Divergent Capital is a first-check venture fund investing in cutting-edge technologies and scientific innovations at the brink of commercialization. The fund was founded by Lucy Wang and Katie Shea, two experienced fund managers. A trained machine learning scientist, Lucy is an active operator and COO of Rendered AI, a synthetic data startup where she leads product and customer engagement. a trained machine learning scientist, Lucy led deep tech investing at 11.2 Capital and Greycroft. In college, Katie founded a manufacturing company which she bootstrapped to millions of dollars in annual revenue and profitability before selling it in 2013. After that, she was the first marketing hire at OrderGroove, leading growth and marketing through a Series B. She then started and ran a successful fractional CMO agency before joining Kairos & K50 Ventures as a general partner four years ago.
Divergent focuses on pre-seed startups taking deeply technical and scientific innovations to market with unique insights on commercialization. This allows the fund to capture value in sectors and geographies many investors shy away from. Lucy and Katie are unapologetic first-check investors who look to lead investments with high conviction. This leads them to establish early and deep relationships with founders, using their backgrounds to help companies think through launching and scaling. Divergent focuses on innovative technologies—like ML/AI, advanced manufacturing and materials, robotics, AR/VR, and synthetic biology—that solve problems in industries like healthcare and wellness, manufacturing and logistics, consumer products and commerce, sustainability, and education. The pair take a hands-on approach with their founders post-investment and work closely with their portfolio companies, with Lucy helping founders think through tech and product issues and Katie focusing on growth and commercialization. With deep relationships in the venture community, they also help connect founders outside of the venture ecosystem with follow-on investors.
Why we invested
Lucy and Katie are great examples of why we’re excited about the next generation of leaders in venture. Ambitious, resourceful, and highly networked, the duo have carved out a focused investing thesis leveraging Lucy’s technical background and Katie’s experience commercializing and scaling startups. The two of them bring nearly a decade of prior investing experience to the table, which gives us confidence in their ability to manage a fund and all that comes with it. With additional firepower in the form of a new fund and an attractive, focused mandate, we believe Divergent Capital will be a strong force in venture for years to come.