Welcoming Farooq Abbasi and Casey Aylward to Costanoa

Casey Aylward & Farooq Abbasi

When Costanoa opened its doors in 2012, it was just Pamela and yours truly. We were still proving the value of our approach: Focus, high conviction, meaningful ownership, and a bias toward product-oriented founder and decisions. But what makes a venture firm great over time isn’t just its investment strategy; it’s the people — the team that finds great entrepreneurs and helps them build the company of their dreams.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce that Casey Aylward and Farooq Abbasi are joining Costanoa. They will add to the front line that is spotting interesting entrepreneurs, ideas, and trends that shape the opportunities we pursue. Their unique backgrounds each bring new capabilities to our team.

Farooq impressed us not just for his work in venture so far but for the impressive angel investing he’s done on his own for years. He’s a natural networker, who seems to know everybody even though he was based in London for the last couple of years, where he helped launch Mosaic Ventures. He loves infrastructure and knows it well, partnering to build companies including Auto1 (Softbank), Remitly (Naspers), Zingbox and Redlock. He is a hard worker who is dedicated to being useful but also has a warm personality — a great fit for Costanoa.

Casey is new to venture, but her curiosity, initiative and demonstrated capacity to grow got the team really excited for what she can add. She joins us as an Associate, most recently from Pinterest where she was a software engineer. A graduate of Dartmouth, where she studied Asian and Middle Eastern studies, Casey started in business development at URX where she then taught herself how to code. She has the drive and tenacity to solve hard problems and has a great depth of technical skills. She has the ability to bring that knowledge to bear on both existing infrastructure (DevOps, Data Stack, Security) and new or frontier technologies (Autonomy, Robotics, Space).

As I’ve noted in this space on other occasions, venture firms can’t get by on self-promotion: We need to earn our reputation every day. When it comes to the craft of venture capital, you’re only as good as your people and it’s high-caliber additions like Farooq and Casey who will give us the capacity to scale and respond to the needs of our portfolio in ways that few other venture capital firms of our size can.

Please help us in welcoming Farooq and Casey!