Today, Bee Partners lost a friend and partner. After a year+ long battle with cancer, Hansoo Lee died today.
I knew Hansoo as a founder first, and a friend second. We met in early 2009 while he was a student at Haas, sharing an affiliation with the Haas Venture Fellows, a group of students eager to seek opportunities either in venture or entrepreneurship. Magoosh didn’t even exist at that time, and it wasn’t until early 2010, as he and Bhavin seriously decided to pursue their venture full-time, and that Hansoo started attending CalFounders events that we started to talk more about his business. In all, I think he attended ~8 events – what a blessing to have him there as we both learned our way.
We met across the Bay — in Emeryville, on campus, in SF and Berkeley – I remember leisurely chatting on a street corner on a sunny day about his future and contemplating how long to give himself to Magoosh before finding a “real job”. Thankfully for all of us, they continued to pursue the startup dream. I recall a lively negotiation on their initial term sheet and being impressed with Hansoo’s poise. I remember lunch at the Lake Chalet and the many paces/footsteps in various locations over countless phone calls. And I remember hearing the news about his diagnosis.
We agreed to terms in January 2011 and I co-lead the round in Hansoo & Bhavin via Magoosh on February 14, 2011. Hansoo taught me how to evaluate founders for perseverance. Through the financing and with his patience, I learned how to lead a round (my first), what diligence was important, and what wasn’t. Hansoo, thank you for being present in my life. May you rest in peace. We take solace in the fact that your suffering is over, and we miss you.