Sierra Ventures has mastered the art of starting and scaling technology companies. Each of our Managing Directors and Partners has years of experience growing businesses of all sizes not just as investors, but as entrepreneurs and operational executives in charge of engineering, finance, marketing and operations. These experiences give Sierra a unique perspective that will help companies like yours navigate the rough waters of entrepreneurship and growth. We’re always available. Ready to collaborate as you hit bumps in the road. And committed to partnering with you to succeed.
Mark Fernandes Managing Director
“My first VC investment was in an open source (long before it was popular) security company. It was an absolute thrill to help build Sourcefire from a small team of developers in Maryland, to its IPO and then a $2.7B acquisition by Cisco. As an investor I have to play many roles and adapt with the entrepreneurs to the many ups-and-downs, but the theme stays the same – let’s do what it takes to build a great company together.”
Mark began his career as part of the founding team of a display company, followed by product roles at Seagate and Cisco. After his MBA, he then spent four years as a research analyst covering the software sector at Robertson Stephens and Merrill Lynch. He joined Sierra in 2002 and focuses primarily on software. Some of his prior investments include Sourcefire (IPO; M&A - Cisco $2.7B), Frontbridge and Opalis (M&A - Microsoft) and DynamicOps (M&A - VMware). Mark holds a BS from Mangalore University (India), a MS from UC Berkeley, and a MBA from Harvard University.
DynamicOps (acquired by VMware, Inc.) ElasticBox (acquired by CenturyLink) Frontbridge Technologies(acquired by Microsoft) Net6 (acquired by Citrix Systems) Nexgate (acquired by Proofpoint) Ooyala(acquired by Telstra)
Opalis Software (acquired by Microsoft) Permeo(acquired by Blue Coat Systems)
Sourcefire (NASDAQ:FIRE - acquired by Cisco)
Tim Guleri Managing Director
“It takes blood, sweat and tears to build a company...it is a journey I have been on personally as an entrepreneur. At a very visceral level I feel fortunate and humbled to support the visionary entrepreneurs I meet every day. I relish being a resource for my CEOs—the ‘doctor on call’ as they go through the ups and downs of building a successful company. I'm 24x7, like my entrepreneurs.”
A serial entrepreneur, Tim built two software infrastructure companies: Scopus Technology, which went public in 1995, and Octane Software, where he was Founder/CEO which he sold to Epiphany for $3.2 billion in 2000. In 2002 he became a Managing Director at Sierra. At Sierra, he's taken two companies public, Sourcefire (FIRE) and MakeMyTrip (MMYT), and has been responsible for several M&As. Tim holds a BA in Electrical Engineering from India and an MS in IEOR/Robotics from Virginia Tech. His passion (outside of his family and companies) is soccer.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) & Big Data
Alpine Data (acquired by TIBCO)
Appcelerator (acquired by Axway) Approva (acquired by Lawson Software, an Infor Affiliate)
Bina Technologies (acquired by Roche) Sourcefire (IPO NASDAQ:FIRE; acquired by CISCO)
Everest Software (acquired by Trilogy)
Greenplum (acquired by EMC)
Makara (acquired by Red Hat) MakeMyTrip.com (NASDAQ: MMYT)
Net6 (acquired by Citrix Systems) Nexenta Systems
Red Aril (acquired by Hearst Corp)
Runa (acquired by Staples)
Octane Software (acquired by Epiphany) Scopus (IPO NASDAQ:SCOP)
Ben Yu Managing Director
“Throughout my career, I've been fascinated by unique technologies. As an investor, my passion is to help entrepreneurs turn these great technologies into successful products that the world has not seen before, creating new categories—and new market leaders. I am very fortunate to have been involved in countless "world first" products from my portfolio companies, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. My job is to pass on this experience to entrepreneurs, and help them build companies that will become the next market leader.”
Ben joined Sierra in 2000 from 3Com where he served as a Senior Systems Architect and Project Manager. Prior to joining 3Com, while completing his Ph.D. at Princeton University, Ben worked as a Research Assistant at Princeton's Lightwave Communication Research Lab. Prior to beginning his studies at Princeton, Ben held a variety of engineering consulting roles at Metz in Australia. Ben holds both a Ph. D. and Masters of Arts from Princeton and a Bachelor of Engineering with 1st class honors from the University of Western Australia.
