On the heels of closing its fifth $400 million fund, VC firm Redpoint is making some major hires in the partnership. The Silicon Valley firm is bringing on Twitter’s former Director of Platform, Ryan Sarver, as a Partner. Redpoint is also promoting Tomasz Tunguz to Partner adding Jamie Davidson (formerly VP Product at Hotel Tonight) to the team as a Senior Associate.
Sarver recently left Twitter after spending four years working with developers, and helping lead Twitter’s platform strategy. Sarver was an instrumental force in effectively communicating the confusion around how Twitter would be dealing with third parties after releasing its ecosystem guidelines in 2011. Prior to his tenure at Twitter, Sarver was the Director of Consumer Products at Skyhook Wireless. While Sarver has made a few angel investments (BlackJet and SmartThings), this will be his first formal investment role.
As Sarver tells us, he was looking to recharge his batteries post Twitter and was potentially thinking about starting his own startup. But once he started talking to the Redpoint partners, he became intrigued by the idea of being able to advise and work with entrepreneurs and startups. The icing on the cake was that the Redpoint team had the same ethos, and it felt like a real family, he explains. “I felt like I fit in immediately,” he adds.
He also sees the timing of his joining the investment world as ideal. With the additions of disruptive platforms like AngelList to the ecosystem, Sarver is looking forward to joining venture capital at a time of upheaval and transformation. As for what he will be investing in, Sarver is still deciding where his focus will be. He’s intimately familiar with platforms, mobile, and social, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him doing an enterprise deal or two.
Tunguz, who has been a Principal at Redpoint for three years, has helped Redpoint with advising portfolio companies such as Looker, ERPLY, Electric Imp and Axial Market. As an investment partner, he’ll be focused on backing marketplaces, SaaS and analytics startups.
Redpoint, which was founded back in 1999, says it has invested in a total of 375 companies over the years, 120 of which have ended in either an IPO or M&A exit. Some of its recent bets on the early-stage side include mobile-focused social network Path, Internet-of-Things chip startup Electric Imp, flash storage company Pure Storage, payments startup Stripe, Sonos, and others
For Redpoint, the expansion of its partner team represents a broader change in the way the firm now invests. The firm says in the current world, it needs more coverage, more direct experience with the latest trends and more perspectives. Clearly Sarver, Tunguz and Davidson bring experience from working with some of most influential and compelling platforms in today’s tech world.
As I’ve written in the past, if VCs don’t usher in new, fresh-faced partners, they run the risk of being irrelevant when it comes to standing out in the sea of VC firms these days. Clearly Redpoint is thinking thoughtfully about recruiting the best talent to help lead the firm for future generations.