MENLO PARK — Menlo Ventures has hired two new partners to strengthen its investment team. Naomi Pilosof Ionita has been hired as Menlo’s new Investing Partner and Chris Penner as Operating Partner.
Menlo’s portfolio includes more than 70 public companies, and more than 100 mergers and acquisitions, with $5 billion under management. The firm is currently investing in Menlo Ventures XIV, a $450 million early-stage fund, as well as its $250 million Menlo Special Opportunity Fund, which targets early-growth investments.
Naomi Pilosof Ionita joins the firm as an investing partner. Naomi was most recently VP of Growth at Invoice2go, and prior to that, a product lead at Evernote, where she also founded the Growth team. During her tenure, Evernote scaled from 10M to 100M users globally. Naomi is a sought-out advisor to companies, and serves as a guest lecturer in tech communities such as 500 Startups and Reforge.
At Menlo, Naomi will focus on consumer and prosumer business models. Drawing on her expertise across both product management and marketing, Naomi will lead investments in companies with high potential to scale using product-driven growth strategies.
“Naomi is a tremendous addition to the firm. She knows how to build products that increase acquisition, engagement and monetization—the metrics all startups are eager to improve. She brings a powerful combination of skills to advise existing portfolio companies and help us identify exciting new ones” said Shawn Carolan, a Menlo partner.
Chris Penner will spearhead business development as the firm’s operating partner. In this multifaceted role, Chris serves as a co-director of Menlo FUEL, an in-house arm that provides forward-thinking guidance and resources in the areas of sales, business development, marketing and talent.
According to the firm’s partner, Matt Murphy, “Menlo’s go-to-market (GTM) services focus on growth strategies that can have a huge impact on amplifying early product-market fit, which is now more important than ever given that the opportunity for companies to scale quickly has never been greater. Chris has an incredible track record of working with companies to achieve this goal.”
In addition to working with Menlo’s portfolio companies on their GTM strategies, Chris will further build out the firm’s ecosystem of advisors, industry leaders, CIOs and other functional heads—including, Menlo’s Enterprise Briefing Center, with a focus on driving potential prospects and customers to portfolio companies. He was previously the senior vice president of global partner sales and alliances at Box, a cloud content management company that connects people, information and applications at 71,000 businesses globally. During his tenure at Box, the company increased sales from $25 million to more than $500 million, and went public in 2015.