“Taste experience to the utmost; reach out eagerly and without fear for the new”
Renata believes in leveraging technology to improve the quality of life for all people. She invests in ambitious startups that aim to help us to not only live longer, but live well. Specifically, she is looking to partner with founding teams that are transforming the future of humanity through health, food, happiness, cognition, creative computing and longevity. Renata has led our investments in Common Networks, Brainiac, Novel Effect and RDMD.
Prior to joining Lux Capital in early 2017, Renata was a partner at Felicis Ventures, where she worked with startups that define new realities, markets and/or business models. Among them: Planet (satellites), Cruise Automation (acquired by GM), Dollar Shave Club (acquired by Unilever), Bonobos, MetroMile, Swift Navigation (autonomous vehicles), Survios (VR) and Rigetti (quantum computing).
Before becoming a venture capitalist, Renata was an investment manager at Stanford University’s endowment, which invests in dozens of private equity and venture capital funds.
She was born and raised in Brazil by a neuroscientist mother and entrepreneur father. Renata earned a law degree from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; and earned LLM and MBA degrees from Stanford University.
What is the most exciting innovation of the past decade?
Until recently, the human body was constrained by biology. CRISPR and other gene editing advancements are beginning to allow us to bypass our previous physical limitations. When machines become truly autonomous and intelligent, we will have even more leverage. Technology is going to fundamentally change the way we live our lives, including how we look, act and create. What it means to be “human” is changing.
Which person do you think had the greatest impact on humanity?
What was it like growing up in Rio?
In Brazil the economy is challenging and everything is constantly changing — yet everyone is laid back and friendly and has a deep sense of community. You learn the importance of resilience and flexibility, as well as optimism and a positive outlook. There is a lot of emphasis on experiencing happiness, pleasure and joy.
What do you think most people get wrong about technology?
The tech industry boasts about its ability to disrupt everything, including industries, complex systems and processes. Many scientists and engineers build things because they can, without asking whether they should, or what will be the long-term effects. We need to ask the tough questions ahead of time, discuss them openly, and preemptively address potential impacts. Often we find that unintended consequences come down to a lack of diversity in experience, perspectives and values. The combination of IQ and EQ is becoming more critical.
Emigrated to the U.S. from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2004
Plays guitar; mixes and produces music in her mini, in-home recording studio
Black Belt in Karate — three-time teen champion in her home state in Brazil
“Taste experience to the utmost; reach out eagerly and without fear for the new” (paraphrasing Eleanor Roosevelt)