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
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.
A message from our sponsor
Frank, Rimerman + Co.’s history is closely intertwined with that of Silicon Valley. With humble beginnings similar to so many start-ups, Frank, Rimerman was formed with a desire to serve the entrepreneurial and venture communities of the Valley and the determination to think outside-the-box.
When it comes to venture funds, we work with almost 500 VC groups from over 20 states across the USA. We have worked with over 350 fund groups throughout their first year, making us one of the leading providers in the country to emerging managers.
No one wants to be bored at work. That’s why we chose to work with some of the most innovative and creative people – people who are changing the world around us every day. Their excitement fuels our passion and determination to grow and serve this special community.
Frank, Rimerman + Co, Passion Works Here.
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:
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.