By Daniel Lanyon on Monday 10 February 2020
The moves fit a trend of US investors and venture capital funds increasingly looking at the UK and European tech ecosystems.
Balderton Capital has appointed two new general partners Rana Yared, previously a partner on the GS Growth Equity Team and David Thévenon, from Softbank's Vision Fund.
Thévenon led a number of the Vision Fund’s mobility and fintech growth investments over a five year period.
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.
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. He 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.”