Strategy Session is a feature of Crunchbase News where we ask venture capitalists five questions about their investment strategies.
Palm Tree Crew Investments is the startup investment arm of multiplatinum DJ Kygo and the company of its director / business partner Myles Shear, Palm Tree Crew Holdings. The company, founded in 2016, invests in consumer, tech and entertainment brands.
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Different from other venture capitalists, Shear decided to make Miami the base of the company rather than Silicon Valley, telling me he grew up in Miami and really never left. It’s now part of a good company, especially as Miami is emerging as a tech hub, with many VCs having moved there over the past year.
Shear told me about breaking the mold about standard venture capitalists, investments, inspirations to start Palm Tree and make Kygo a tycoon.
The following has been edited slightly for clarity and length.
How did the Palm Tree Crew get started?
Mow: It’s something our family and closest friends have supported us from day one. Kygo and I built our careers together and wanted to build something bigger – like an empire – and wanted to find a name for what we were doing. I finally decided to partner with Kygo to manage artists and invest in the future. We came up with the name of Palm Tree Crew while we were in Ibiza. We began to offer palm necklaces to those around us as a symbol of community. Much like Kygo’s music, Palm Tree Crew is a lifestyle and we are building an amazing community.
What types of businesses do you like to invest in?
Mow: As we evolve in our careers, our strategy of investing in new brands and technologies also evolves. In 2019, we decided to create an investment arm to invest in lifestyle brands. We have a few companies in our portfolio, like Long Drink, Drink Poppi, and BitClout.
How do you like working with the founders?
Mow: We like the fact that this type of work is very practical. When we invest, our strategy is to make weekly calls and talk to the founders about how we can bring in people to help promote the brand, either with Kygo or a strategic investor. It’s intense. We like to reduce the risks associated with investing as much as possible. We trust the founders we love, and when we invest in a business, we really invest in who runs it.
What is your vision for 2021?
Mow: We hope to build an investment strategy in the consumer and consumer technology space, as well as in the blockchain. We are excited about the future we are making at Palm Tree, creating a diverse set of categories and adding value. It is important to us. We have a different view of investing. People can get money from anyone, and maybe they don’t need that much capital, but they need strategic help.
Given that you have a background in music and brands, what does the learning curve look like as an investor?
Mow: I found Kygo when I was 20 and I didn’t know how the music business worked. But you surround yourself with great people and see what they’re doing. We didn’t create this idea, but we saw what Scooter Braun has done with their network. same [Sound Ventures’] Guy Oseary and Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Durant. We saw their role models, and I also think Kygo’s music is classy and cool – it touches so many demographics – that we thought it was appealing to CEOs and startups as much as it resonated with the world. . There was no reason we couldn’t make Kygo a tycoon. We started by distributing palm necklaces to friends to turn them into a management company and then an investment vehicle. We have a platform to think outside the box.
Photo of Myles Shear and Kygo, co-founders of Palm Tree Crew Investments, courtesy of the company.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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