Cat Lee Joins Maveron’s Investment Team as Partner
A letter from our co-founder, Dan Levitan
The saying, “you’re only as good as the company you keep” is a refrain I think about a lot. I’m incredibly proud of the team we’re building at Maveron and the founders we back. They are an exceptional group of people — both in their potential to create extraordinary things and as people who lead with heart — so adding a new Maveron team member is always a big decision. The alchemy of our team is something special. My mentor, Coach K, asked me years ago, “Do you love your team?” and that question has become one of my guiding principles in building our firm.
Today, I am excited to share the news that Cat Lee is Maveron’s newest Partner.
Cat’s early days in engineering at Lockheed Martin, followed by her experience from 2007–2011 at Google and Facebook, followed by her six-year tenure at Pinterest where she started as Head of Product Growth and grew into Head of Culture, gives her a unique perspective on how dynamic, thriving companies operate and has enhanced her ability to envision where consumer technology is heading. Cat knows how to build products and we’re convinced this experience is a great foundation for investing in and helping build consumer brands.
Cat’s values are aligned with ours and completely focused on prioritizing the people we back and winning the right way. She is wicked smart, a life-long learner, funny, and kind. She has a great smile! You’ll hear more from Cat in the coming weeks about what she’s interested in and her perspective as a consumer-focused investor. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. I encourage you to read her post on Medium about joining the firm. She’s also on Twitter and Instagram.
Over Maveron’s history, we have always had a female partner. That shouldn’t be remarkable, but in our industry — and tech broadly — it’s quite rare and something I am very proud of. As consumer investors, we know that diversity of age, gender, ethnicity, and culture gives us an edge in understanding consumer trends and attracting the best founders. That said, diversity for diversity’s sake has never been our goal. Hiring is about finding the right person who makes us better. After a rigorous interview process, we are thankful for the referrals we received and the talented candidates we’ve met. Special thanks to Aileen Lee, at All Raise, for introducing us to Cat.
Our culture embraces diverse perspectives because we are, in all seriousness, looking to change the world. Building a team that is culturally diverse, values candor, and collectively pushes each of us to get better every day has always been my vision for Maveron. I’m confident we embody this vision today and we will continue to develop and add to the team in the future to keep raising the bar. One of our values is to be unapologetically non-normal, something we also seek in the founders we back. One example of how we do things differently? In 2018, 70% of the companies Maveron backed had a female CEO which is extraordinary in an industry where according to TechCrunch, in 2017 only 17% of startups had a female founder. Cat’s addition to the team, Anarghya Vardhana’s promotion to Partner, and hiring Natalie Dillon as Senior Associate last year makes our investment team 50% men and 50% women — also generally unheard of in our industry. This balance ensures that our investment opportunities are sourced from an array of networks and that our decision-making comes from having unique, complimentary voices around the investment team table — both now and in the years to come.
We’ve set big goals for 2019 and all of us — Anarghya, David, Natalie, Jason, Cat, Pete, Elise, and I — are excited to be off to a running start. You’ll find us in coffee shops and at startups in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and beyond meeting with founders of the next great consumer brands. Reach out if you have a big idea to change our lives for the better. Onward!