Applied Microstructures (AMST)
AuthenTec (NASDAQ: AUTH)
Digital Media Group (acquired by VisionChina Media) Invensense (acquired by TDK)
MicroPower (acquired by Weston Presidio)
Multigig (acquired by Analog Devices) Novariant (acquired by AgJunction)
ParAcer (acquired by Stratos Lightwave)
SemEquip (acquired by Ceradyne, Inc.) Social Touch (acquired)
Sychip (acquired by Murata Manufacturing) Tempo AI (acquired by Salesforce.com)
Valere Power (acquired by Eltek ASA) Ximalaya (acquired) 800app
Aaron Tong Venture Partner
Aaron Tong joined Sierra Ventures as a Partner in 2012. Prior to joining Sierra, Aaron was at TCL Capital where he served as a Vice President and Board Member. In his three years at TCL Capital, he closed investments in five companies with one IPO in 2011 and two companies currently in the IPO registration process. Before TCL Capital, Aaron held leadership roles at TCL Corporation, Midea Corporation and Motorola, and was an Assistant Professor at National University of Singapore's School of Business. Aaron holds both a Ph.D. Management and Organization from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science, Acoustics from Nanjing University, China.
Technology, Media, Telecommunications
Mobile Internet in China.
Vignesh Ravikumar Senior Associate
Vignesh joined Sierra in 2013 after the completion of an internship at AGC Partners, a Boston-based investment bank. Prior to that, he graduated from UC San Diego in August 2012. During his time there, Vignesh was involved in a number of organizations including the Undergraduate Investment Society and the UCSD Student Foundation Endowment Fund. He also participated in academic competitions such as the CFA Research Challenge. Outside of UCSD, Vignesh completed internships at Wipro Technologies, a large, publicly traded IT firm and at Kotak Mahindra, one of the largest private banks in India. Vignesh holds a B.S. in Management Science (cum laude) and a Minor in Math.
Jim Doehrman has joined Sierra Ventures as its first Operating Partner to lead the Firm’s CXO Network, Finance, HR, Investor Relations, Legal, and Marketing initiatives and will assist portfolio companies with back office infrastructure.
Jim is no stranger to Sierra as he was CFO for Managing Director Tim Guleri at Octane Software, just prior to Tim joining Sierra, and helped engineer what was then the largest sale of a private software company ($3.2B). Since then, Jim has had COO, CAO and CFO roles at public and private technology companies and most recently, led explosive growth at two venture capital backed private software companies (digital media pioneer Gracenote -- sold to Sony for $265M and Automotive SaaS company Xtime, -- sold to Cox (AutoTrader) for $325M).
Prior to joining Octane, Jim had his operational and finance training in the public accounting, retail and media industries, including International assignments in London and Mexico City and led the initial IPO of the publisher of "the Dummies" books (eg. "DOS For Dummies"). During his career, Jim has led scores of M&A, debt and equity financing deals valued at over $4Bn.
Joyce Lee joined Sierra Ventures in 2007 and serves as VP of Finance. Joyce is responsible for the firm’s accounting operations, financial reporting and tax matters. Prior to Sierra Ventures, she worked for Ernst & Young, LLP in the Audit and Assurance Business Services Department. Joyce holds a MS in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame and a BA in Business Economics, with a minor in Accounting from University of California, Los Angeles (Cum Laude) and is a CPA. She enjoys traveling, a good hike, and spending time with family.
Grace joined Sierra Ventures in 2016 as an Assistant Controller, focusing on fund accounting, assisting with tax compliance, and coordinating audit processes.Prior to Sierra, Grace worked and consulted with various venture capital firms in the Bay Area such as Formation 8, e.Ventures and Venrock. She is a CPA and holds a Master in Professional Accounting with a concentration in tax from The University of Texas at Austin. During her free time she enjoys travel, fashion journalism and rock climbing.
