Atlas is among the most aggressive startups in Silicon Valley. On Friday it raised $100m from investor Funds for the Future, a $1.7bn fund that includes Alibaba, and is lining up investors for a potential $1bn IPO. He’s got tons of friends
The rise of Robin Chase has echoes of that legendary “T-rex of the tundra” moment in the Jurassic Park movies. Chase’s ilk are ruthless – she is, after all, a mobile-app developer who made it big on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk before diving into an industry widely considered barbaric: the car industry.
Women in the tech industry are having an increasingly tough time getting jobs. Many are saddled with a gender stereotype that tech is a men’s-only game. The average number of women making a tech salary was just 10.8% in 2017, according to a study by MIT Technology Review. Yet by 2013, Chase was the co-founder of a car startup, Joie de Vivre. She had raised $100m from investor Funds for the Future, a $1.7bn fund that includes Alibaba, and is lining up investors for a potential $1bn IPO. She even gave a TED talk about sexism in Silicon Valley and other issues affecting women.
And then, just like that, Chase vanished. She is too busy co-founder Lucid Motors, which is one of the most aggressive startups in Silicon Valley.
Not for nothing is Lucid’s campus the headquarters of Mitten, a hip little “startup school” that does what startup schools do best: help techies learn from one another. It is also, all the while, being built by Lane Becker, the prototypical bearded, walrus-fur-sporting, Cheech and Chong-style founder.
Former Tesla CTO is joining car startup Lucid Read more
Becker says that in 2009 he started talking to Roger Altman about trying to replicate the “magic of entrepreneurial capitalism”. Altman is, of course, the co-founder of legendary Wall Street bank Evercore Partners. He calls Lucid’s effort a “baby LeTubes”. “We are the little company that can,” Altman tweeted the other day.
And Lucid could really grow, too. The company raised $100m from investors Funds for the Future, a $1.7bn fund that includes Alibaba, and is lining up investors for a potential $1bn IPO.
Yet Becker says it’s “an absurd and dangerous thing to think that we could actually be a publicly traded company. I am in a position to build a business. The market is not that smart, and I find that frightening. It is insane that anybody can see into the future and have a good prediction of the economic future.”