Why Greylock is Committing $100M to Marketplaces

We’re really excited to talk publicly about two interrelated topics: Simon Rothman’s promotion to Partner and Greylock’s commitment of $100 million dollars to invest in innovative marketplaces.

First, I hope you’ll join us in congratulating Simon, a former Greylock executive-in-residence, on his promotion to Partner on our consumer investment team. Known as one of the world’s foremost experts in marketplaces and network effects, Simon joined eBay as an early employee when it was a small, US collectibles auction business and helped scale it to a global platform with nearly 200 million users generating over $40B in sales. He was the founder of eBay Motors and built it into a $14 billion a year global business that ranked as a top 10 eCommerce property. Suffice it to say, there are very few people that have that kind of experience scaling a company — in fact, eBay is one of only 4 consumer technology companies over the past 20 years that have scaled and sustained over a $50B market cap.

One of the things we have loved about working with Simon is how closely he’s wanted to work with entrepreneurs. He started hosting office hours for any marketplace entrepreneur who wanted to leverage his experience. In his past two years with us, Simon has served as an adviser to countless marketplace companies including Lyft, Wanelo, Poshmark and many more. As a Partner, Simon will focus on investing in marketplaces as well as other network effects businesses and transaction-based startups.

We feel lucky to share Simon’s experience and expertise not only with Greylock portfolio companies, but an entirely new ecosystem of marketplace entrepreneurs. So much so, we’re also announcing today that Greylock will be committing $100 million dollars to continue to invest in innovative marketplace startups and help build what we hope will be a thriving marketplace ecosystem.

In addition to monetary support, we want to ensure that we are providing marketplace entrepreneurs access to crucial advice, content and relationships. To that end, Greylock has also formed an advisory network of established industry leaders and will be organizing a marketplace conference to take place later this year in Silicon Valley. More details forthcoming, but we’re honored to share that committed speakers include: Airbnb CEO & co-founder, Brian Chesky and eBay CEO, John Donohoe.

So, please help us congratulate Simon on his new role, and this exciting path. We’re looking forward to him partnering with great entrepreneurs who are building impactful and disruptive marketplaces. For more information on our marketplace commitment, you can reach Simon via LinkedIn or drop us an email at [email protected] We’ll be sharing more information about the marketplace advisory network and conference on our blog shortly.

— Reid Hoffman and David Sze