Pete Snyder, a communications guru who founded New Media Strategies more than a decade ago, is departing the Rosslyn-based social media marketing consultancy to launch an early-stage investment fund.
The creation of Disruptor Capital adds to a growing roster of new seed-stage investors in the D.C. area. The Alexandria-based firm – “a solo venture” — will act as a vehicle for Snyder’s angel investments, targeting startups in media-focused technology, marketing services and pubic affairs shops. For that third category, he sees a dearth of early-stage funding.
“There is a whole cottage industry in the Washington area of public-affairs-oriented firms that there’s no real backbone of seed and angel capital for,” Snyder said. “It’s just an entrepreneur doing it on their own, and they grow it or they don’t. I think it’s a very undervalued area.”
Much like other newcomers to the Washington VC market – 500 Startups and Fortify Ventures – Snyder plans to aim for exits that amount to “doubles and triples,” instead of betting on the huge acquisitions or IPOs that larger venture firms depend on. He said he’s looking to be “one of the first in” investors, with a typical deal size ranging from $250,000 up to about $5 million. Snyder plans to be “an active investor” for his portfolio companies.
His departure marks a big change for New Media Strategies, where he has served as CEO since founding the company in 1999. He had stayed at the helm even after NMS’ 2007 acquisition by Meredith Corp.
He declined to disclose the size of the Disruptor Capital.