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Early-stage venture investing is all about the people, and with that in mind, I’m particularly excited to announce a number of team additions and a promotion in Frontline.
Over the last two months, the Frontline Seed Team has been joined by Namratha Kothapalli as Principal, Lauren Kang as Senior Associate and David Clarke as Venture Partner.
Namratha Kothapalli is a computer scientist by background having worked in Intel, Dell and Hewlett Packard, before switching to venture capital investing at Passion Capital and SpeedInvest.
Lauren Kang has a BA from Harvard, worked at Facebook and then began investing with Overton Venture Capital and helped with The Fund in LA.
David Clarke was the Founder of CapeClear which he sold to Workday in 2008 and has spent over 12 years at Workday where he was most recently CTO. David is also an active angel investor.
As well as adding great people to the Frontline team, we also love seeing those in our team excel and grow in their roles. So I’m particularly excited to announce that Frontline is promoting Finn Murphy to Partner.
I had the pleasure of meeting Finn Murphy in February 2018 when he was interviewing for an Analyst role in Frontline. At the time we had over 180 people apply for the role and even though the bar was very high, Finn made our decision simple, raising even our own expectation for what we wanted in a candidate. He had a sharp mind, high energy, strong network, had been both an entrepreneur and worked in a senior role in a very fast growth technology company, and was not afraid to disagree with us or push our thinking. In his years in Frontline he has continued to challenge our thinking to help us create an offering that the best entrepreneurs really want.
Over the last three and a half years he has consistently performed far beyond what his age and title would suggest. It is with pleasure that I’m able to announce Frontline is promoting him to Partner.
Given the recent team additions and promotions. I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain what we at Frontline think makes a great early stage investor.
Being able to see the right investment opportunities is crucial in venture capital. It might sound good if someone says they look at hundreds or thousands of potential investments in a year but if they’re not the 10–15 best investments that year they can be largely wasting their time.
Depth of Understanding
In venture, we come across a lot of different types of companies from crypto and quantum computing, to laboratory hardware and developer tools. It’s crucial any great investor is able to understand the opportunity in any market and quickly filter to find the right company to invest in.
Ability to Win
Europe is no longer a ‘sleepy backwater’ to Silicon Valley it is a big and fast-moving ecosystem with plenty of high-quality investors based locally and even more looking to invest from outside into it. It is now rare to see an interesting company without multiple term sheets. A great investor needs to be able to build a strong enough rapport with the entrepreneurs that they are the chosen lead term sheet. In such a competitive environment this is not an easy feat!
Support the entrepreneurs:
At Frontline, we strongly believe our role is to reduce the friction in front of the entrepreneurs so they can move faster than just the speed of their own experience. We want all investors in our team to work to constantly reduce that friction.
Our long-term vision for Frontline is to create a venture firm where financial capital is the least valuable part of our offering. The additions of Namratha, Lauren and David, and the promotion of Finn, is because we believe they all embody this belief and along with the rest of the team are working toward that goal.