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24 Year Old Raises $140m to Invest in Tech Start-Ups

Student who dropped out of university to start a tech podcast goes from interviewing venture capitalists to becoming one himself.

A 24-year-old British podcaster who abandoned his law degree to devote himself to interviewing tech investors has raised $140m (£99m) for his own venture capital fund, reports The Telegraph.

Harry Stebbings, who started recording The Twenty Minute VC in 2015 at the age of 18, has secured backing for two new funds to invest up to $5m in early-stage and expanding start-ups. His new backers include early Spotify investor Shakil Khan, Lord Rothschild's investment trust RIT Capital Partners, the endowment fund of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Alex Will, the British co-founder of mental health app Calm.

He told the FT that the funding was part of a "collision" between venture capital and media, with prolific investors becoming popular hosts and writers while YouTubers and social media influencers seek to wield financial power.

Josh Constine, a former tech reporter who is now an investor, said: "Creators becoming investors just had its watershed moment ... every economy is an attention economy."

A stockbroker's son, Mr Stebbings dropped out of a law degree at King's College London to focus on his podcast, and soon began monetising it to pay for his mother's multiple sclerosis medication. With 776 episodes to date, it features 20-minute interviews with tech executives, founders and venture capitalists from companies including Twitter, Etsy, LinkedIn and others.

The format allowed Mr Stebbings to build a huge network of contacts, which he began using to move into investment in 2016. He told Wired: “To be honest, the podcast was a plan for me to get into venture capitalism over a long period."

OGN imagines his parents went from OMG to WTF over five short years. This story also reminds OGN about the speech Steve Jobs gave to a graduation class at Stanford in 2005 about 'joining the dots'. If you have 12 minutes to spare, the video of his speech below is instructive, profound, and inspirational.

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