Back in 2011, we met with a smart entrepreneur who had built an interesting product that allowed you to organize your interests and share them. We, however, turned down the opportunity to invest in the Series A.
That company was Pinterest.
Sarah Tavel saw things in Pinterest that we missed. While at Bessemer Venture Partners, Sarah had a great deal of conviction about Pinterest — long before it became an obvious breakout business. For Bessemer, she turned this conviction into one of the best consumer investments in the last five years.
In fact, Sarah believed in Pinterest so much that she later joined the company. As one of the first 35 employees, her first order of business was to launch Pinterest internationally and close the series C financing. From there, Sarah moved into product, becoming Pinterest’s founding PM for search and discovery, and launching Pinterest’s first search and recommendations features. She currently leads product for search, recommendations, and offsite experiences, among others. She also led three acquisitions as she has helped the company scale through a period of hyper-growth.
We kept our eye on Sarah over the years, and, as we got to know her well, we became convinced that she would be a great fit at Greylock. We are delighted to share the news that Sarah Tavel has decided to join us as an investment partner. She will be wrapping up her work at Pinterest this quarter and then will be taking some much deserved time off before jumping in with us. We look forward to her starting at Greylock on August 31st.
Sarah is a perfect fit for the Greylock team. She has an ideal background as both an investor and an operator. The Greylock team is filled with entrepreneurs who have strong product and operating backgrounds; people who have worked in the trenches, building companies to significant scale. We also look for people who are high integrity, high horsepower, relationship-oriented, and passionate about being a good partner to both entrepreneurs and the rest of the Greylock team. Sarah is all these things.
As a Greylock investment partner, Sarah will focus on working with early stage entrepreneurs building products, platforms, networks, and marketplaces that enable new forms of communication, media, and commerce. Her focus is a natural match for the areas where Greylock invests: Sarah has helped build a defining network-effect business (Pinterest), and Greylock very much believes in the power networks (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin, Nextdoor, Airbnb). Sarah will also cross over between consumer and vertical SaaS/B2B software-driven companies, given her experience at Bessemer helping drive investments in Cornerstone onDemand, MindBody and others.
We expect Sarah will be a strong representative for Greylock on boards, and more importantly a true partner to the entrepreneurs she backs through the lifetime of those investments.
We know Sarah’s gender will inevitably be a part of the news coverage about her new role with us and so we want share our thoughts on this as well. Sarah has a proven track record as both an investor and an operator, and because of her credentials, we believe Sarah will be an excellent investment partner at Greylock. That said, we are incredibly happy to have a woman joining the investing team; it will bring greater diversity and valuable perspective to our partnership and portfolio companies.
Please join us in congratulating Sarah. She’s had an incredible career thus far, and we can’t wait to see what she does at Greylock.