Kevin Thau

General Partner, Early

Over two decades, Kevin worked for visionary founders, launched products that people love, and saw two companies go public. While attending the University of California-Santa Barbara, Kevin met a young entrepreneur named John Macfarlane, who had a vision for the future of messaging and mobile. Kevin quickly joined John at (later called Openwave) as the seventh employee, and over the next eight years, he helped launch the first mobile messaging services and browsers on more than a billion phones. After Openwave, John founded the speaker company Sonos.

In 2008 lightning struck again when Kevin met Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone. He joined Twitter when the company was just a dozen people to run the mobile product teams and later led business and corporate development. In 2015, he joined Spark as a general partner.

Drawing on his working experience and the types of founders he’s worked for, Kevin gravitates towards companies that create new consumer experiences. “I love working with people who care about building a brand,” he says. “I know that is a loaded term, but my favorite entrepreneurs are the ones who appreciate design, obsess over details, and are incredible storytellers.”

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After Openwave, John would go on to start Sonos, the wireless speaker company.

At Openwave, Kevin worked closely with Thomas Reardon. Things came full circle when Reardon started Ctrl Labs in 2017, and Kevin became his first investor. In 2019, Ctrl Labs sold to Facebook.

During his six years at Twitter, Kevin saw the service evolve from a social networking toy to changing the future of media.

“To me, there’s a simple formula for venture capital: be curious, hustle, be a good human, and invest in great companies. If you invest in great companies, you’ll get to invest in more great companies. There’s no other secret.”

Kevin knew he had to invest in Mirror after the first time he tried the product. “I remember running out of the pitch meeting to catch Brynn before she got on the elevator. I couldn’t let her leave without making an offer.”