Virginie Raphael is the Founder and Managing Partner of FullCircle, a NY-based pre-seed fund focused on creating a more diverse, inclusive and prosperous workforce. FullCircle invests across the US and is deliberately sector agnostic, looking to partner with companies with the potential to create meaningful change related to who works and driving positive structural changes in workforce participation. This outcome-driven thesis has so far resulted in investments in companies who are building infrastructure to support working caregivers, infusing data across recruiting and talent management, building the tools independent workers need, or supporting talent of all ages to fulfill their potential and leverage their skills.
Virginie is obsessed with serving founders at the earliest stages and passionate about finding ways to better align founders and funders. FullCircle is a perpetual fund pioneering a unique LP shareholder model with lower fees and more frequent liquidity opportunities to drive impactful outsized performance.
Prior to founding FullCircle, Virginie was a Managing Director at Tusk Ventures where she was an early employee and spent a decade advising and investing in early-stage founders operating in highly regulated industries. Before Tusk, Virginie honed her analytical and financial skills as a banker at Lehman Brothers/Barclays. French born, she was swept away by New York’s resilient entrepreneurship culture and enduring optimism.
Where do you source investments?
FullCircle employs a deliberate “quality over quantity” approach in everything it does. When it comes to sourcing, this approach implies transparency around our investing criteria and an explicit investing thesis which is published on FullCircle’s website. This targeted approach results in pre-qualified high-quality dealflow from our existing founders as well as angels and other funds with whom we have close relationships due to our collaborative investing strategy. In addition, it frees up capacity to thoughtfully evaluate the large number of inbounds we receive. Finally, many peer funds regularly reach out to FullCircle to tap Virginie’s unique regulatory expertise and assess the regulatory and political risks associated with potential investments. This provides FullCircle with an early look into compelling investment opportunities.
When/at what stage do you look to invest?
FullCircle is exclusively focused on pre-seed companies, looking to invest up to $250k into initial rounds ranging between $500k and $2M. We are eager to meet companies at their earliest stages. Companies do not need traction or revenue before engaging with FullCircle.
What types of investments and sectors are you interested in?
While the pandemic has fundamentally changed how we work, FullCircle focuses on who works in order to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce with much greater economic potential. FullCircle is uniquely outcome-driven with a stage-focused, industry-agnostic investing strategy.
By investing in companies powering necessary structural changes in the workforce to create the conditions that will enable workers to fulfill their potential and bring their whole selves to work, FullCircle seeks to: expand participation in the workforce and create meaningful employment opportunities for new categories of workers, foster new business creation and enable independent workers and small businesses to thrive, and ensure a more equal demographic and geographic distribution of opportunities.
How are you “changing the room”?
Given the long-term and structural nature of the issues FullCircle is looking to address, I innovated by launching a perpetual fund with a unique LP shareholder model. Rather than a classic wealth accumulation strategy, FullCircle aims to drive liquidity earlier in the life of the fund and more frequently over time. By driving liquidity to investors, FullCircle will unlock returns/capital for re-investment and/or other impactful projects funded by its LPs, thereby achieving outsized impact. In addition, FullCircle’s permanent fund structure is adequate for funding intractable structural problems that are long-term in nature, as well as underrepresented founders who might take more time to flourish.
Why are you doing what you do?
The ongoing and accelerating trends that have taken hold in the workforce over the past few years are fascinating to me. Most importantly, they offer us a chance to create lasting change and sustainable conditions to support individual talent and lifestyle needs and preferences.
I don’t share the view that it is important to unplug from it all once in a while. That notion is largely inscribed in the past, when work and personal life were not nearly as intertwined. The line between the two is going to continue blurring. It is not necessarily a bad thing as long as we can create the conditions required for workers to love what they do and bring their whole selves to work.
I started FullCircle to invest in technologies that will make it possible for more workers to realize their full potential and gain agency, flexibility, ownership and pride over their work. That is my ongoing aspiration for FullCircle. I am deeply grateful to be amongst the privileged few doing the impactful work they love to extend that privilege to others.