Shripriya Mahesh and Stephen Wemple

At its heart, Spero Ventures aims to catalyze economic opportunity. Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay and our single LP, has always believed in technology’s potential to do that. Seeing how the internet enabled transparency, choice, and community, he founded eBay to bring those elements to life, connecting sellers and buyers around the world.

Fast forward 25 years, and here we are — at another inflection point when technological innovation is unlocking new ways to connect sellers and buyers. Live video is an emerging force that taps into the cultural focus on authenticity, connection, and…


As many of you read, Spero Ventures co-founder Ha Nguyen is headed back to the operating world, where she’ll be the Chief Experience Officer of a startup she fell in love with. I get it — sometimes, operators have to operate. Ha will always be part of the Spero family and a dear friend.

Ha’s leaving means we have big shoes to fill. So, I’m excited to announce that we are recruiting for a Head of Network and Brand. This has always been a key role at Spero, and it continues to be of primary importance. …


Image Credits: Nana Home
Image Credits: Nana Home
Image Credit: Nana

Spero Ventures invests in Nana Technologies

By Shripriya Mahesh and Sara Eshelman

People are fundamentally good and capable. What they often lack is opportunity. At Spero, we’ve seen how platforms can unlock access to opportunity and provide agency — the way eBay transforms individual collectors into professional sellers, and Skillshare empowers anyone to teach a craft.

We’ve long been seeking a platform that provides the same access to opportunity within the blue-collar workforce. Skilled trades offer a path to predictable, high quality income. They’re not at risk of being automated away. They can’t be outsourced to the other side of the world. …


Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash. Icons added by me.

Twitter took a (somewhat) principled stand last week. They exhibited some understanding of the fact that product leadership extends beyond creating a product: it also entails product stewardship. By “product stewardship” I mean taking a stand on what people should and shouldn’t be able to do with your product.

Jony Ive put it well when he was interviewed about the iOS feature Screen Time: “If you’re creating something new, it is inevitable there will be consequences that were not foreseen,” he said. …


Our latest investment, Mati, aims to help Trust Economy companies scale faster through a frictionless, global identity verification solution.

“As a college freshman I realized I did not have sufficient identity to open a bank account. It’s like I didn’t exist. I was new to the US, having lived in Poland and the UK. I knew my experience was not unique and it became a point of obsession for me to standardize legally verified identity for everyone.”

— Filip Victor, Co-Founder and CEO of Mati

By Shripriya Mahesh and Sara Eshelman

Verified Identity — proof that I am who I say I am — forms a critical foundation for safe and trusted interactions throughout our global economy and society…


Product-led communities foster authentic connection and the pursuit of shared goals, which can be valuable to companies, as well as society.

Part 3 of 3: What do product-led communities look like? A sampling of case studies.
You may also want to read
Part 1: What is a product-led community and why is this happening?
Part 2: A breakdown of existing models; how companies are building product-led communities

By Shripriya Mahesh, Sara Eshelman, and Stephen Wemple

In our last piece, we talked about how product-led communities differ from other community types in the ways they are structured and monetized, as well as in the ways they deliver value to their members. …


Product-led communities foster authentic connection and the pursuit of shared goals, which can be valuable to companies, as well as society.

Part 2 of 3: A breakdown of existing models; how companies are building product-led communities.
You may also want to read Part 1: What is a product-led community and why is this happening?

By Shripriya Mahesh, Sara Eshelman, and Stephen Wemple

In our last piece, we talked about how a number of radical societal and economic shifts in the past two plus decades have led us to redefine where we seek community, as well as what we expect from the brands with which we interact. …


As society changes and we live more of our lives online, companies are discovering new ways to forge community. (Clockwise from top left: a church congregation singing; a virtual Peloton spinning class; a photo from the Tempest website; a group of players in Fortnite).

Product-led communities foster authentic connection and the pursuit of shared goals, which can be valuable to companies, as well as society.

Part 1 of 3: What is a product-led community and why is this happening?

By Shripriya Mahesh, Sara Eshelman, and Stephen Wemple

When I was growing up, my community was made up of the people I saw physically — at school, around my neighborhood or at a temple. …


Because Actions Speak Louder Than Job Titles

On a film set, every worker is hand-picked to be there. Usually, you get hand-picked because someone on that set knows your work. They recommend you because you are good at what you do and because you are a pleasure to work with.

The tech/startup world is not too different. As work evolves, I believe that more of the job market will shift toward this tour-of-duty model, in which people come together to solve a specific problem. Increasingly, the future of work will look much more like a film set.

To reflect this project-based work, we need a new kind…


Our Spero Ventures team (L to R): Marc Tarpenning, Sara Eshelman, Shripriya Mahesh, Ha Nguyen, Rob Veres

Tesla Co-Founder Marc Tarpenning joins Spero VC as Venture Partner

When we were forming Spero Ventures, we were sure about one thing: We wanted to invest in mission-driven founders driven to deliver value to shareholders and society. By building successful companies that scale and inspire, these founders upend the balance of power and change how we live and work. To help people understand our thesis, we used examples of companies that did this well: eBay, a marketplace that created new economic opportunity; and Tesla, a company that dramatically changed a legacy industry by offering a drool-worthy product that happened to be good for the planet.

And so it gives me…

Shripriya Mahesh

Founding Partner, Spero Ventures. Venture investing in the things that make life worth living. Product. Formerly @eBay. Filmmaker. shripriya.com/newsletter

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store