Requests for Startups: Rebecca Kaden (Maveron)

Rebecca joined Maveron in 2011, back when she was earning her MBA at Stanford, studying leadership and entrepreneurship. She joined full-time when she graduated the following year.

In her collaborative role at Maveron, Rebecca identifies emerging consumer-focused entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, Southern California, and her hometown of New York City. She also plays a leading role in Maveron’s seed program. She’s a Board Observer at Aria, August, Darby Smart, Dolls Kill and General Assembly.

What startup verticals interest you most right now?

  • Consumer financial services — there’s never been a better time to intercept an old school, opaque market and build a new generation of trusted brands. Great entrepreneurs are leveraging technology to bring increased distribution, better pricing, standout service, and personalization to an arena that has long been without, where trust has been lost, and are structurally disadvantaged to make big, monumental changes to the way they do business. In doing so, they are bringing much needed financial products to new markets and leveraging a mobile economy in new ways.
  • Consumer health — Awareness is at a height, responsibility for our health and healthcare is on the rise, and data is being collected like never before. Now we need to see what amazing entrepreneurs can do with that data to turn around how we live healthier lives and determine our choices around care and services.
  • Careers and career services — what it means to have a career is rapidly changing, moving away from long time veterans at institutional companies to the gig economy and shorter cycles. What products and services are out there to help upcoming and recent grads navigate this landscape and thrive inside of it?

What are your biggest predictions for the year ahead?

  • We’re going to begin to see cracks emerge in the current funding environment. Valuations will start to become more grounded on data and up-rounds will be harder to raise on promise rather than measurable results. This bubble may not pop with a bang but I think, in the course of the next year, we’ll start to see some of the air release.
  • I think we’ll start to see some more significant ecommerce exits that lay the groundwork for how online-first transactional brands will be valued and benchmarked against in the future.

Are there any specific company ideas that you really want someone to build and would potentially fund?

  • I’ve been waiting for someone to use technology to re-do pricing, access, and branding around travel insurance. It’s an old broken product with an old broken model that everyone passes by when booking travel. But we’re all moving around more and with increased need for flexibility — where’s the model that allows for that?
  • Financial services products for the US underbanked that harness technology to offer better, more accurate pricing and pair it with a brand that can build trust and will resonate.
  • Consumer services that customers will find enough value to pay for that lead to better health — preventative not reactive care.

If you could wave a magic wand and instantly have any imaginable solution to a problem you’re facing (personally or at work), what problem would you solve?

Teleportation. Definitely.

If you have a startup or you’re interested in any of Maveron’s portfolio companies, feel free to email us directly and we will send Rebecca your note.

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