Top Silicon Valley VC Firm Hires First U.S. Female Partner — And She’s Badass

Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s greatest VC firms, has finally hired their first U.S. female partner.

Starting in November 7, Jess Lee, 33, co-founder and CEO of the online fashion company Polyvore, will be the 11th partner and one of the youngest investing partners at the firmShe told Bloomberg in an email that she was “excited to join Sequoia to help the next generation of founders.”

Fellow Sequoia partner Alfred Lin welcomed Lee to the team in a tweet:

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Lee, who’s 33 years old, is a Stanford Engineering grad who grew up in Hong Kong. In a previous interview with Fortune, she joked that she initially wanted to go to art school.

“But Asian parents don’t really like that,” she told Fortune. “They told me they wouldn’t pay for art school, so I picked a more traditional path.”

In 2015, Polyvore was bought by Yahoo for $200 million in cash.

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Sequoia Capital is an investor in some the industry’s greatest players including Apple, Google, and Paypal.

The investment firm, which has been chastised in the past for have a largely all-male team, currently has female investing partners in other countries like China and India, according to ReCode. The Menlo Park office has previously hired female investment analyst Stephanie Zhan.

Before Polyvore, Lee was previously a product manager at Google where she was mentored by then Google VP Marissa Mayer.

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According to her Instagram, she is also an avid cosplayer. Her appointment is a step forward in the tech industry capital plagued with occasional reports of sexism against women.

An 2015 report on the VC industry published by Social Capital and The Information revealed that most of the top 71 investment firms are predominantly male. The report was appropriately title “Bros Funding Bros”, referring to both the male-dominated investment industry as well as the trend in which male investors were more likely to invest in individuals who they could most readily and easily identify with. 

 

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