Veteran VC Tomasz Tunguz steps down from leadership role at Redpoint
After 14 years of career at Redpoint Ventures where he rose through the ranks to become one of the firm’s stewards, Tomasz Tunguz plans to take a step back. He also considered leaving the storied Silicon Valley company, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Reached for comment, Redpoint denied that Tunguz is leaving the company at short notice, but said he would step down as managing director (equivalent to the title “general partner” used at other venture capital firms) , which include fundraising from limited partners to fund the company’s investment vehicles. Tunguz will become a partner, a label more often used for junior investors. In a text at ForbesTunguz confirmed what Redpoint said: “I continue to invest with the team but reducing some management responsibilities.”
The change for Tunguz, a stalwart of Redpoint’s early practice who also runs a popular tech blog, comes at a time when the company is trying to execute a generational transition to a new set of leaders. Redpoint is also raising $650 million for its ninth fund, according to an April SEC filing that was first reported in Venture Capital Journal. The financial statements of his two previous seed funds list Tunguz as a managing partner. But her name is missing from the latest filing, the post being replaced by Erica Brescia, who joined the firm in January.
Tunguz had at one point considered starting his own fund, according to two sources. One of the people added that he considered leaving Redpoint as early as last year, when boiling capital markets gave rise to a glut of new venture capital funds. In May, Tunguz briefly changed the title of his personal blog site from “Venture Capitalist at Redpoint” to simply “Venture Capitalist,” before changing it back a few weeks later, as shown by the Wayback Machine.
It is not clear whether the change in market conditions influenced Tunguz’s decision. He declined to say if he was considering leaving the company and changed his mind. A source speculated that the longtime VC could use the current period of uncertainty to recover. Despite the market downturn, some established investors in well-known companies are still launching their own stores, like Sarah Guo, who left Greylock earlier this month.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Tunguz spent three years as a product manager at Google before joining Redpoint during the 2008 recession. He was promoted to partner in 2013, the same year he closed his venture capital deal on most notable, a Series A lead investment in data analytics firm Looker at an $80 million valuation; the company exited in a $2.6 billion sale to Google in 2019. He assumed the role of managing director of the company’s seventh seed fund in 2018. Other notable deals backed by Tunguz include customer support software maker Kustomer (acquired by Meta for $1 billion), and data startups Dremio (last valued at $2 billion) and Monte Carlo ($1.6 billion). Tunguz has also racked up a large following on social media for his blog, where he writes several data-driven columns a week on cloud software and venture capital.
Redpoint, meanwhile, is still working on his second generational transition, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The first came about a decade ago, after Satish Dharmaraj (Midas List No. 16), Elliot Geidt (No. 57) and Tunguz joined and began to take on bigger roles within the company. ‘company. Alongside Scott Raney (#39), who joined the company in 2000 shortly after it was founded, Redpoint cemented its reputation for spotting winners in enterprise software by investing in companies such as Twilio, Snowflake and HashiCorp.
This time around, the company appears to be experimenting with new strategies to attract founders, such as being one of the first venture capitalists to use the social networking app TikTok. Still, his latest GM hires, Brescia and Jason Warner, both former GitHub execs, indicate he’s doubling down on his bread and butter. It remains to be seen how the new generation will perform as stewards in Tunguz’s place.
Additional reporting by Alex Konrad.