Tod Francis

Tod Francis

Tod Francis is with Shasta Ventures. He focuses his investing activity on early stage companies that leverage technology to improve consumer experiences.

Menlo Park, California, United States
Accredited investor
Member since January 04, 2011
  • About
Investor interests
Categories of interest
Credentials Accredited Investor, Qualified Purchaser
1981 Northwestern University , BA
1983 Northwestern U Kellogg School , MBA

I am a(n):


If you're an entrepreneur or corporate innovator, why?

It is exhilarating to create something

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Frustrating - the process of fundraising
Rewarding - having a vision and pursuing against conventional wisdom, creating from blank slate, hiring a team, seeing progress, the feeling of accomplishment

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs/innovators make?

Not evolving fast enough. Few companies end up what they set out to be. The successful ones see trends and make iterations to a better business. The other big issue is losing track of the customer needs. Your customer experience will determine the potential of the company.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

1) Customer experience is key, 2) hire smart, decisive people who can evolve, 3) persistence - follow your passion/vision against conventional wisdom. There are many more, but you only asked for three.

Full bio

Tod Francis has 25 years of experience working with consumer driven companies. Since 2004, Tod has been a managing director at Shasta Ventures where his investment focus is technology-enabled consumer companies. Some of his investments at Shasta include Mint, Task Rabbit, MovieClips, Turn, Logoworks, Plastic Jungle, Pixazza, and companies still operating in stealth mode. Prior to co-founding Shasta Ventures, Tod was a general partner at Trinity Ventures for ten years where he was involved with companies such as Blue Nile, BabyCenter, FatBrain, LoopNet, NextCard, Wedding Channel, Jamba Juice and PF Chang’s.

Previously, Tod spent ten years in marketing and management positions including serving as a partner at Ram Group Marketing Management, and as a marketing manager at Johnson & Johnson on the Tylenol brand.

Tod earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Northwestern University.

About Shasta Ventures

Shasta Ventures is an early-stage venture firm focused on companies in the consumer Internet, mobile and software sectors. Shasta was formed to back brilliant entrepreneurs with an unwavering commitment to the customer experience. The firm is based in Menlo Park, California. For more information, go to, or follow us on Twitter at @shastavc.