Fulham, started his ‘Twenty Minute VC’ podcast when he was 18, having since released hundreds of episodes focused on investing and tech.
20VC will reportedly set up two funds, one $33m fund for early-stage start-ups and a $107m fund for more established tech companies.
Stebbings, in an interview with the FT, admits that he is ‘worried’ that it’s a competitive time to get into the private tech market, but said the trillion-dollar valuations of industry behemoths like Apple and Google showed there might still be room to grow.