OK, Cupid! Baby Angel Alexis Ohanian Comes to New York

alexis OK, Cupid! Baby Angel Alexis Ohanian Comes to New YorkThere’s a new angel in town! 27-year-old Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of social news aggregation site Reddit.com, is moving to Brooklyn, and he’s looking to expand his investment portfolio of early stage start-ups. Mr. Ohanian, who made his fortune when Conde Nast bought Reddit in 2007, said that while he’s not interested in leading any investment rounds himself—the start-ups he has backed so far have all come to him through other, more experienced angels—he said he’s eager to become involved in the investor community in New York. One of his goals, he said, is to put together a team of angels that would help local start-ups recruit engineering talent by showing up at college career fairs where banks, hedge funds, as well as big tech companies like Google and Microsoft have historically been dominant. “As far as I know, there isn’t some secret bar where all the angels hang out and smoke cigars and talk about startups,” Mr. Ohanian said, “but there’s something to be said for at least organizing them in order to take some of their money and-without getting too socialist!– invest in things that will be beneficial for everyone. It’s in every angel’s best interest to make New York a more attractive place for start-ups.”

Mr. Ohanian’s fund—cheekily named Das Kapital Capital—is currently backing some 15 start-ups, including one whose founders are working on a device to make ordering at restaurants more convenient. That project is particularly dear to Mr. Ohanian’s heart because he and his Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman had something similar in mind back in 2005 when they were first applying for funding from the venture firm Y Combinator. At the time YC’s Paul Graham rejected the idea, but told Mr. Ohanian he’d back him and Mr. Huffman if they came up with something else. That something else became Reddit.

What kinds of companies is Mr. Ohanian—whose other priority in New York will be running his proudly nerdy “uncorporation” Breadpig—looking to fund? Ones that provide services he’d use every day. “You will not see me investing in a startup that does fashion,” he said.