A group of Twitter executives has come together to form its own investment group called #Angels, which is looking to invest in promising technology startups. The team is made up of four current Twitter executives – Vijaya Gadde, Jana Messerschmidt, Katie Jacobs Stanton, and Jessica Verrilli – as well as former Twitter employees Chloe Sladden and April Underwood.
“We’re focused on funding the best teams pursuing the best ideas just like any other investor,” group member and Twitter’s current VP of global business development Jana Messerschmidt told Re/code. “That said, we’re all personally very passionate about diversity in technology and we’ll share more when we have a broader story to tell on that front.”
The group wrote in a blog post that it intends to leverage its experience working on new technologies at Twitter to invest in and nurture technology startups.
“Technology is no longer an industry category,” the group wrote. “Every company will be a technology company. And the lessons learned from building a company like Twitter are relevant to an increasingly wide range of products, businesses, and industries.”
They added, “We will work as a team and lend our collective expertise to support the teams any one of us backs.” The group promises that it will help guide the startups it supports, aiding them in answering questions about product development, marketing strategies, and so on.
Conflicts of interest
Sladden and Underwood, the two group members who no longer work for Twitter, originally left the company to invest in tech startups, and the group notes that they will be the ones dedicating the most time to the #Angels endeavor.
While the other four members still work from the company, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the group is not an official organization within the company, but its members are still bound by Twitter’s conflict of interest policies.
“We’re collaborating together but will be making individual angel investments, not forming a fund,” the group wrote. “And, as many of us are still actively operating at Twitter (and will continue to be), we will not be investing in companies that could create a conflict of interest from a competitive or potential acquisition point of view.”