Announcing Darkmode Ventures

Amir Shevat
3 min readJan 16, 2024

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Today, we are announcing Darkmode Ventures! A venture fund focused on Open developer platforms, Enterprise AI, and the Modern Data Stack.

We are seasoned product leaders and founders building the fund we wish existed when we were raising a Seed round for our startups. A small, thematic fund led by founders who’ve built great enterprise AI and developer products. Especially the dark mode version…

Our 3 partners are Amir Shevat (former head of Twitter’s developer platform, sold Reshuffle to Twitter), Kat Orekhova (founded Vareto, $24M raised, former head of product at Ironclad), and Raphael Danilo (product leader at Gong, sold Yobs to Gong).

Beyond capital and operating experience, we provide a large network and radical candor that helps our founders get to product-market fit and GTM-fit. We will ask important questions, but we won’t tell you how to run your company. We frequently disagree and commit. When your startup inevitably faces challenges, we don’t run away at the first sign of trouble.

Why is Darkmode’s mission important now?

Just like a startup, it is important for a venture fund to have a strong thesis about the world — and we see our world changing rapidly.

We believe that while connected enterprise systems are not a new concept, we are far from realizing the full potential of an interconnected world at work.

Most enterprise solutions remain siloed, integration is still a complex and costly endeavor, and even software development itself can be improved significantly. The last generation of monolithic enterprise software systems still aim to protect their business by isolating their products, attempting to monopolize customer data and processes, and locking up their ‘data moats’. This creates disconnected workflows, disjointed tech stacks and data sources that are awkwardly stitched together, and intense customer dissatisfaction. Incidentally, reconciling those fragmented datasets remains a massive bottleneck to unlocking the full potential of AI applications in the enterprise.

With the right infrastructure, one that is open and secure, AI holds the potential to increase human and software productivity tenfold. We believe this different approach is more effective. The most loved modern enterprise software products are deeply integrated in their customer’s tech stacks and workflows. They create compounding value to the user and create high switching costs, making them painfully hard to rip out.

At Darkmode, we invest in this next generation of connected enterprise systems and the open developer platforms that make them possible. We also seek companies who utilize AI to revolutionize the way enterprises work as a result of all these connected systems and data.

We invest in companies like Merge, which makes it 10x easier to build and maintain integrations for your product; Drata, which automates data security compliance across all your apps, Tabnine, an AI copilot to supercharge developer productivity, and Bluesky, which is building an open protocol for social apps. And this is just the beginning.

How do we invest?

We write collaborative checks of $100k to $200k, and we often help founders fill out their rounds by identifying a lead investor and bringing in strategic angels. We like to invest in the Pre-seed, Seed, and up to A rounds. We already invested in around 12 companies, and we are planning to invest in around 15–25 more companies in the next two years.

How do we help founders?

We bring years of experience as builders and customers of some of the most iconic SaaS products of the last 2 decades. From Slack, Gong, Ironclad to Microsoft, and Google, as well as founders of our own venture-backed startups. We bring a founder-focused approach to the way we work with startups — introduce you to enterprise customers, helping with hiring the best, getting tactical with your go-to-market, giving product and design feedback, as well as opening our investor network. All the things that we wanted from our investors when we were on the other side.

Want to learn more?

Read our full Letter to our Founders — https://www.darkmode.vc/letter-to-founders

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Amir Shevat

Investor in early stage startups. Previously: Head of Product, Twitter Dev Platform, VP product at Twitch, Slack, Google, Microsoft. Author at O'Reilly.