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J.D. Vance has launched a VC fund named after a Tolkien artifact and backed by Peter Thiel.

Eleni Theodoropoulos

January 10, 2020, 3:12pm

As Bloomberg reports, J. D. Vance, bestselling author of Hillbilly Elegy, Yale graduate, and venture capitalist has teamed up with Peter Thiel, Eric Schmidt, and Marc Andreessen of Silicon Valley to establish a venture capital firm in Ohio called Narya Capital. If “Narya” sounds familiar to you, reader of Lit Hub, it is because Narya was one of the three rings to “rule them all” in The Lord of the Rings. It supposedly helps its wearer resist tyranny. (The irony is not lost on anyone.) Also, it is basically an invisibility ring. Cool, guys. Though it should be said that Vance stole his naming technique from Thiel, who previously founded Mithril Capital (which Vance joined after his book became a bestseller) and Palantir Technologies. Again: cool.

At Bloomberg, Lizette Chapman writes that “while there are many venture firms in the U.S., little investment goes toward companies based outside coastal cities.” With Narya, Vance intends to extend “his quest to reinvigorate the country’s heartland, a topic he wrote about in Hillbilly Elegy.” So far the firm has raised $93 million from investors and plans to garner $125 in total, which it will then invest in young science and technology startups. (Probably evil ones, though.)

Vance has not yet made a public comment on the fund—so more to come on the Earthly legacy of the Elven rings.

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