Issac J Roth

Pre-COVID SaaS startup investing had evolved into something of a numbers game; especially post Series A at the expansion capital stage. In the oft-cited T2D3 formula, companies that tripled ARR in consecutive years then had doubled or were on track to double thrice in a row were set for greatness. Later stage investors could almost “color by numbers” and plug in these formulae to predict success.

The COVID economic season has reset everyone’s plans and changed what investors are looking for. As a small firm we have invested just under $1B in enterprise SaaS companies at the…

As we’ve shifted to a largely virtual world over the past few months, online presentations have taken the spotlight as conferences and in-person meetings have been put on hold. What does this mean for online content creators? How has the pandemic changed the role of presentations?

We recently sat down with President/COO, Jason Lapp, to discuss a wide range of topics, from how AI is making presentations more efficient (and beautiful) to how they’re adapting to common work from home challenges. President/COO, Jason Lapp

Tell us about Beautiful AI and what makes it unique compared to other presentation tools?

We’re solving a…

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5 Employee Training Lessons Learned in One Year

Highspot highlights how they develop and inspire their most prized assets — their employees. One year ago they launched the GROW program for new employees with perfect timing as they’ve seen their headcount triple since the program began. The result? More engaged employees and a 139% increase in the number of reps hitting their quota. So what are key takeaways from lessons learned? Their Revenue Enablement Manager, Jessica Boyd, offers insights.

Tonal teams up with six-time IRONMAN World…

We continue our Shasta Ignite series exploring how companies can manage through crises and economic downturns by bringing together two experienced perspectives: Ravi Mohan, Partner at Shasta and a 25 year venture investor through multiple downturns, and serial entrepreneur Sunny Gupta, who is currently the CEO of Apptio.

Sunny brings a unique perspective to the conversation through his experience of founding Apptio in November 2007. …

By Kenn So

Having built multiple financial models for Shasta, I am ‘open sourcing’ a templatized version for SaaS startups replanning in this environment and the advisors helping them.

The tricky part about building a model is finding the right balance between detail for accuracy, simplicity for agility, and flexibility for scalability. This model has worked for me across those criteria, with a couple of notes and caveats:

  • as a Series A-focused fund, this model is geared towards companies with early revenue and without distinct sales motions for different customer segments
  • the model fits a sales-led business with annual contracts

How can startups retain customers and plan for the future during these unprecedented times?

We brought together three experienced perspectives: Issac Roth, Partner at Shasta and creator of Red Hat OpenShift and StrongLoop, Ravi Mohan, Partner at Shasta and a 25 year venture investor through multiple downturns, and Michael Lock, Advisor at Shasta and co-founder of Google GSuite.

The webinar is a part of an ongoing series addressing challenges brought on by the severe demand shock that we’re facing.

In this session we focused on three key topics:

  • Managing customers and potentially higher churn rates
  • Predicting what churn is going…

By: Michael Lock, Shasta Ventures

I was a sales leader in 2001 when the bubble burst and when the planes hit the towers. I was a sales leader when Lehman Brothers failed and we questioned the very foundations of our banking and capitalist systems. However, this downturn is different. It’s more sudden, more shocking, more lethal. That having been said, I think there is much for sales leaders to learn from 2001 and 2008.

These are the seven most important lessons I learned from those downturns:

1. Customers first. Always.

My guess is that your forecast for gross retention and net retention was based on data for 2018 and 2019.

Times have changed.

You can’t…

How can startups navigate this unprecedented crisis?

During a recent virtual town hall, some of our most experienced partners and entrepreneurs shared their thoughts and lessons on leadership and resilience during challenging times, inspired by their own experiences maneuvering through 2001’s dot com bust and 2008’s Great Recession.

You can watch the recorded Zoom session here. Pro tip: you can watch id 1.5X or @x speed to save time. :-)

Managing Your Startup in Uncertain Times Town Hall Panelists

Here are some quick highlights:

Ravi Mohan, Managing Director at Shasta, started off the session optimistically by pointing out that in previous down turns including 2001 and 2008, the technology…


It’s a tough time, markets are changing. Some companies are growing, some are shrinking.

As former scrappy entrepreneurs ourselves, we decided to create an open community job board to connect those hiring and those seeking new roles. Pardon the potential “cold start” here as we are doing this in real-time, but please post and bookmark the page. We hope to help bridge connections ASAP.

If you’re hiring, look here

Affected by the layoffs? Join here

Having been involved in many of these types of adjustments in our own portfolio, we can say that it’s not that companies just “kept the good people.” Entire strategies have changed, entire departments or efforts have…

By: Issac J Roth, Partner, Shasta Ventures

I still vividly remember the scene in early November 2008: I was raising money for Makara (which became Red Hat OpenShift.) I arrived 10 minutes early at the office of a well known VC on Sand Hill Road where I was scheduled for a first meeting and… I found all six partners plus various other staff waiting for me in the lobby! I was elated — I only had an appointment with one partner.

Then I realized they were all glued to the TV in the lobby watching CNN for that day’s market…

Shasta Ventures

At Shasta, we elevate early stage enterprise SaaS companies. For 15 years we’ve helped over 30 startups go public or get acquired by providing the capital and e

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