Dive into top private equity and VC investment opportunities with Miami startup Poolit

By Riley Kaminer

When Dakotah Rice was working in financial firms such as Goldman Sachs, Coatue, and Carlyle, he saw firsthand the life-changing nature of returns these storied firms provided to their investors. Frustratingly though, these profits were only available for a select few – with extremely high barriers to entry, including million dollar buy-ins.

Coming from a low-income household in rural Alabama before studying at Brown University, Rice had a significant financial incentive to maximize his earnings. “I’m very much a support system for my family,” Rice told Refresh Miami

“When I would get a bonus, I wanted to invest in private equity, but I had a hard time doing it,” he said. The solution: partner up with friends at fellow private equity firms that had access to investment opportunities. For example, a friend would be able to access investment opportunities there for $50,000 and find five friends to each invest $10,000.

Fast forward a few years, and Rice found himself studying for an MBA at Harvard Business School. It was at that point that it dawned on him: Why not create a platform to pool resources together to invest in private equity and venture capital? 

In his first semester at Harvard, Rice raised $5.3 million to kickstart the process for creating Miami-based startup Poolit in a round co-led by Harlem Capital and Picus Capital, which also included participation from Declaration Capital – the family office of The Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, Coatue Management co-founder Thomas Laffont, and Gilgamesh Ventures. 

Soon after raising these funds, Rice dropped out of Harvard to work on Poolit full time. “If I didn’t start Poolit, no one would,” he said of the deep conviction that led him to leave grad school to jump into the startup deep end. Now the company has 12 employees, most of whom are located in South Florida.

Poolit has taken a multi-hour process down to minutes, enabling its upwards of 800 users – all of whom are accredited investors – to access top PE and VC firms through a UX straightforward as a consumer-focused platform like Robinhood. 

Together with partner Meketa, which has almost $2 trillion in assets under management, the startup undertakes due diligence to ensure the high quality of the funds in its portfolio. In exchange, Poolit takes a commission of 1% of its assets under management.

While Poolit started by working on a B2C model, it has just launched an offering for financial advisors and other institutional investors. “This allows financial advisors and family offices to create their own flavor of portfolio from the actual underlying funds that we have,” said Rice. He further explained that Poolit can make more curated portfolios for certain types of people with exposure to different sectors in their portfolios already.

For Rice, establishing the company in Miami made sense because of its increasing prominence in the worlds of finance and tech. “Miami is unique. There’s a lot of growth to come and a great ecosystem being built here. And so I wanted to be part of it.”

His advice to budding entrepreneurs? “Trust your gut and take the leap.” And leap, Rice certainly did. 


Riley Kaminer