Twitter's former platform head joins Redpoint Ventures

Redpoint locks up Ryan Sarver and two others to go deeper into investments in social and mobile

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
October 1, 2013
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At the beginning of this year, Redpoint Ventures closed a big $400 million fund, its fifth overall, in order to invest in, what it called, "several evolving areas." Those included companies in both the social and mobile spaces. Now the firm is putting that plan into action, with the addition of three new partners.

Twitter's former director of platform, Ryan Sarver, is joining Redpoint as a partner, it was announced on Tuesday.

Sarver spent four years at Twitter, before leaving in June. His position was recently filled by Jeff Sandquist, the former Senior Director of Developer Relations at Microsoft.  Prior to that role, Sarver spent three years as director of consumer products at Skyhook Wireless and, before that, he founded real estate startup Blue Trim.

Given his background, it is no surprise that Sarver will be putting his focus on social applications and platforms, as well as SaaS companies, at Redpoint

In addition to Sarver, the firm also made two other announcements: it promoted Tomasz Tunguz to Partner, and it also brought on Jamie Davidson as a Senior Associate.

 Tunguz  has been a Principal at Redpoint for three years, working as an advisor to investments such as Looker, ERPLY, Electric Imp and Axial Market, while Davidson is a former VP of Product at HotelTonight.

"Both Ryan and Tomasz will bolster Redpoint’s work to identify and support standout founders and startups working in the rapidly evolving landscape of mobile services and social platforms," said Redpoint.

Meanwhile, Davidson's focus will be on mobile-first applications.

Redpoint was founded in 1999, and has made 375 investments in that time, including 120 IPOs and M&A deals. But the business is changing, Geoff Yang, Managing Director, Redpoint Ventures, wrote. 

"The markets have become broader, successful founders are discovered in new and unexpected places (and are often first timers), and the pace of innovation is faster than ever. All of this means the old way we invested, with a small, proven team applying decades of experience and a tight-knit network isn’t all it takes to discover the next set of revolutionary companies," he said. "We need more coverage, more direct experience with the latest trends and more perspectives."

That is why Redpoint brought on these three new partners who have "direct experience at some of the industry’s most influential technology trends."

Redpoint investments in social and mobile

Redpoint wants to go deeper into social and mobile, but the firm is no stranger to these spaces, having made some key investments in both in the past.

It led a $30 million round for photo sharing social network Path; it led an $18 million round for BranchOut, the professional networking service for Facebook; and it co-led a $30 million round in Kabam, a developer of multiplayer social games.

The firm has also put money into mobile food network TastemadeMobiTV, a provider and platform for content delivery over mobile and broadband networks; Jumptap,  a provider of targeted mobile advertising; and Myspace. 

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