Digital Ventures (“digi.”) is the personal investment vehicle of Michael Pierce and Paras Maniar. We invest in 'post-seed' companies and are both based in Southern California.
A strong existing seed investors.
Evidence of product/market that is visible in operating data.
Clear medium term (12 months) milestone that inflects the company’s value.
We focus on ‘post-seed’ investments across a spectrum of sectors and geographies. We are equally excited about consumer and enterprise focused solutions. We are drawn to businesses at have light capital costs requirements to get to demonstrable market validation (think <$3m). We require the company to be funded by other super angels or institutional seed funds. We expect the markets our companies are transforming to be BIG (think >$10b) but we also need to feel confident that the solutions and products being developed can create meaningful and repeatable revenue at sustainable, industry leading gross margins. If a company has the vision, product and plan to deliver meaningful gross margin, then our investment stage we aren’t worried about profitability – it just becomes a function of when and how fast they want to grow. We believe each transformative business presents a different set of challenges that will require a different type of entrepreneur. Some need a Harvard v. a Hustler, a CompSci v. a MBA, or a Capitalist v. a Change Agent. And some need a Hustler from Harvard. We spend a lot of time thinking about the founders we back and the leadership their business requires as it grows. If the two don’t align we don’t invest.
Digi Ventures has expanded the investment scope to target A & B rounds; writing checks of $2-6MM.
More information is on the Opportunity Fund Menu Bar
What We Provide
We know we can provide access and capital but then so does everyone else. That’s not enough to win the trust and confidence of visionary founders. We fight hard to win deals by demonstrating we are willing, when called upon, to roll up our sleeves and get involved.
Early Investment Thesis
What We Provide
Team of Experts
Michael is a well-respected investor in Los Angeles. As an entrepreneur he Co-Founded Pierce Williams Entertainment and Zero Gravity Management which produced and financed 9 feature films with combined revenues over $200m, including the Oscar-nominated film The Cooler.
His investment interests have evolved over the last 15 years. His roots lie in his family business of oil & gas and real estate in Canada but his keen eye for returns moved his focus to public market equities in the late 2000s. His returns on technology related stocks surpassed his other investments and he shifted his attentions to this area as an investor.
In 2011 Michael was a founding Partner of venture capital firm, WPSChallenger. Most recently, Michael has gotten closer to the source of innovation by backing technology founders directly as an Angel investor in LA. His diverse and entrepreneurial background give him a distinctive perspective on new businesses and a unique ability to identify and back talented, exceptional founders.
Michael has a BA from The University of Western Ontario and an LLB from University College London. Michael currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two young kids.
Paras is native Southern Californian and active member of the growing Los Angeles startup community.
Prior to digi Paras ran the Los Angeles office for WPS Challenger LLP and was a member of the firm’s Executive Committee where he was responsible for the performance of their portfolio companies in North America as well as identifying new investment opportunities in the region. As an entrepreneur Paras was a founding executive of EQAL – a media start-up acquired by Everyday Health (NYSE: EVDY) in September of 2012. Paras has also worked in the Los Angeles office of McKinsey & Company and was a financial analyst with the High Tech Mergers & Acquisitions Group at JP Morgan Chase.
Paras completed his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Economies of Industrial Societies from the UC Berkeley, received a J.D. from Northwestern School of Law and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management.
Happily married with two lovely children, his wife Payal keeps his global entertainment knowledge fresh with regular screenings of Bollywood’s best films.
Harry joined Digi Ventures as an Analyst in 2016. He is an Australian native where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia with supporting education from University of California Los Angeles, University of Sydney, General Assembly and Queens University.
Harry moved to Los Angeles in 2015 after helping with the sale of the BIM/AEC technology consulting firm Gehry Technologies, founded by architect Frank Gehry, to Trimble (TRMB). Harry has a strong analytical background, where he re-engineered Gehry Technologies financial systems as well as helping with the sale and winding up of the Kagara group and Mungana mines, multi million dollar Australian mining firms, while at FTI Consulting in the insolvency, mergers & acquisitions division.
Harry is passionate about entrepreneurship attending 5 hackathons in 2 years and subsequently co-founding a big data/machine learning company, Bypass, which focused on public safety. Bypass was a part of AngelHack, an accelerator program, where Bypass won the LA hackathon as well as won the (Tim) Draper award at AngelHacks global demo day in San Francisco. Harry has evaluated over 200 companies while at Digi and has been responsible for the due diligence, sourcing and valuation modeling for the fund. Harry made his first angel investment in a haptics company Emerge.