by Jennifer Carolan
Welcome Jomayra Herrera, our newest partner, to Reach Capital! Jomayra is our first outside partner hire and an ideal addition to our growing team.
At a young age, Jomayra has already built a reputation as a prescient “future of work” investor and embodies the early-stage focus and hands-on support that Reach values. She is a deep and disciplined thinker who grounds her investment theses in first-principles analysis (her work on the Empowered Economy is an excellent example) resulting in her ability to identify winners early on.
I first met Jomayra while she was an education investor at Emerson Collective where she led the firm’s investments in Career Karma at the seed stage and Handshake at its Series C round. Career Karma is growing exponentially and recently raised a $10M Series A from Initialized Capital, and Handshake has emerged as the clear category leader connecting college students with job opportunities. She also identified and helped champion Emerson’s investment in Guild Education, which became one of the first edtech unicorns. Later at Cowboy Ventures, Jomayra sourced and led a seed investment in Contra, which exploded in growth shortly thereafter and seven months later closed a $14M Series A from Unusual Ventures and Atelier.
“Jomayra possesses an incredible intellect, a tireless work ethic, and rare leadership skills,” says Steve McDermid, managing director at Emerson Collective. “Her commitment to accelerating equitable solutions for students and educators strengthens the entire venture industry — I am thrilled to see her continuing to lead at Reach Capital.”
She has won the respect of many others who have been in the sector for decades, like edtech investor John Danner, who describes Jomayra as “an incredible investing talent who understands the education and future of work markets deeply.”
A common thread runs through these investments: democratizing opportunity. Career Karma, Guild Education, Handshake and Contra are platforms designed to unlock access to rewarding tech careers, continuing education, jobs and independent work regardless of one’s background, pedigree or geographic location. She invests for a better future. As Ruben Harris, CEO of Career Karma, notes: “She understands that education alone does not get people jobs and sees light years ahead of anyone else in this space.”
Jomayra’s north star, in her words, is to “make the world a better place for the girl [she] was.” She was raised in Florida by Puerto Rican parents and was the first in her family to go to college. After graduating high school as valedictorian, she left for Stanford. She added an M.A. in education to her undergraduate degree and started her career in edtech at Bloomboard.
Jomayra is respected as a hands-on partner to founders. As Contra CEO Ben Huffman recalls: “After Jomayra sourced and championed our seed round, she continued to mentor our entire team, helping us focus on the things that really mattered. It’s hard to tell the story of Contra without calling out the impact that Jomayra has had on our entire team.”
Jomayra generously shares her insights, helping us all improve our understanding through her writing on Grounded, a newsletter published in partnership with her Florida squad¹, Twitter and other media.
Finally and importantly, Jomayra is also just fun to be around. She has an easy laugh and a down-to-earth attitude that we all appreciate. At Reach, we collaborate tightly as a team and aim for a high-trust work environment. Having known and collaborated with Jomayra for many years, we trust her completely already and know her values align with ours.
We could not be more delighted to welcome Jomayra to the Reach team. If you are a founder who would like to connect with Jomayra, please email her at email@example.com!
¹The Florida squad includes Alex Marshall (special projects at First Round) and Maria Salamanca (partner at Unshackled).