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Stephanie Zhan

  • Seed/Early
“Startups are hard. At the highs I'm not just your cheerleader but your sparring partner, at the lows your co-pilot. We're in this together, building for the long term to become a generational company.”

I grew up in Hong Kong and Beijing, in the early days of the internet: Baidu, Weibo, Wechat, JD and Alibaba. Technology elevated the lives of a billion people through two decades of transformative socioeconomic change. That scale of ambition, energy, hard work, appetite for change—all of it has shaped me deeply. It’s made me believe that anything is possible. It’s made me a more flexible and creative thinker, and a forever optimist. I root for the daring to build the impossible, and we’ll work to make your wildest ambitions a reality together.

I worked at Nest in the early days before its acquisition by Google. I’ve also seen first hand through my husband who co-founded Ethos, in the Sequoia portfolio, what it’s like to build and scale a high growth startup. I have deep empathy for founders and the imperfect reality that defines the startup journey.

Experiencing the inside of the journey shapes how I partner with the founders I work with, as a partner from day one: helping you find product market fit, hire your first few team members, build a leadership team and scale an organization over time. My goal is to help founders avoid making mistakes others have learned the hard way, and to share the practical, operational advice to build a business that is meaningful and enduring over time.

Most important is working with good people I want to spend time with for decades. Founders who have ambition to build something lasting and transformational. Founders who are thoughtful, gritty, and have the mental and emotional fortitude to charge ahead and lead even through tough times.

In consumer, I love products that bring joy, convenience, accessibility, community and belonging. I’m on the board of Rec Room, which is building a digital third place for kids. I played Neopets as a kid; this is similar but cross platform, deeply social, and massively multiplayer. Today they are a top ranking game across VR, Xbox, PlayStation, iOS and Android, and a go-to metaverse for kids. We led the Seed and multiple rounds since.

On the enterprise side, it’s an incredible field of opportunity right now. I love products that focus on bringing a delightful user experience, easier and faster collaboration, greater productivity and efficiency. Linear, which I’m also on the board of, is exactly that. We led the Seed and Series A. It’s become one of the most loved developer products for startups and high growth companies alike, with an incredible community of developer love. It’s magical.

And finally, I love that crypto empowers everyone and democratizes access and ownership. One of the companies I work with is Brud, which recently got acquired by Dapper Labs to help build more infrastructure and tooling for DAOs. There is so much to be built in this space: infrastructure, consumer web3 applications, basic software for web3 companies. We are still in the early innings, and I can’t wait to help create this future.

Get in touch with Stephanie

Ares the Rhodesian Ridgeback / Hikes / Cooking / Rose gardening

Press & Media

Current Companies

  • Domino Data Lab helps data scientists build and deploy AI applications.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Bryan Schreier,
      Stephanie Zhan
    Partnered In

    2016

  • Linear builds issue tracking tools for developers.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partner
      Stephanie Zhan
    Partnered In

    2019

  • Middesk makes software that builds trust between businesses.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partner
      Stephanie Zhan
    Partnered In

    2019

  • Multis builds corporate cards and accounting software for web3 organizations.
    Current Stage

    Seed

    Partner
      Stephanie Zhan
    Partnered In

    2021

  • Rec Room is a cross platform digital third place for kids at heart.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Stephanie Zhan,
      Andrew Reed
    Partnered In

    2016

  • Sunday is a one-stop shop for your outdoor home.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Stephanie Zhan
    Partnered In

    2020