May 22, 2024
colorful chairs in a row (Image Credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch)


When Keith Rabois announced he was leaving Founders Fund to return to Khosla Ventures in January, it came as a shock to many in the venture capital ecosystem — and not just because Rabois is a big name in the industry.

It was surprising because unlike in many other fields, venture capitalists don’t traditionally move around very much — especially those who reach the partner or general partner level as Rabois had.

VC funds have 10-year life cycles and partners have good reason to stay that course. In some instances, they may be a “key man” on a firm’s fund, meaning that if they leave, the fund’s LPs have the right to pull their capital out if they choose. Many partners and GPs also have some of their own money invested in their firms’ funds, which gives them further reason to stick around.

So, while big-name investor moves in venture capital aren’t common, they seem to have become so in recent months. So far this year, there have been notable instances of investors returning to old firms, striking out on their own or taking a pause from investing entirely.

Here’s who we know of so far:

May

  • Terri Burns announced on May 13 that she was launching a new venture firm called Type Capital. Burns was previously the first Black woman partner at GV and left the firm back in 2022. Her new fund will focus on pre-seed and seed-stage startups.
  • Last week TechCrunch scooped that Fika Ventures co-founder Eva Ho was going to transition out of the firm after Fika finished deploying its current fund. Ho is stepping back for personal reasons. The move was confirmed by the firm in a blog post on May 9.
  • On May 9, Alison Lange Engel announced she was taking on the role of CEO at Ceros, an AI-powered design company. Lange Engel left Greycroft in December, where she had been a partner since 2019, to take the role.
  • After 15 years, Vic Singh announced on X that he was stepping down from Eniac Ventures on May 1. Singh helped launch the firm in 2009 and is planning to launch a new firm of his own.

April

  • On April 30, Ethan Kurzweil announced he was leaving his role as partner at Bessemer Venture Partners after 16 years. Kurzweil will be launching an early-stage-focused investment firm, according to reporting from Axios. Kurzweil will launch the firm with Kristina Shen, who left Andreessen Horowitz after four years on March 29, and Mark Goldberg, who left Index Ventures after eight years last fall.
  • On April 1, Christina Farr announced that she’d be leaving OMERS Ventures, where she has served as a principal investor and the lead of the firm’s health tech practice since December 2020. Farr announced on X that she’d be working on her health tech newsletter, writing a book focused on the power that storytelling can have on businesses, and consulting health tech founders.

March

  • After six years as a partner at Accel, Ethan Choi announced that he’d be leaving the firm to head to Khosla Ventures in March. Choi will be focused on growth-stage investing at his new firm and has backed such companies as Klaviyo, Pismo and 1Password.
  • While many of the recent VC moves have been by folks looking to start something new, or take on a different opportunity, not all of them have been. On March 13, Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital announced that it fired partners Jay Zaveri and Ravi Tanuku. Bloomberg reported that this was due to a matter involving raising money for AI startup Groq.
  • Rabois was not the only person looking to boomerang back to an old haunt in this recent rise of investor reshuffling. On March 5, Miles Grimshaw announced that he’d be returning to Thrive Capital as a general partner after serving the same position at Benchmark Capital for three years. Grimshaw originally started at Thrive Capital in 2013 and has backed such companies as Airtable, Lattice, and Monzo, among others.
  • While transitioning from operator to VC is a common career progression in the startup ecosystem, it isn’t for everybody. On March 4, Sam Blond announced he had come to that conclusion and would be leaving Founders Fund, where he had been a partner for about 18 months. Blond said he would return to operating and has held roles at companies such as Brex, Zenefits and EchoSign.

January

  • After 12 years at Andreessen Horowitz, Connie Chan announced she was leaving the firm on January 23. Chan had served as one of the firm’s general partners the last five years and has backed companies such as Cider, KoBold and Whatnot.

TechCrunch is monitoring the recent venture moves and will continue to update this article as they happen. If you have any tips or callouts to bring to our attention, contact me here: rebecca.szkutak@techcrunch.com.

This post was originally published on May 1. It has since been updated on May 13 to include additional moves within venture.





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