Sapna Shah, Principal
Through Red Giraffe, I make preseed and seed investments in startups in the future of the retail and consumer, which includes B2B retail/fashion tech, marketplaces (B2B and B2C), ecommerce, consumer brands and consumer tech. I focus on startups that have female and/or underrepresented founders, and I invest only in US-based companies.
To get in touch, or to submit a pitch deck, please send an email to email@example.com. Please don’t reach out on LinkedIn, as I check it much less often.
Sapna Shah is an angel investor, retail expert and three-time entrepreneur. Through Red Giraffe, she make investments in startups in the future of the retail and consumer. She has a particular focus on startups that have female and/or underrepresented founders, and invests only in US-based companies. Select investments include: Young King Hair Care, Break the Love, Realworld, Silk + Sonder, Findmine, Stantt, Monica + Andy, Iterate.ai and The Renatural.
Sapna is also the founder of Retail X Series, an ecosystem for retail startups in New York and around the US, featuring events/webinars, a podcast, Slack community and resources for early stage founders who are revolutionizing the future of retail. Retail X helps founders by providing content with experts given tactical advice on topics ranging from customer acquisition to financial modeling to early stage fundraising, targeted specifically to preseed and seed stage founders.
Sapna is an advisor member of The North, a platform that allows founders to book advisory and feedback sessions with experts. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the NY Tech Alliance. She has previously served on the Board of Directors of New York Angels, one of the most active angel groups in the world.
Prior to Red Giraffe Advisors, Sapna co-founded and led Retail Eye Partners, a successful independent Wall Street equity research firm for eight years. At Retail Eye, Sapna assessed the monthly and quarterly performance of major retailers in the specialty, big box and department store sectors through intensive channel checks and analysis. Simultaneously, in 2012, Sapna co-founded a menswear e-commerce retailer, Mind the Chap, and led the Marketing and Web Development areas of the company. She also has over eight years of experience working for retailers in the specialty apparel and home furnishings sectors. Prior to the founding of Retail Eye Partners, Sapna was Executive Director of Strategy and Customer Insight at Linens ‘n Things, Inc. In this capacity, she was responsible for customer targeting and segmentation, market and consumer research, corporate strategic planning, new business rollouts and competitive benchmarking. Prior to Linens ‘n Things, Sapna was Director of Strategic Planning & New Business Development at Ann Taylor, where she worked on launching Ann Taylor’s e-commerce site, developing a color cosmetics line, visioning the store of the future and improving store operations. Sapna also has experience at Gap, Inc. Previous to her career in retail, Sapna worked in investment banking at Punk, Ziegel & Knoell and at Morgan Stanley as a credit analyst.
Sapna received her B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School as well as a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
Startup Board Roles
Board Observer of Stantt (2017-present)
Advisory Board Member of TresseNoire (2017-2020)
Advisory Board Member of VisuWall (2018-present)
Advisory Board Member of Findmine (2015-present)
Board Member of Modalyst (2015-2019)
Board of Directors – NY Tech Alliance (2019-present)
Board of Directors – New York Angels (2016-2017)
Board of Directors – Women’s Forum of New York (2022-present)
Entrepreneurial Sounding Board Practitioner – Columbia Business School (2014-2016)
Panelist – Greenhouse Program/Lang Fund Selection Panel at Columbia Business School (2017-present)
Entrepreneur in Residence – The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (2015)
Judge – Penn Wharton Startup Challenge (2015-present)
Coach and Judge – NYU Stern $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge (2014-present)
Judge – Women Startup Challenge (2016)
Mentor – NY Fashion Tech Lab (2019-present)
Mentor – Monarq Incubator (2017-2018)
Mentor – Grand Central Tech (2017-2018)
Mentor – Ember Lab (2015-present)
Mentor, Seed Stage Advisor – XRC Labs (2015-2017)
Mentor – Friends of eBay (2017-2018)