I started Basis Set Ventures a few years ago with the belief that machine learning would reshape the future of work by allowing companies and industries to operate better and more efficiently. To bring this vision to life, we’ve taken a fresh approach to investing that is informed by extensive research, powered by machine learning, and amplified by the unique experience across a hard-working and close knit team. Today we’re excited to announce that we’re expanding our investing team with the addition of industry veteran Sheila Vashee, whose extensive experience leading growth and go-to-market teams at Opendoor and Dropbox will help us achieve our mission faster.
Sheila and I got to know each other over 7 years ago at Dropbox, when marketing had 2 people (she was the second person). She launched every major product at Dropbox, including Dropbox Business, helped scale the user base by 12x to 600 million, and grew revenue to over $1B. When Sheila left Dropbox, everyone wore a t-shirt with her face on it to celebrate the impact she had had on the company. After Dropbox, she oversaw growth at Opendoor across the buyer and seller marketplace, taking the company from 4 to 21 markets and overseeing all go to market teams. Before that, she spent time at Apple and Gap Inc, and started her career as an investment banker in Morgan Stanley’s tech group. She will bring deep industry growth and operations expertise to current and prospective companies in the BSV portfolio.
Our current team members are experts in understanding technical startups and have unique insights into human psychology. We’ve built critical infrastructure for the fund in the past few years that amplifies our own networks, allowing us to be better investors and partners through broader coverage, deeper insight into founders, and better timed outreach. As a follow-up to the founder psychology research we published last year, we built an internal workflow tool that automates the data collection process, allowing us to collect specific attributes of founder psychology at scale (e.g. agility, grit, execution), in addition to typical demographic profiles. This gives us a unique lens into the most critical aspects of what makes a great founder while reducing biases. We’re also able to provide more valuable help to founders by automating many of the common requests (recruiting, introductions, and comp benchmarking) so we can spend time on the more strategic help, such as strategy, fundraising, and scaling.
We’re often the first institutional investor in seed stage companies with just a few people and a technical product, and we’re proud to partner with them to build the future of work. As many of our early portfolio companies mature to the hypergrowth stage, they are repeatedly asking us for help as they scale, from how to do efficient customer acquisition to growth strategy to hiring. The addition of Sheila Vashee to the team will bring a necessary skill-set across these dimensions, complementing the strengths of our existing team. But while we are announcing Sheila today, in reality she started working with BSV years ago by helping us build our founder and operator communities. Her background makes her a magnet for strong founders and senior executives at fast-growing tech companies, and she is codifying these learnings into helpful lessons to founders. Learn more by signing up for her new podcast called, “Hypergrowth: the early years,” which examines the path to growth of the most successful tech companies through interviews with the earliest employees.
In everything we do, we at BSV bring a fresh perspective to investing — one that reflects the companies we fund and the customers that they ultimately serve. We amplify our sourcing and decision making through machine intelligence, allowing us to better connect with founders and move faster and smarter. We are research driven, using quantitative and qualitative insights to drive our perspectives and inform our thinking. We are female-founded with a wide variety of backgrounds on the team — ready to step in and support any need of our portfolio. Some of us are also parents who balance kids with a very strong work ethic (and are no strangers to hard work). We believe the next few years present an unprecedented opportunity to build the future of work, and we’re honored to be a part of it.