Angel investing.

I'm an angel investor with a startup operator's background. I was part of Airbnb's first engineering manager cohort and helped scale the company from 30 to 2,000.

I think founders and founding employees are the craziest and most interesting people in the world, and I love getting to know them and helping them reason through their next steps.

What's interesting to me.

I invest in companies at their earliest stages — pre-seed, seed, and Series A rounds. I make direct investments and also sometimes invest as an LP with the AirAngels syndicate. I'm also an alumnus of the First Round Angel Track community.

Right now, I'm particularly fascinated by:

  • New applications of AI to real-world problems.
  • Enterprise SaaS, including but not limited to infrastructure and dev tooling startups.
  • Marketplaces.
  • Climate tech startups.
  • Consumer apps defining themselves in a competitive marketplace through a 10x better user experience, driven by a contrarian insight.

And, above all: founder quality — I love working with ambitious people, with a unique point of view, who love making new things in the world.

DM me or contact me at: r 💌 raphlee 👁️ com

How I can help.

I've done a bit of everything in product functions and managed product managers, data scientists, and designers and user researchers. But my home base is in software engineering and engineering leadership.

Being a strong engineer and being a good leader are orthogonal skillsets. I help engineering founders take their seat as company leaders. I've been the direct beneficiary of amazing mentorship from leaders at Airbnb, Patreon, and WeWork. Helping leaders grow is one of the most fulfilling things I do.

For any team, I can help you find, interview, and recruit your early team members, especially for software engineering, product management, and design roles.

I can help you find product-market fit faster. From a product design and user experience point of view, I'll help you isolate most important pain point that makes your product indispensable. I'll give unsparing feedback on your product and help you ruthlessly define your product and engineering roadmaps. And, from an design point of view, I'll help you elevate the quality of your product to something you'll be proud of every time you ship.

Selected investments.

A sampling:

  • Recoolit. High-quality carbon credits through transparent and auditable refrigerant disposal. Refrigerants are thousands of times worse than CO2 at trapping heat.
  • Transform Data. Metrics-based BI solution founded by data infrastructure vets from Airbnb. Acquired by DBT Labs in 2023.
  • Maad. Tech-driven distribution and logistics for Francophone Africa. Founded by a star Airbnb engineer.
  • Pachama. High-quality carbon credits from rainforest conservation. Avoids "phantom credit" issues plaguing other avoided-deforestation projects.
  • ResortPass. Marketplace for pool, spa, and amenity access at hotels — an underutilized supply during the day.
  • Future. Personalized training by humans, enabled by Apple Watches and analytics.
  • Berbix. Instant ID verification, founded by veteran Trust and Safety experts.
  • Prezent. Canva for presentations. Lowers the barrier to efficient communicating, alignment, and decisions.