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Shana Fisher joins Andreessen Horowitz as board member

Fisher was an early investor in startups like Pinterest, MakerBot, Refinery29, Knewton, and Stripe

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
November 20, 2013
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/335d

The venture capital world is full of legendary investors and tales of hits and misses, but one venture capitalist, Shana Fisher, tends to keep a low profile despite the fact that she’s renowned for her investing prowess. Ben Horowitz announced Wednesday that Fisher has been brought on board as Andreessen Horowitz’s newest board member. 

“She is our kind of investor—one who combines the street smarts of how to build companies with the book smarts of how to invest in them,” wrote Horowitz, in a blog post.

Fisher was an early investor in such high-profile companies as Pinterest (Fisher was an angel investor), 3D printing startup MakerBot, short-form video app Vine, fashion startup Refinery29, adaptive learning platform Knewton, and payments service Stripe, among others.

MakerBot has since been acquired for $400 million, Pinterest has been valued at $3.8 billion, and Vine was acquired by Twitter for $30 million.

But details on Shana Fisher The Person are pretty scarce, as Fisher tends to avoid interviews. While she has 1,180 followers on Twitter, she’s only sent all of 48 tweets—the last one in March of this year.

Fisher got her start as a program manager at Microsoft. From there, she went on to become the VP of Technology and Media M&A at Allen & Company, which was an underwriter for the Google IPO as well as, more recently, the Twitter IPO. She later went on to lead strategic planning and mergers at IAC. She helped IAC acquire AskJeeves.com (now known as Ask.com) for some $2 billion in 2005.

After putting in her time with the big boys and quietly investing on the sidelines, Shana Fisher started her own early stage investment firm, High Line Venture Partners, in New York City. High Line has invested in startups like Aereo, Fashism, Foodspotting (which was recently acquired by OpenTable for $10 million), and more.

Fisher is a graduate of Hampshire College, where she was a triple major (I didn’t even know you could do that) in Sculpture, Philosophy, and Linguistics. She also studied under NYU’s ITP program.

When Ben Horowitz asked Fisher what made her so good at spotting successful companies so early in their life cycle, Fisher rejected the idea that she just has a better evaluating sense than other people do.

“When entrepreneurs come to me, they come with an idea and a product. No team, no traction. So, I evaluate the entrepreneur and the product. I’d like to think that I have a strong grasp of human psychology. I really try to understand what great entrepreneurs have in them, and I look for the ones who have it, and then I do what I can to help them realize their greatness.”

 


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