Jun 29, 2021 • 39M

Shauntel Garvey of Reach Capital on EdTech, raising a sector focused fund, and the importance of being an active seed investor beyond the A round

Samir Kaji
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Venture Unlocked is the playbook for starting, operating, & scaling a successful venture capital firm. Samir Kaji, Host of Venture Unlocked has +20-years of experience assisting & advising startups and venture firms. Listen for VC fund guidance.
Episode details

Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.

Our guest today is Shauntel Garvey, co-founder and general partner of education tech focused Reach Capital. She has a long history investing in ed-tech companies stemming back from her time at NewSchools Venture Fund.

What I love about the Reach team is how thoughtfully they’ve constructed their firm and partnership which by far is one of the most diverse in all of venture. Currently Reach has $300 AUM and has invested in companies such as Mystery Science (acq by Discovery Education), Nearpod, Outschool, ClassDojo, and Epic.

Shauntel did her undergrad at MIT, and got a MA in Education and MBA from Stanford.

Listen to our conversation to learn more about how she’s seen the EdTech market evolve over the last few years and particularly since the pandemic, why they are active with portfolio companies after typical seed funds are, and how she thinks about investing thesis.

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In this episode we discuss:

01:29 Shauntel’s journey into VC

03:12 The decision to start Reach from NewSchools

04:39 Why they decided to go with a larger partnership in Fund 1

07:14 The challenges of raising a sector specific fund for a sector not well understood at the time

09:50 Pitching impact focused LPs vs return focused LPs

11:51 How sector-specific managers answer the question about being too narrow

16:18 Why despite being as seed fund, Reach stays with their companies throughout their lifecycle

20:06 How they think about hiring at Reach

21:51 How Reach looks at talent development as a part of its legacy

23:41 Things firms can do early to build a generational legacy

25:51 Developing and evolving an investment thesis

28:24 Creating systems to allow for proactive outreach and investment

30:03 Building strong a back office and operations

32:50 Shauntel’s greatest learning as an investor

33:55 What she’s learned from her misses

36:42 The investor she aspires to be more like

Mentioned in this episode:

  • Reach Capital

We’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Shauntel! Follow @SamirKaji and give your insight and questions using the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop a direct message on Twitter.

Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency