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Amy Wu, former head of FTX Ventures, has found a new venture to steer. One of Silicon Valley's seasoned firms, Menlo Ventures, has brought Wu onboard as a partner, leveraging her prowess in consumer startups.
Amy will be based in NYC—and frequently in SF and LA, according to one of her tweets— and will lead investments in consumer and gaming related industries. Wu's skills lie in the captivating cross-section of AI, gaming, the creator economy, and consumer tech. Partnering with Shawn Carolan at Menlo, Wu aims to diversify and bolster their influence across a broad spectrum of consumer tech sectors.
5/ I’ll be based in NYC and frequently in SF and LA! Hit me up on DMs if you’re building in consumer and gaming (web 2 or web3!)🙂https://t.co/kR5pCH22Y4
— Amy Wu (@amytongwu) June 15, 2023
The move marks a new chapter for both Wu and Menlo. For Wu, it's a return to the city's startup scene where she first made her mark in the early 2010s. For Menlo, it's an extension of its venture firm footprint from Silicon Valley to the buzzing hub of New York City, with partner Tyler Sosin already on the ground.
A tumultuous chapter in Wu's career involved her tenure at FTX Ventures, an arm of the infamous and now bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. Its unexpected collapse shook the industry, triggering ripples of scandal that reverberate still among some of the most resounding hits to the crypto industry like the MtGox hack and the Bitconnect debacle. The way Carolan put it, Wu "got duped along with everybody else."
When asked about her FTX experience, Wu described it as an intense learning period.
"It was really difficult, I was there for a short period of time—it was 10 months and it felt like 10 years," she told Axios. The situation ultimately underscored the challenges faced by hyper-growth companies, despite Wu's candid admission that she felt ill-prepared for the tumultuous fallout, which affected numerous individuals, including customers.
Carolan said she's the "absolute best" for the role at Menlo. Wu is joining Menlo as the firm is raising its newest crop of funds, a stage when firms typically onboard new partners. Amy is set to work on early-stage investments in tech-driven areas like gaming, blockchain, and new promising endeavors like generative AI.
While the blockchain is an area that has seen frenzied investing, Wu will now be at the intersection of it and AI. In recent months, venture capital has shifted away from crypto firms in a big way. In April, Crunchbase reported that VC funding for crypto firms was down 82% compared to last year.