Meet the Newest Members of the Lightspeed Consumer Team: Sydney Sykes and Faraz Fatemi

Nicole Quinn
Lightspeed Venture Partners
3 min readApr 6, 2022

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Lightspeed Consumer Team members pictured left to right: Mercedes Bent, Faraz Fatemi, Sydney Sykes, Nicole Quinn, and Alex Taussig.

At Lightspeed we’re constantly on the hunt for great investment talent. We’re also always hiring with at least one eye on diversity — not merely in gender, ethnicity, or orientation, but also in thought, background, and experience.

We’re thrilled to announce we’ve just added two members to the consumer investing team at Lightspeed that meet all of the above criteria…and then some. Please welcome our newest Partners: Sydney Sykes and Faraz Fatemi.

Investors who know operations

Sydney Sykes first came to our attention when she joined our Scouts program, where she wrote checks into companies like Archive and others (not yet announced) that went on to become Lightspeed portfolio companies.

After graduating from Harvard, Sydney joined an investment firm to focus on early stage investing, and co-founded BLCK VC, the world’s largest network of Black Venture Capital investors. As co-CEO, she led the non-profit organization to a multi-million-dollar budget with a reach of more than 20,000 people. She then moved to the operating side, managing growth and strategy for brands at online retailer Dolls Kill. Sydney is currently enrolled in the MBA program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Faraz Fatemi joins Lightspeed after stints as an operator at Clubhouse and Wave, leading monetization and growth initiatives, as well as an investor with Bain Capital Ventures. During his time at BCV, he co-invested in several Lightspeed portfolio companies, including Cameo and Rubrik, which is how we originally came to know him.

Faraz graduated from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business (go Bears!) and credits his family’s experience as immigrants from post-revolution Iran as his motivation for helping future generations of Americans realize their dreams. He’s deeply passionate about community, and there are many different communities he spends his free time with, including founder communities through his involvement as LA Chapter Lead with On Deck and separately as mentor for UC Berkeley’s SkyDeck accelerator.

Sydney and Faraz embody all the top qualities we look for in a team member. They’re highly collaborative and insatiably curious, with an incredible work ethic and deep familiarity with popular culture.

Helping broaden perspectives

As investors in consumer startups, we need to understand the point of view of people using the products built by our portfolio companies — which is to say, everyone. Fans of Cameo, Outschool, Snap and many of our companies come from every background and every walk of life. The investment team needs to reflect that as much as possible.

The more time we spent with both Sydney and Faraz during the recruiting process, the more we realized how much they share Lightspeed’s core values and growth mindset.

We hope you’ll join us in welcoming Sydney and Faraz into the Lightspeed family.

by Nicole Quinn and Alex Taussig

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Nicole Quinn
Lightspeed Venture Partners

Investor at Lightspeed, Stanford alum, Former Consumer Analyst at Morgan Stanley and British 100m sprinter