Today, Ridge Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm whose investments include Braze, Fastly, Discord, UpLift, Krux, ThirdLove and Sapho, announced that Head of Investor Relations Susan Stella and Principal Kamil Saeid joined its team. At Ridge, Stella will lead marketing and communications strategy with limited partners. Saeid will source new investment opportunities and work alongside Ridge Ventures portfolio companies that have collectively raised more than $1 billion in each of the last two years. A significant amount of Ridge Ventures’ fourth fund, with capital exceeding $150 million, is still available for new deals.
“Susan’s vast experience in venture and Kamil’s empathetic, founder-first mindset are a welcome addition to the Ridge family,” said Alex Rosen, Managing Partner of Ridge Ventures. “It’s a trying time for many enterprise companies, even more so for enterprise startups. Expanding our operations on both ends of the ecosystem—from communicating with a growing base of LPs to sourcing new investments—will be crucial as the industry navigates an unprecedented and challenging economic climate.”
As Ridge’s Head of Investor Relations Stella brings 20 years of LP communications experience, including her work for multi-billion dollar private equity funds, emerging venture funds and industry associations. She was previously a Principal and Director of Investor Relations at Knightsbridge, as well as a Director at Thunderbird Global Private Equity Center. Susan received an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management—along with the highest honor awarded to a single graduate, the Barton Kyle Yount Award—after earning her BA, magna cum laude, from Drake University.
“I’m excited to team up with Ridge Ventures and manage their expanding roster of LPs,” said Stella. “Ridge boasts an impressive portfolio of top-notch startups and the track record of big returns that LPs desire. This makes my job much easier.”
Before joining Ridge Ventures, Saeid was an Investor and the first outside hire at Aspect Ventures, where he worked with companies like Chime, Exabeam and Gusto. Prior to this, Saeid was a consultant at Bain & Company, supporting both hyper-growth and large incumbent technology companies, legacy companies undergoing a generational shift, as well as serving on the Private Equity Group.
Saeid graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Biomechanical Engineering, and later returned for his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is particularly excited by companies targeting industries and functions that remain overly analog and have historically been overlooked. On the personal side, he is interested in tech development in Africa and bridging the continent’s ecosystem to Silicon Valley’s.
“Joining a firm amid a pandemic is like skydiving and assembling your parachute on the way down, but I relish the challenge,” added Saeid. “I’m excited to back companies that will be critical to rethinking digital transformation while learning from Ridge Ventures’ seasoned investors along the way. More than anything, I’m grateful for the chance to provide early-stage founders the support they need during this difficult period.”
The arrival of Stella and Saeid to Ridge Ventures follows the hiring of Partner Brendan Baker, ex-Greylock Director and early Angellist employee, in September 2019. Moving forward, the firm will look to further reinforce its team with experienced, founder-centric colleagues who can empower enterprise startups adapting to an ever-changing landscape.
About Ridge Ventures
Founded in 2007, Ridge Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund investing in founders who are redefining how the world interacts with data and code. Ridge takes a fast, flexible and founder-focused approach, and backs companies delivering advanced technologies, new distribution models and incredible user experiences. To learn more, visit www.ridge.vc and follow us @ridgevc.