We visited Death Valley in late October to break up a trip to UT and are really glad we went there. It is a unique combination of very low desert surrounded by high mountains with 11K ft peaks. One of the really nice surprises was it is very low key compared to other national parks. Very few people anywhere we went, roads were empty, no buses, easy parking and finding camp spots was easy. DV shines at sunrise and sunset as the light gets really interesting with long shadows. It is also much cooler at this time of day than…


We have a 4x4 Sprinter van for adventure travel. We are asked about it daily; at trail heads, beach parking, campgrounds and gas stops. It seems many have “always wanted a van”. This interest has increased with COVID as road trips have become more desirable. Below are some observations about owning and designing a van based on our experience and build. This input is specific to vans for adventure travel and gear hauling; not for full time van-life. Importantly, everyone has their own use case so you want to design for what your needs are.

Van Life and is it…


We are thrilled to announce that Doug Pepper (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dougpepper) has joined our partnership as Managing Director at Shasta Ventures. Doug is a great fit with us culturally, brings a wealth of experience in software investing and shares our deep commitment to entrepreneurs.

We have a tight partnership at Shasta so we were very careful about adding another person to our group. After ten years together, we wanted to continue to build our software practice and bring new energy to the firm. We were looking for a partner with a unique combination of software expertise and a fit with our team…


There is a lot of coverage of the companies that have reached valuations of over a billion dollars. Many of these companies were not always fast growing businesses.

At Shasta Ventures, we focus on investing at the early stage, so we studied 32 high value consumer companies to see what they looked like around their Series A. Our research included 25 billion dollar companies (as measured by $1 billion+ last round valuations, acquisition prices, or public market caps) and 7 high-flying private companies with billion dollar potential.

Tod Francis

Love to adventure; kite surfing, ski touring, mountain biking, and backpacking.

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