- Silicon Valley investors are known for their business savvy, but not necessarily their fashion sense.
- A new site, called VC Starter Kit, lampoons what’s seen as the tech investor uniform: You can buy a Patagonia sweater, Allbirds sneakers, and a handful of other stereotypically VC accessories like a Tesla keychain, all in a bundle.
- The website says all profits from starter kit purchases will be donated to AllRaise, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing more diversity into startup founders and investors.
- It’s not known who made the site, or even if it’s actually for real, so buyer beware.
The best venture capitalists are known for their ability to look at all the very many tech startups out there and pick out winners like Facebook or Uber.
They are not necessarily known for their unique fashion sense.
“It’s never been easier to look like a VC,” the site reads.
The person behind the website appears to be Sumukh Sridhara, a product engineer at AngelList, a job listing website for startups. Sridhara told Axios he was inspired by a satirical article on Fortune that poked fun at investors’ typical Patagonia garb.
The site says that all proceeds made from sales will go to AllRaise, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to furthering diversity in Silicon Valley. The site has a disclaimer at the bottom that it’s not actually affiliated with AllRaise, which the organisation confirmed to Business Insider.
The site plays on starter pack memes, offering everything you’d need to fit the stereotype of a Silicon Valley investor, in both men’s and women’s sizes – as well as a handful of accessories to complete the picture.
The partner kit, priced at $US500, the vest, the sneakers, “Zero to One” by investor Peter Thiel, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari, subscriptions to “important VC newsletters” like Wine Spectator and tech news site The Information, and access to the popular paid email app Superhuman.
The next level, called “Fund II,” adds $US200 to the price, includes a pair of fancier Atoms sneakers, a “personalised audit of your Twitter thought leadership,” and a Tesla keychain to show off your “current or future” Tesla.
There’s a ring of truth to the whole joke: Just look at photos from events like the Sun Valley Conference, the “summer camp for billionaires.” Photos of attendees at the conference show a wild amount of Patagonia vests, not least because the event gave them out to attendees as door prizes, showing how popular they are.
Pricey sneakers have also become sort of a status symbol for wealthy tech executives like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Techies, too, have come to love sneakers from startups: Allbirds is valued at $US1.4 billion according to PitchBook, and Atoms has had a dedicated fan base ever since it emerged from stealth last year.
However, it’s not immediately clear whether the site is actually selling any of the items it lists: The most premium package, the “vision fund,” gives its price as “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.” That package allegedly includes non-FDA-approved blood transfusions from young people (another Silicon Valley in-joke), and a mansion in Atherton, a Silicon Valley suburb that also happens to be the most expensive zip code in the United States.
The checkout process itself is legitimate, and uses Stripe to take payments.
In the FAQ section, the website answers the question about whether or not this is real: “We believe in risk taking. So should you.”
As of Friday afternoon, no one has actually purchased anything on the site, Sridhara wrote on Twitter.
“No one has ordered one yet but I think all of the VCs are just waiting to see who else is ordering,” Sridhara said in his tweet.
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