Emergence announces its first female partner – TechCrunch
Emergence, a venture capital firm known for its corporate bets in Salesforce and Zoom, today announced that it has promoted Carlotta “Lotti” Siniscalco from principal to partner. The appointment marks Emergence’s first female partner in 18 years of existence and comes months after the closure of two funds totaling $ 1 billion.
Siniscalco’s new job title is unprecedented. Emergence has historically struggled with the diversity of its partnership: the five partners within the new Emergence funds are men. Emergence does not hire at partner level and prefers to build investors over time, a policy that appears to have delayed some of its diversity efforts. Kevin Spain, Emergence Capital GP, hinted at Forbes in May that Lotti will join the ranks of the partners “in the next few years”. Months later, it appears that timeline has been sped up. Along with Siniscalco’s move, the firm promoted Yazan “Yaz” El-Baba, a Palestinian-American, to the rank of senior partner.
The change is also reflected in the data. Recent data from PitchBook indicates that women-founded businesses raised $ 40.4 billion in 2,661 transactions in the first three quarters of 2021, nearly doubling the total to $ 23.7 billion in 2019 and over 10 times the total of $ 3.6 billion in 2011. Growth is in part due to an increase in diversity within partnerships. Last year, Terri Burns became GV’s youngest partner and the first black woman to take on the role. This year, the Female Founders Fund closed its third fund with $ 57 million; Forerunner, led by Kirsten Green, closed a growing fund; and Variant, with the arrival of Li Jin as a general partner, closed a $ 110 million fund.
Siniscalco, who was born and raised in Milan, moved to the United States at the age of 17. She plunged into competitive undergraduate life at the University of Pennsylvania and quickly realized what she lacked in Italy, as “a country that thrives on tradition more than innovation.”
âI’ve always been motivated by what the future looks like more than our history,â said Siniscalco. At the start of her studies, she was introduced to the corporate world and cold sent between 50 and 60 people on a list of Italians in VC. Only two companies responded, and at the age of 19 she joined a small, local venture capital fund that allowed her to cut her teeth in support and founding services at an early stage.
After a stint in the business, she spent time in investment banking, private equity and business operations at a fast growing startup before turning to the business with Ribbit Capital and Kauffman. Fellows. In 2018, when she joined Emergence as a senior partner in charge of due diligence, she quickly became a senior sourcing manager, and now, a year later, she is a partner. She stressed that she is “actually a partner” when it comes to her decision-making power within the company, reflecting on how some companies have launched the title without much meaning.
âIf I want to bring a business to my partnership, the decision is up to me,â she said. âI no longer need the sponsorship of a general partner.
Alongside the SaaS company, Siniscalco focuses on fintech, a sector that hybridizes its interest in the future and its respect for tradition. âWhat is very true for me is the idea of ââimproving and changing something that seems old to me in order to create a better experience for everyone involved,â she said. The investor explained how at 23, when she was a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, she kept getting denied credit cards (even though she had a very stable income). The difficulty of getting a card as a non-U.S. Citizen seeded in her mind the importance of rebuilding systems for people like her.
âAnd that was before the first wave of businesses that were really disrupting traditional banks,â she said.
One of Siniscalco’s first investments was Talent Hack, which this week announced its $ 17 million Series A. While this is the first woman-led deal that Emergence has made public, the increase has been a game-changer for another reason: Led by Alexandra Bonetti, Talent Hack is the first startup led by a Latin woman in the Emergence portfolio.