Above the Crowd

Benchmark’s New General Partner Sarah Tavel

May 9, 2017:

The partners at Benchmark are excited to announce that Sarah Tavel has joined the firm as our newest General Partner. We define ourselves by a love for the craft of early stage investing, and Sarah’s career-long desire and commitment to be one of the world’s great venture capitalists make her an ideal addition to the Benchmark team.

About a year ago, we asked our venture partner Scott Belsky who he thought had the greatest potential to become one of the best investors of the next decade. He answered quickly and definitively: Sarah Tavel. We’ve gotten to know Sarah over the last year. While we only very recently revealed our interest in having her join us, our interactions with her over the year amplified our instincts. She especially impressed us with the speed and quality of her thinking around disruptive markets, her ability to influence others with her ideas, and the depth of the relationships she has forged.

Throughout her career, Sarah has shown a remarkable ability to spot new companies and markets, and to develop deep bonds with extraordinary entrepreneurs. Early on, at Bessemer Venture Partners, she helped source and pursue companies as varied as Pinterest and GitHub well before they were broadly understood. Not only did she identify these phenomena before others, she left long-lasting impressions on the founders of both companies. In fact, Ben Silbermann thought so highly of Sarah that he recruited her to Pinterest to lead core parts of the product and business after the Bessemer investment. The experience of helping scale Pinterest through a period of explosive growth is an incredible resource for the founders on whose boards she will serve in the future.

Most recently, Sarah worked as an investing partner at one of the great venture capital firms, Greylock Partners, working with some of the sharpest product minds in the business.

Beyond her impeccable resume, from our earliest interactions Sarah demonstrated an investor mindset that just felt consistent with our own. Our small, focused team approach relies on open debate, advocacy, and working together to support the entrepreneurs we serve. Each partner at Benchmark needs to bring a unique perspective while simultaneously enhancing the overall functioning of the team. It is clear that Sarah will get in front of breakout companies early, challenge our thinking on new markets, help us make sharper decisions, and be an incredible partner for the entrepreneurs we back.

Adding a new partner is an infrequent event for Benchmark. Our structure – now six equal partners – means Sarah joins with the same authority, responsibility and ownership as the current partners. We have the highest conviction Sarah will excel at the complex craft of early stage venture investing and are thrilled to welcome her to the team.

Bill, Eric, Matt, Mitch and Peter

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahtavel

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