Welcoming Semil Shah as Venture Partner at Lightspeed.

At Lightspeed, we seek to back founders who think on first principles, have a nuanced and unique perspective on their market, and don’t take tomorrow for granted. And when we find an investor who represents a similar DNA, we try to bring them in to join the Lightspeed family. Today, we’re excited to welcome Semil Shah to the Lightspeed team as a Venture Partner.

As a Venture Partner, Semil will bring to Lightspeed his insights, his network, and his ability to parse through the ever-evolving technology startup landscape. Semil will continue to run Haystack, his seed stage fund, independently and grow its presence as a premier seed-stage firm, and we will work to support him in building out Haystack.

Semil needs no introduction in the startup community. Over the last five years as the founder and sole GP at Haystack, Semil has built an impressive track record of backing category defining companies such as Instacart, Doordash, Giphy, Opendoor, Hashicorp, Wag and several others. He has emerged as one of the leading voices in the startup ecosystem and his blog and tweets are closely followed by a wide audience of founders, execs and investors alike.

But equally importantly, Semil has built Haystack and his investing track record from the ground up. Dig into his story, and he’ll tell you of the times when fundraising wasn’t easy, and founders weren’t looking for him to back their next startup. Bit by bit, check by check, Semil slowly built his reputation as a leading voice on all things technology and startups. Along the way, he continues to leave a positive impression on founders and other investors, paying it forward in a true Silicon Valley style.

I have personally known Semil for eight years and have wanted to work together with him for a long time. He’s also been close with many folks already on the Lightspeed team for years, so the discussion for us to work together evolved organically and quickly. When the time felt right, we hustled to make it happen.

We are thrilled to welcome Semil to the team. We view him as both a culture fit yet someone who is also different from us. With our new partnership with Semil, we’ll learn from his approach to early-stage investing and he will be exposed to how a multistage venture capital firm operates. We look forward to expanding the Lightspeed platform with Semil’s insights and influence.