Eridani Ventures

Eridani Ventures is a broad-spectrum investment and advisory firm. We most visibly invest in seed and early stage technology companies, typically in Silicon Valley. Our current focus is on socially impactful companies, with particular emphasis on sustainable and nutritious AgTech. Entrepreneurs choose to work with us because we have started our own companies, and we (mostly) know when we are adding value and when to stay out of the way.

About Eridani Ventures

After NetGravity was successful, Tom Shields put together a small evergreen fund with a handful of friends and began angel investing in 1-2 opportunities each year. Now that angel investing is becoming “professional”, he has collected these investments together and called them Eridani Fund I. During this time Tom has had a variety of “day jobs”, including Managing Director of Woodside Fund, Co-Founder and CEO of Yieldex, and Chief Strategy Officer at AppNexus (now AT&T), but has still found time to work with some great entrepreneurs and generate excellent returns.

About Our Name

Eridani Ventures is named after Epsilon Eridani, a star in the southern constellation of Eridanus. Because it is relatively nearby (in cosmic terms), is Sol-like, and has a known planet, it is most likely the first extra-solar system we would try to visit. Epsilon Eridani is featured in science fiction novels such as Greg Bear’s Eon, Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space, and even Asimov’s Foundation’s Edge among many others.

We think science fiction can expand the space of the possible, and inspire creative and driven people to reach for their full potential. Our name, Eridani Ventures, represents these ideals, and how the entrepreneurs we work with continually reach for the stars.

Tom Shields

About Tom Shields

Tom is a programmer at heart, with a CS degree from Harvard. Tom was formerly a Managing Director at early-stage VC firm Woodside Fund, and continues to be an active investor with Eridani Ventures.

An ad tech pioneer, Tom coded the world’s first ad server, and co-founded two successful companies. He was co-founder and CTO of NetGravity, where he helped grow the ad server business to 300 customers and guided the company through a successful IPO and subsequent acquisition by DoubleClick for over $500 million. As co-founder and CEO of Yieldex, he helped sell over a third of the top 100 publishers on superior forecasting and analytics technology before AppNexus (now AT&T) acquired the company for a reported $100 million. Tom holds a patent on dynamic allocation in ad serving, and a Service Award from the IAB for leading the group that created the first impression counting standards.

For fun he plays basketball, sings a cappella, and backpacks in the Sierras with his kids. He lives near San Francisco, with his wife and three children, who keep him young at heart despite his gray hair.



Innovative bio-reactors


Bluetooth pourers for bar inventory management

New Wave Foods

Plant-based shrimp


Platform for tokenizing real-world assets


Revolutionary 3D printing in metal


Direct-to-consumer mattresses in Japan

Acquired by Google for $100 million

AI Image recognition

Apache Design

Acquired by Ansys for $310 million

Electronic Design Automation


Acquired by British Telecom for $105 million

VoIP telephony


Acquired by Houghton Mifflin

Testing management


Acquired by Vendio

Ecommerce management


Acquired by Causes

Political engagement platform


Flamed out

Browser for kids

Airy Labs

Flamed out

Educational games

Rare Crowds

Acquired by MediaMath

Hyper-targeting for online advertising


Online design thinking and collaboration


Acquired by Clickable

Group communication visualization

Acquired by Kibo Commerce

Offline-to-online Ecommerce


Celebrity influence management

Get in touch

We especially love to hear about interesting investment opportunities and driven entrepreneurs.