Trae Vassallo leaves Defy to join Apple and Nanna Lüneborg leaves Novo Ventures for Forbion

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing August 30, 2021

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Nanna Lüneborg leaves Novo Ventures to join Forbion as a general partner

Nanna Lüneborg leaves her role as a partner with Novo Ventures to join another life science-focused firm. Nanna is now a general partner with Forbion where she will be involved in deploying the firm’s 360 million euros Forbion Growth Opportunities Fund. She will be relocating to The Netherlands from Denmark.

Nanna joined Novo A/S – which is fully owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation – in 2012 and joined its Novo Ventures unit in 2016. Earlier this year, she led Novo into Numab, which is developing immunotherapies for cancer and inflammation. Forbion is also an investor in Numab. Also this year, another of Nanna’s portfolio companies, Lava Therapeutics, went public. Nanna also served on the boards NodThera, Epsilon-3 Bio, Orphazyme, ReViral and Inventiva.

Trae Vassallo leaves Defy to join the WW Operations team at Apple

Trae Vassallo has left Defy, the venture firm she co-founded in 2016, writing in a blog post that she was “craving” the “hands-on creative and collaborative building.” Trae, according to her LinkedIn, is now in worldwide operations at Apple.

Trae founded Defy with Neil Sequeira after leaving Kleiner Perkins where she was a general partner. Her background includes co-founding Good Technology and working at IDEO where she developed products for such companies as Palm and Dell.

Defy is currently investing out of its $262 million second fund, which closed in 2019. Trae, according to Axios Pro Rata, will continue to advise Defy. Her Defy investments include Agentology and Elevate Security, which was co-founded by Masha Sedova.

While at Kleiner Perkins, Trae’s investments included Nest, the maker of intelligent thermostats and smoke alarms that was acquired by Google for $3.2 billion; Dropcam, a surveillance camera provider acquired by Nest for $550 million; and Opower, which contracts with utilities to help homeowners reduce energy use and went public at a market cap of just over $900 million.

Trae is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit. You can read her full comments about leaving by clicking here.

Kara Cissell-Roell’s VMG Partners adds Brianna Rizzo to its team.

VMG Partners, which Kara Cissell-Roell co-founded, adds Brianna Rizzo to its team. Brianna joined the consumer-focused private equity firm as a talent partner. Among her responsibilities will be leading the talent strategy for VMG Catalyst, which launched in 2019 and seeks to invest in tech businesses.

Brianna previously served as a principal at growth equity firm Stripes where she led talent.

Founded in 2005, VMG has backed more than 55 companies. It is based in San Francisco but is opening a New York office.

Kelly Pease earns a promotion at TSG Consumer Partners

TSG Consumer Partners has promoted Kelly Pease. Kelly, who joined the private equity firm in 2018, is now a vice president. She has worked with such firm portfolio companies as PowerStop, HUDA Beauty, Joe Hudson’s Collision Center and Mavis Tire Express Services. Prior to TSG, Kelly was an investment banker at Jefferies. She is based in New York.

Cynthia Kueppers joins Riverstone Holdings as a managing director

Cynthia Kueppers, who previously was head of venture capital and acquisitions for A3Ventures, is now with a real assets-focused firm. Cynthia is now a managing director with Riverstone Holdings, which invests primarily in energy, power and infrastructure. Cynthia left A3Ventures last year.

A3Ventures is the innovation lab and capital investment engine of AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah. Her investments at A3Ventures included Zippity, which enables individuals to have their car serviced where they work.

Cynthia's background also includes founding Veranda Venture Partners and being director of transportation investment banking for Barclays Capital.

IVP welcomes Joanne Shang to its investment team

IVP adds Joanne Shang to its investment team. Joanne joined the later-stage venture capital and growth equity firm as an investor. She previously was a member of Morgan Stanley’s global technology investment banking group. Joanne’s background also includes working in digital product management at Daily Harvest.

IVP’s investment team also includes Cack Wilhelm and Louisa Xu. Founded in 1980, the firm has $8.7 billion in committed capital and has invested in more than 400 companies.

Amber Stone-Brown and Cassie Herlihy join Gresham House

Gresham House adds Amber Stone-Brown and Cassie Herlihy to its strategic equity team. Amber and Cassie joined the London alternative asset manager as investment managers. The two will work across the firm’s range of UK equity funds – investing in both public and private companies.

Amber joins from EY where she was a member of the firm’s UK financial services strategy and transactions team. Cassie was previously part of the corporate broking team at Citi.

 Kim Flores joins Clear Current Capital as a principal

Clear Current Capital adds Kim Flores to its team. Kim joins as a principal at the impact venture firm. She comes to Clear Current with an extensive background in the marketing field. In her new role, Kim will provide hands-on, customized support for their purpose-driven portfolio companies in the areas of branding and digital marketing strategy while growing their cultures and DEI initiatives.

In a statement, Kim said, “entrepreneurship, service, impact, and creativity have always been part of my career path and life. Partnering with CCC’s companies to cultivate their brand stories, marketing strategies, operations and strong inclusive cultures is incredibly rewarding. To further the mission of CCC with these founders to create impact in sustainability, health and animal welfare is an opportunity of a lifetime.” Clear Current Capital invests in early-stage alternative protein companies.

Jocelyne Cooke becomes the new CFO of Bee Partners

Jocelyne Cooke, former chief financial officer of DCVC, joins another venture firm. Jocelyne is now CFO of Bee Partners. Her background also includes being vice president of finance and controller for Venrock and working in the venture capital and private equity tax division of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Based in San Francisco, Bee is a pre-seed firm focused on human-machine convergence.

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