Will Reed

General Partner, Growth

Will Reed isn’t afraid to challenge tradition and forge his own path—both in venture and life. Growing up an avid gamer and athlete, he developed a sense of healthy competition that has followed him throughout his career. Will cut his teeth in Merrill Lynch’s high-yield credit division, executing financings for companies in sectors spanning software, oil and gas, financial services, and pharmaceuticals. He later joined Welsh Carson as an investor, where he was part of the founding team of a healthcare services roll-up backed by the firm.

This diverse background crystalized Will’s view that company-building and investing require a first-principles approach that runs counter to the pattern-matching perspective so prevalent in Silicon Valley. As a general partner at Spark, Will’s investing philosophy leads him to support ambitious, often first-time founders taking big swings at large markets—irrespective of sector. “These founders tend to have absolute conviction in how the world ought to work,” he says. “And, like me, they thrive on the process of figuring out the right answer versus doing things the way they’ve always been done.”

Will establishes long-lasting relationships with every entrepreneur he backs. He strives to be the “first call” founders make when they’re up against the challenges of building companies that match the scale of their ambitions. “More than anything, these partnerships are often a decade long,” he says. “I seek to be someone founders enjoy the journey with.”

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Will was a Discord user before he was a Discord investor.

Growing up with an identical twin brother prepared Will for a life of constant competition—from childhood games to playing football together in college. Today, Will and his brother are both VCs and their competition lives on.

“A decade ago, many investors would’ve said it’s impossible to build a public software company selling APIs to developers. Today, it’s commonplace. To compete, you have to see the present clearly and constantly question your beliefs as facts change.”

Will has backed first-time founders including Saji at Benchling, Ed and Kevin at Catalyst, Garrett at Handshake, Anant at Instabase, Alex at Scale, and Lucas at Smartrent.

Will invested in Benchling, which is rapidly making a dent in the biopharma market by powering the R&D infrastructure for more than 170,000 scientists. “As the world increasingly runs on biotech, biotech will run on Benchling.”

A bonus of working with Will is that you get to work with River Reed, too.