Anathem Ventures is now Aloft VC. Founder Crystal McKellar launched her first solo fund in 2019 after learning the ropes of tech startup investing from Peter Thiel, naming her fund Anathem after a popular Neal Stephenson sci-fi novel of the same name. McKellar, a former award-winning actress on television shows such as The Wonder Years, has been highlighted in TechCrunch and other media for her less traditional road to venture capitalist. After her successful acting career, McKellar studied at Yale and Harvard Law School and advised Fortune 100 companies and financial institutions as a Wall Street lawyer before transitioning to venture capital in 2012.
McKellar invests in early-stage technology companies that solve an urgent problem in healthcare and national security. Said McKellar, “I am incredibly optimistic about the transformative potential of technology. The name change to Aloft VC reflects my optimism about the exponential good that comes when we combine smart capital with breakthrough tech and inspired founders.”
McKellar’s portfolio reflects her Thiel-centric network, and includes Angle Health, an AI-enabled healthcare benefits solution founded by former Palantir and Department of Defense engineers, and an as-yet unannounced national defense tech investment that was founded by alums of Palantir, members of the intelligence community, and In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s investing arm.
Aloft’s portfolio also includes Brave Health, a virtual behavioral health provider serving over 65 million Medicaid members across 18 states; Cooler Heads, which sells an FDA-cleared device that allows chemo patients to keep their hair; as well as Siren Care and Niantic, companies McKellar invested in alongside Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.
McKellar has bucked the trend of recent VC megafunds, keeping her fund size small and fees low to maximize investor returns, and she is the largest investor in her fund.
Sought after by founders for her network and her strategic and legal expertise, McKellar’s portfolio company CEOs praise the depth of her diligence and her post-investment involvement.
“Crystal really took the time to get to know our business, and she took an active partnership role and opened her rolodex to us right away, introducing us to two major growth funds within weeks of her investment,” said Anna Lindow, CEO of Brave Health. Kate Dilligan, CEO of Cooler Heads, similarly pointed to McKellar’s hands-on approach and willingness to share her network, noting “Crystal was our first institutional investor, and from our first meeting has consistently added value to the company through investor intros, her active board membership, and her strategic guidance.”
Wall Street powerhouse and Ellevest founder Sallie Krawcheck noted, “From our first meeting, Crystal ‘got’ the business and understood the value and importance of Ellevest. I am thrilled to have her as an investor.”
About Aloft VC
Founded by Crystal McKellar, Aloft VC invests in early-stage technology companies built by mission-driven founders whose products solve an urgent problem and fill an essential need in healthcare and national security.