Shawn Carolan

Shawn Carolan

Shawn focuses on IT investments in the consumer sector. His current and past investments include Roku, Uber, IMVU, Siri, and JUMP Bikes, among others.

Palo Alto, California, United States
Accredited investor
Member since January 26, 2018
Managing Director and Partner at Menlo Ventures. Founder and former CEO of Handle. Engineer. Athlete. Motorcyclist. Snowboarder. Dad. Quote_down
  • About
Investments made Siri, Uber, IMVU, TeleNav, YuMe, Playspan, Roku
Stanford University , MBA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , MS , Electrical Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , BS , Electrical Engineering

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Full bio

Shawn brings over 15 years of investing expertise to Menlo Ventures, focusing on IT investments in the consumer sector—with particular interest in major technological shifts that improve daily lives. Examples include current investments in Roku and Uber, as well as Siri, which sold to Apple in 2013.

Shawn received his BS and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he graduated with highest honors, but was continually pulled into the field of computer science. His interests in programming led to the Chicago startup scene with Open Port Technology. As a manager of software architecture at Open Port, Shawn wrote wire protocols in C++ in the days before JSON and obtained his first patent. He left to attend Stanford GSB, with initial plans to become a business-savvy CTO. A summer stint at Booz Allen taught him to think big, but underscored his need to be on the cutting-edge of tech. He joined Menlo upon graduating with his MBA in 2002.

He’s learned countless left-brain lessons as a VC, software and electrical engineer, product manager, management consultant, and CEO, but none so impactful as the right-brain ones as a husband, father, and struggling founder as the former CEO of Handle, the world’s first (and only) priority engine. He believes in candor, empathy, and the Lean Startup principles born at IMVU, where he has served as a director since 2005. For fun, Shawn enjoys hiking with his family, running with his wife, Jennifer (founder of Reach Capital), snowboarding, and motorcycling.