Featured Investors
May 31, 2023

Featured Investors | June 2023 - Natan Reddy of Ironspring Ventures

Isaac Snitkoff
EVCA Fellow

Natan Reddy is an Investor at Ironspring Ventures, where he sources, conducts diligence, and invests in digital industrial startups across supply chain, logistics, construction, and manufacturing. He also currently serves as EVCA’s Supply Chain Vertical Co-Lead. Prior to Ironspring, he led data-driven analysis and research on supply chain innovation at CB Insights in New York City. His work has been cited in The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, NBC, TechCrunch, CNN, Forbes, Quartz, and The Los Angeles Times. A native of the Bay Area, Natan is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (BA in Economics).

EVCA: Describe a defining moment in your career and how it shaped where you are today.

Natan: From the time I was young, I loved everything nautical. I rowed crew competitively for over five years, and my love of being on the water has never left me. When I began working at CB Insights on the intelligence team (my prior job), I had the opportunity to explore and analyze many different trends across startups and technology. In time, my long-standing passion led me to discover maritime tech. After a few invaluable introductions, I was quickly thrust into a world of founders, investors, and industry folks with similar enthusiasm for this space, but also the broader logistics and supply chain arena. These were the folks who believed in supply chain innovation well before it was popular - and long before the pandemic. While there are too many to name, I owe a lot to the individuals I met during this time for teaching me so much and introducing me to so many amazing companies in the NYC supply chain community.

On the heels of this excitement, I ultimately established and led supply chain and logistics research at CB Insights. This led to becoming acquainted with my current colleagues at Ironspring Ventures, who had read my research and motivated me to make the transition to early-stage industrial-focused venture capital!

EVCA: What is an emerging technology trend that will have a significant impact on the world in the next decade?

Natan: I, alongside my colleagues, recently published a piece on the need for vertical labor tech across the industrial arena. A myriad of statistics illustrate the need for innovation in these sectors critical to society, with labor productivity growth across warehousing and manufacturing falling well below the 2.2% annual average of the overall economy. Between 2005 and 2019, construction actually saw a decline of 0.9%. A recent report from McKinsey found a 70% correlation between productivity growth and tech adoption. Given the general dearth of digital adoption in these markets, it’s clear there is white space here.

Other macro challenges exist. These include a 78K truck driver shortage in the US and a rapidly aging construction workforce with 20% of workers over 55, with an average retirement age of 61.

Industrial-specific startups addressing these challenges have emerged. I am interested in solutions that foster collaboration between workers and employers through marketplace models with the ability to expand geographically while maintaining solid underlying unit economics. Understanding and exploring these platforms has been exciting, and the hunt continues!