Balderton Capital announces today that it has hired two new General Partners. Rana Yared joins from Goldman Sachs, where she was Partner in the Principal Strategic Investments team. David Thévenon joins from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, where he was one of the initial Partners.
Bernard Liautaud, Managing Partner of Balderton Capital, said: “I am delighted to welcome Rana and David to the partnership. They both bring outstanding experience in investing globally in the technology ecosystem. With her team at Goldman Sachs, Rana has built one of the best fintech and AI portfolios across the US and Europe. And within Softbank, David has participated in the growth journeys of companies as diverse as Didi in China, Grab in Singapore, Lemonade and SoFi in the US. The opportunity in the European tech ecosystem continues to expand at a rapid pace, and Rana and David will play a key role in our investment strategy in the European venture space.”
During her time at Goldman Sachs, Rana’s team invested $2bn in 80 companies, with a strong focus on fintech. As one of Goldman’s best-known tech investors, Rana led the US and European Principal Strategic Investment (PSI) teams and served on Goldman’s Growth Equity Investment committee. She spent five years on the board of the fixed income trading platform Tradeweb, until it went public in April 2019 with a market capitalisation of $6bn. Rana also brought the artificial intelligence platform Kensho to Goldman Sachs. Kensho was ultimately sold to S&P Global for $550m in March 2018.
Rana currently sits on the boards of Nutmeg, Vestwell, NAV, Pensando, Digital Reasoning, Veem, and NYSHEX. She joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 2006 and was named Managing Director in 2013 and Partner in 2018.
Rana Yared said: “My greatest passion is working closely with founders and their teams to build new companies, and I am delighted to be able to devote myself to this when I join Balderton. In recent years, Europe has established itself as a tech leader and is brimming with potential and opportunity. I am excited to move back to the European side of the Atlantic and to begin seeking out and working with the next generation of exciting tech companies.”
During his five-year tenure at SoftBank, David led investments in Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform; Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading superapp; Ola, India’s leading ride-sharing platform; Lemonade, the digital insurance company powered by AI and driven by social good; SoFi, the American online personal finance platform; and Kabbage, one of the leading US SMB lending platforms. David was also involved in SoftBank’s investments in 99 in Brazil (bought by Didi) and Legendary Pictures in the US (sold to Wanda Group).
Before joining SoftBank, David had a 10-year career at Google, where he worked on partnerships for products that touched billions of users, including leading global product and business partnerships for Google’s Android platform.
David Thévenon said: “Five years ago I left Google to focus on venture investing at SoftBank and I felt privileged to meet, invest and work with some of the most innovative and visionary founders, supporting them as they grew into market-leading companies. Joining Balderton will allow me to continue this for European-founded companies, and I am truly excited about the opportunity ahead.”
Balderton Capital is a London-based venture firm focused exclusively on backing the best European-founded technology companies. In the two decades since our founding, we have worked with hundreds of extraordinary European founders, and have raised eight funds totalling more than $3bn. Balderton’s most recent funds were the early-stage Balderton VII, raised in November 2019, and Liquidity I, Europe’s first venture fund dedicated to secondary investments in European-founded, growth-stage technology startups, raised in October 2018. Previous exited investments include Betfair (FTSE: BET), Magic Pony (Twitter), NaturalMotion (Zynga), Recorded Future (Insight Partners), Sunrise (Microsoft), Talend (NASDAQ: TLND) and Yoox Net-a-Porter (BIT: YNAP). Among Balderton’s current portfolio of over 90 companies are Aircall, Carwow, Citymapper, Contentful, Darktrace, Depop, GoCardless, The Hut Group, Kobalt Music, Nutmeg, Peakon, Prodigy Finance, Revolut, SOPHiA Genetics, Tessian, Vestiaire Collective, Vivino, Voi Technology, and Zego.