Announcing Lightspeed’s Series A investment in Level

Paul Aaron, Level Founder & CEO

I met Paul Aaron through Diogo Monico in early 2018. I had recently invested in Diogo’s company, Anchorage, as part of #ANGELS. He asked if I’d be interested in another fabulous founder friend of his from Square. Having grown up in the house of Jack Dorsey myself at Twitter, I said “Absolutely!” before even asking what he was building.

Fast forward to my first meeting with Paul. I had limited context other than he was one of the first 20 employees at Square and was working on something game-changing in the fintech space.


We are excited to announce our investment in The Nudge, a San Francisco based company, founded by the sibling duo Sarah & John Peterson. I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah through All Raise’s Female Founder Office Hours, a mentorship program helping female founders navigate the world of venture capital.

The Nudge is the “Type A Planner Friend” that we all know and love (or in some cases are guilty of being — that’s me!). This is the friend who researches and plans everything, gathers a group of friends and is the CEO of FUN. …


Pictured left to right: Christa Quarles (former CEO of OpenTable) and Jana Messerschmidt (Partner at Lightspeed).

At Lightspeed’s recent Enterprise Scale Summit, we had the opportunity to hear from some of the tech industry’s most visionary leaders on the topic of scale.

The questions they tackled were fundamental to every ambitious enterprise startup that hopes to one day become a MuleSoft or Nutanix. What do leaders need to do differently as their company gets bigger? When is the right time to plan for global expansion? How do you preserve culture as you grow from 4 employees to 4,000?

At the summit I had the great pleasure of interviewing Christa Quarles, former CEO of OpenTable, the online…


Pictured: A packed house at Lightspeed and #ANGELS’ Negotiation Summit this week at Twitter in SF.

A few months ago, I proudly joined Lightspeed as a Partner. And I did this because the team is a great complement to my strengths, interests and values; one that’s helping me be the most effective, impactful investor I can be. But beyond investing, I’m grateful my partners support my passion for hosting events and conversations to build community, diversify networks, and include and promote women in frontier fields shaping the industry.

Which brings me to Lightspeed’s first Negotiation Summit that took place this…


Today, I’m excited to announce that I’m joining Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Over the past four years since co-founding #ANGELS, I’ve had the privilege of investing in more than 50 early stage companies across a wide range of industries.

Leveraging my operating experiences helping build high growth companies like Twitter and Netflix, I’ve invested in consumer companies like Cameo, Prefer and Pray and enterprise companies like Mutiny and Buoyant. I’ve gone deep in transportation by backing companies like Bird and invested in healthcare companies like Forward, Nurx, Color and Visla. Being a mom has helped me see the opportunities in Lovevery


Thirteen American colonies declared their independence from the British Empire 242 years ago today, marking the formation of the United States of America. Why did America seek independence? You may recall from your history lessons that British Parliament had imposed their own rule of law on the colonies, without giving them much of a say in how the government would be run. Without representation and a voice in the laws that governed them, the colonies were not a democracy.

The Declaration of Independence was one of the primary documents reflecting this critical ideological foundation for democracy in the United States…


Okay, seriously. How had it been more than a decade since I had coded (excluding those handful of lines of javascript I wrote when personalizing my wedding website back in 2011)? Back in my day of programming, we had the Nokia 8250 in our pockets along with our trusty TI-85 graphing calculator. Our computer processors barely reached 100Mhz, let alone multiple Ghz.

Throughout my career, many people have asked me,”Why did you major in engineering?” I can boil this down to three primary reasons:

  • I love gadgets. I used to spend Sunday afternoons with my dad hitting the local Circuit…

Jana Messerschmidt

Investor @ Lightspeed, #ANGELS Founding Partner. Alum of @Twitter, @Netflix & @eceILLINOIS.

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