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  • Originals
  • 19 January 2021
  • 2 min read
  • Words: Northzone

Meet our first New York partner, Wendy Xiao Schadeck, and other news from us

Northzone is excited to announce the promotion of our newest Partner Wendy Xiao Schadeck. Since joining us in 2015, Wendy has been instrumental in building our presence in New York and she played a pivotal role in shaping Northzone’s investment thesis in consumer, health, developer and web 3.0 infrastructure. She led our investments in Spring Health, 3box, OpenZeppelin, Livepeer, Magic.link, and a yet-to-be-announced home services company.

For our General Partner Pär-Jörgen Pärson, “Wendy has already proven herself through very insightful sector-driven thought leadership and has solidified our position in the New York ecosystem. She has defined and redefined an honest, authentic and inspiring dialogue between herself as an investor and the entrepreneurs she supports.”

Wendy is a driving force behind our health, retail and new web infrastructure bets. What I really find impressive is her ability to tune out the investor community herd and make decisions based on sharp research, with a unique approach to understand founders’ motivations.
Michiel Kotting
General Partner, Northzone

Wendy approaches investing by studying technology sectors through the lens of people and behaviour change. She’s not afraid to dive into obscure Reddit threads on crypto governance or niche Instagram and TikTok posts on ASMR and cooking to uncover emerging patterns. When she first joined Northzone, Wendy was immediately drawn to the talent and behaviours around Web 3.0 protocols in both New York and Europe, and started connecting the dots around broader web development trends, forming hypotheses for how the web will evolve built on open finance, data, and community rails.

Simultaneously, she has been obsessively studying human behaviour around buying, content consumption, and business formation across the U.S. and Europe to understand the impact these tech enablers can have in decentralising creativity, power, and monetisation across a new set of market participants.

Describing her board roles, Wendy comments: “The most fulfilling part of my job is to partner with incredible founders, defining the future and taking the world along with them. I aim to be a true partner in every way that I can, always putting the founder’s journey ahead of my own, because mine is based on a culmination of all of theirs.”

The founders with whom Wendy works agree: April Koh, CEO and Founder of portfolio company Spring Health, a data-driven mental healthcare solution that just raised their $76M Series B, shares: “Wendy is an exceptionally thoughtful and effective venture capitalist. I have been impressed with her ability to innovate and modify her approach to become more additive to her portfolio companies.”

Doug Petkanics, the Founder and CEO of Livepeer, a video streaming company built on Web 3.0 protocols, adds how she is a “great thought partner in the strategic areas of the business that matter, well beyond just financing, as well as leading initiatives within the community.”

“What makes me ecstatic about working with Wendy is not only that I feel energised every time we chat, from the big vision conversations to everyday operations and personal philosophies, but also most importantly, that she is incredibly supportive, passionate, authentic. She’s a great friend,” comments Sean Li, Founder and CEO of Magic Link, who just raised their seed round.

A new paradigm, with multi-local hubs

2020 was a challenging year for society, although Venture Capital has seen significant tailwind due to rapid digitalisation. In its 25 years of existence, Northzone has experienced its fair share of industry-shaking events and upheaval: the 1997 Asia crisis, the dot-com collapse, the financial crisis of 2007–08. The pandemic is another bump in the road, and we’ve actually added six new unicorns since the pandemic started: Kahoot!, Hopin, Tier, Fubo, Personio and Trustpilot. To be sure, the world is facing a legion of challenges, but resourceful entrepreneurs are finding ways to rise above them.

Northzone’s distributed partnership structure has proven particularly effective as geography has become less relevant. As a result, founders from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and regions have continued to rely on us over the years. Our Partners are based across London, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and New York — all entrepreneurial hubs — helping us tap into a wide range of opportunities across these markets.

“When I look at the talent distributed across the New York and European ecosystems, I am incredibly excited. They borrow the best from each geography, including the West Coast, to reach a crucial blend of ambitious, risk-loving reality distortion, receptive humility and sensitivity to customer needs, and sustained executional rigour. Not to mention, the ecosystems are constantly expanding, as demonstrated by established billion-dollar startups which fuel the rise of new giants like Fubo, Klarna and Kahoot! from our portfolio,” shares Wendy.

We are also very pleased to announce the promotion of Markus Gleim and Deepka Rana to Investment Managers. Deepka specialises in consumer internet, B2B SaaS, and product-led companies. Markus focuses on partnering with companies across enterprise, infrastructure, and developers as well as healthcare. Please join us in congratulating them, we are at first name (at) northzone (dot) com.

With a strengthened team and a platform that continues to support entrepreneurs across markets and industries, we’re ready for 2021 — whatever challenges, opportunities, lessons, and successes lie ahead.