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Amy Wu’s Next Chapter: Harnessing AI at Menlo Ventures After Controversial Stint at FTX

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Amy Wu, a notable name in Silicon Valley and formerly of FTX Ventures, is embracing a fresh opportunity. She announced that she is becoming a partner at Menlo Ventures, a seasoned firm in Silicon Valley, capitalizing on her expertise in consumer-oriented startups.

Wu is set to be based in NYC while also making frequent trips to SF and LA, as indicated in her tweet. Her professional focus will encompass industries related to consumer and gaming, where her talents flourish at the intersection of AI, the creator economy, gaming, and consumer technology. In collaboration with Shawn Carolan at Menlo, Wu’s goal is to amplify and diversify their influence over a wide range of consumer technology areas.

This transition ushers in a fresh era for both Wu and Menlo. For Wu, it signifies a return to the city’s startup scene where she initially rose to prominence in the early 2010s. As for Menlo, the move is an expansion of its venture firm operations from Silicon Valley to New York City, a vibrant hub of industry, with Tyler Sosin already established there.

FTX Ventures: An “Intense Learning” Period

One of the more turbulent chapters of Wu’s professional life was her stint at FTX Ventures, a branch of the notorious, now bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. Its abrupt downfall rocked the industry, triggering scandals that still echo today, reminiscent of significant shocks in the crypto world such as the Bitconnect fiasco and the MtGox hack. As Carolan puts it, Wu was “duped along with everybody else.”

It was incredibly challenging. I was only there for 10 months, but it felt more like 10 years.

Addressing her time at FTX, Wu characterized it as a period of intense learning. “It was incredibly challenging. I was only there for 10 months, but it felt more like 10 years,” she confided to Axios. The situation highlighted the issues faced by companies in hyper-growth stages, and Wu openly admitted she felt underprepared for the chaotic aftermath, which had repercussions for many, including customers.

 “Absolute Best” Choice

Wu, according to Carolan, is the “absolute best” choice for the role at Menlo. She joins Menlo at a time when the firm is accumulating its latest round of funds— a stage when firms usually bring in new partners. Amy’s responsibilities will encompass early-stage investments in tech-heavy fields such as gaming, blockchain, and emerging exciting ventures like generative AI.

Wu is now positioned at the crossroads of AI and the blockchain, an area that has seen a flurry of investment. Recently, venture capital has significantly pulled back from crypto companies. In fact, Crunchbase reported in April that VC funding for crypto firms had plummeted by 82% compared to the previous year. The excitement, at least for the time being, has gone to the promising field of AI. However, over the longer term, it is likely to shift again towards crypto, when the cyclical bull run begins; AI is also likely to make a major impact on the cryptocurrencies field, which may attract significant amounts of capital.


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