Founders
funding
founders

Get in touch
Kanjun QiuAli RohdeJosh Albrecht

Who we are

Outset is a seed stage fund by Kanjun Qiu, Ali Rohde, and Josh Albrecht.

Among the three of us, we've gone through YC, started 5 companies, built AI research labs, scaled unicorns like Dropbox and Addepar, published ML research, and run congressional campaigns.

We're backed by founders including Dropbox founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, Quora founder Adam D'Angelo, and Sift founder Jason Tan.

We are flexible, but typically write $100-200K checks in great founders at the earliest stages.

We try to be the investors we'd want on our own cap tables. This means we move fast, don't care who else is investing, and proactively support our founders.

We often help with fundraising (since we've raised $30M+ for our own startups) and recruiting (since we run a 4K+ subscriber jobs newsletter, and previously built a recruiting startup together).

What our founders say

"Outset invested when my company was little more than a thesis in a Notion doc. They've been a steady source of support ever since, introducing me to potential hires, providing detailed feedback on ideas and coaching me through tough decisions. They feel like an extension of my team."

Dr. Michelle Lee - CEO, Medra

"Ali, Kanjun, and Josh decided to invest within 24 hours, and then immediately jumped aboard to help—introducing us to other investors, doing a strategy session with me on our pitch and fundraising plan, and sending us lists of candidates for our open roles."

Banks Hunter - CEO, Charge Robotics

"Ali, Kanjun and Josh are more than investors—having them on your cap table is a superpower. They're incredibly trustworthy, high integrity and super-smart operators. Ali has been integral for how we hire, Josh is a technical mastermind, and Kanjun is deeply strategic. More than anything, they're good people that take good care of their founders. You'd be super lucky to have them on your side."

Niya Dragova - CEO, Candor

"I've known the Outset team for almost 8 years and they are the most saavy and supportive investors. Kanjun is one of my first calls whenever there is a problem and has a superpower in solving any problem. She, Ali, and Josh are an incredible source of support — they've seen it all, and are putting that experience to use for other founders."

Michael Lai - CEO, Tinycare

Our events

A big part of the reason we started this fund was to bring people together — to meet each other, to learn from each other, and (if we’re lucky) to start companies together.

We regularly host events — usually in the Bay Area, but occasionally in NYC, Boston, or virtually.

In the past, our events have included dinners for “Future Founders” (those thinking of starting companies soon), women in STEM, and those working on deep tech.

If you’d like to be added to the list for future events, submit your contact information and location here.