by Jennifer Carolan

Today, Reach Capital, the education technology VC firm I co-founded with Shauntel, Wayee & Esteban, launched our third fund. At $165 million, it’s more than double our previous fund. But it’s not the size of the fund that matters. It’s the aspiration.

Since our inception, we’ve set out to do two things well: to deliver excellent financial returns by building excellent companies, and to deliver a benefit to society by backing companies that help people improve their lives through learning. …


by Tony Wan, Head of Investor Content at Reach Capital

Every startup starts with a story. And how those stories are shaped and shared are essential to attracting customers, partners, investors and talent as businesses grow.

But stories are only effective if they reach an audience. And breaking through the noise in a media landscape swirling with content can be tough, especially when you’re a small startup. When do you bring in outside help to tell your stories? How do you know if it’s worth it?

Last month, we welcomed Nairi Hourdajian (VP of Communications at Figma) and Sheila Tran…


by Ethan Beard and Tony Wan (Head of Investor Content, Reach Capital)

Business development can unlock critical partnerships that help startups reach more customers and expand into new markets, technologies and geographies and their growth. For example, distribution deals can help small companies access an established partner’s customer base and sales force; licensing arrangements can bring critical technologies and resources into one’s fold.

And a successful partnership can be a blueprint for creating a repeatable and scalable sales operation.

Yet startups often have the least leverage when it comes to negotiating with bigger companies. …


by James Kim, Partner at Reach Capital

Over the last three years, Reach Capital has been developing an investment thesis around career pathways for 21st century learners and job seekers. A repeated theme in our research has been the importance of skill development through working with employers. This appeared in our report on work-integrated learning at higher-ed institutions, and even more prominently in our report on middle skills pathways, where we described it as “work-based learning.”

That concept often goes by a more popular term — apprenticeship — and dates back to antiquity, to the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi that…


Why We Invested in Spokn

by Shauntel Garvey, General Partner at Reach Capital

The people are listening. Audio consumption has grown to an all-time high in recent years due to the proliferation of smartphones and the ease of consuming content on the go. Today, U.S. adults spend an average of 94 minutes per day listening to digital audio, which accounts for 11 percent of total media time. The global podcasting market is expected to reach $60.5 billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate of 27.5 percent.

Clubhouse, which amassed over 10 million weekly active users in less than a year, is the latest…


Why We Invested in Rhithm

by Jennifer Wu, Venture Partner at Reach Capital

Reach has been tracking youth mental health trends since 2017. The CDC had just released its report about a rash of youth suicides in Palo Alto, many occurring on the train tracks a stone’s throw from my house. More broadly, with the rise of social media, we were also seeing increasing rates of anxiety and depression associated with increased screen time.

These trends continued unabated through 2019 and worsened last year as the pandemic forced kids into social isolation. Today there are widespread reports of anxiety and depression, increased suicidal thoughts and…


by Jennifer Carolan

Welcome Jomayra Herrera, our newest partner, to Reach Capital! Jomayra is our first outside partner hire and an ideal addition to our growing team.

At a young age, Jomayra has already built a reputation as a prescient “future of work” investor and embodies the early-stage focus and hands-on support that Reach values. She is a deep and disciplined thinker who grounds her investment theses in first-principles analysis (her work on the Empowered Economy is an excellent example) resulting in her ability to identify winners early on.

I first met Jomayra while she was an education investor at…


by Jennifer Carolan

Guido, Felipe, Emi — Founders of Nearpod

Today, Renaissance Learning’s acquisition of Nearpod for $650M was finalized. It’s a huge validation for Guido, Felipe and Emi, three friends who built one of the most beloved and widely used products in education.

From the start, Guido and team did things differently, shaking up the stagnant curriculum industry where deals got done over expensive dinners and teachers paid the price with inferior products. With a product-forward approach, Nearpod pioneered a series of innovations in sales, content and go-to-market that forever changed the industry.

Nearpod won the hearts of teachers and defied the old narrative that districts…


by Jennifer Carolan

Reach is investing in Sketchy’s $30M round led by TCG. Sketchy fits neatly into our digital curriculum thesis: bottoms-up, freemium, digital curriculums based on timeless pedagogy that wins the hearts of users. Our investments in Mystery Science, Newsela, Nearpod, and Desmos are other examples of this thesis at work.

Sketchy was founded by medical students Saud Siddiqui, Andrew Berg, Bryan Lemieux and Aaron Lemieux who wanted a better way to learn the vast amount of content needed to prepare for their careers as physicians. …


by Wayee Chu

Today, I am privileged to announce the promotion of James Kim to Principal at Reach Capital. From the minute I met James in 2018 during an interview for our Associate role, I knew James was a standout candidate. What resonated deeply for me was his life journey to date, overcoming personal odds and defying external expectations, even those set by his own family, which is testament to the bold and principled approach in how James has paved his own path forward.

Throughout James’ academic and professional pursuits, he has exemplified a commitment to equity in education. As…

Reach Capital

Closing the Opportunity Gap. Empowering educators and families. Inspiring children.

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