Brendon Schmidt Director of Business Development
Director of Business Development
Brendon focuses on the business development operations for the firm including the CXO Advisory Board and managing the Annual CXO Summit. Prior to that, he worked at Gartner where he supported CIOs in the healthcare industry and investors in the Venture Capital & Private Equity sector with their top technology focus areas. Brendon has a Masters of Science in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida, where he also completed his undergraduate degree.
Katherine joined Sierra Ventures following a three-month internship working in Sierra’s Marketing and Operations Teams. She is responsible for all Marketing initiatives and assists with the Annual CXO Summit. Prior to joining Sierra, she completed a Marketing & Accounting Internship with VMA Group, a Recruiting Firm in London, England, as well as a Financial Analyst Internship at Silicon Valley Bank in Palo Alto. Katherine is a graduate of Santa Clara University (cum laude) with a B.S. degree in Finance and a Minor in International Business. She loves to travel and her hobbies include running and hiking.
Sarah Recinos Office Manager & Executive Assistant
Office Manager & Executive Assistant
Sarah joined Sierra in 2004. She is responsible for the day to day office operations of the firm, partners with HR as the benefits administrator and oversees accounts payable. Sarah also provides executive support for three Managing Directors, the Operating Partner and the CFO. Prior to joining Sierra, Sarah worked for Linden Research, the producer of Second Life, as an Administrative Assistant and receptionist where she provided support to the marketing and finance departments. Sarah holds a BS in Biology from Stephens College and a Certificate of Human Resource Management from Keller Graduate School. She loves traveling, backpacking and reading.
Dora has been a vital member of Sierra’s team for over 20 years. She has extensive knowledge about all day-to-day operations of the firm as well as the firm’s history with our executive clients, limited partners and portfolio companies. Currently, Dora is the Executive Assistant to three of Sierra’s Managing Directors. She manages the executives’ personal & work expenses, daily calendars, meeting communications, and other necessary coordination and projects. Prior to being an Executive Assistant, Dora was an Administrative Assistant and Receptionist. She is a passionate artist and loves all things related to art and music.
Joe Descalso Office Administrator & Staff Accountant
Office Administrator & Staff Accountant
Joe joined Sierra Ventures in 2016. Prior to joining Sierra, he worked for Schumann’s Four Seasons Catering, a deluxe catering service based in the Bay Area, handling their bar and waitstaff. Joe is a recent graduate of Gonzaga University with a B.S. degree in Economics. He is an avid outdoors adventurer and enjoys hiking, camping, and especially winter-time sports such as snowboarding and snowmobiling.
Susie Singh Accounting Consultant
Susie joined Sierra Ventures in 2017 as a Finance Consultant, focusing on fund accounting, financial reporting, and accounting operations. She has accumulated 10 years of experience in the venture capital industry, working with newly formed and established firms, both domestic and multinational. Susie holds a Master of Business Administration from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. During her free time, Susie enjoys travel, reading, and spending time with her two- and four-legged family and friends.
Active Partners in Prior Funds
Peter Wendell Managing Director
Peter Wendell founded Sierra Ventures after ten years in sales and marketing at IBM, growing the firm from a single California-based partner to over a dozen investing professionals, nine funds, and $1.5 billion in committed capital. Peter co-teaches Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, "Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital" with Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. Peter holds a BA from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard. In addition to his venture capital activities at Sierra Ventures, Peter serves on the board of directors of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), as one of the three officers of Princeton University's 40-member board of trustees, and recently completed an extended term as a member of the board of the Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO), including six years as chairman during which time PRINCO's professional managers doubled the University's endowment. In recognition of his work at Stanford and Princeton, Peter was awarded the National Venture Capital Association's American Spirit Award.
Technology / Enabled Services
Administrative Assistant: Sarah Recinos
Fatbrain (acquired by Barnes & Noble)
Centex Telemanagement (purchased by MCI)
Healtheon (merged with WebMD)
Intensiva Healthcare (acquired by Select Medical)
NovaMed (acquired by Surgery Partners)
David Schwab Managing Director
Dave joined Sierra in 1996. Prior to joining the venture capital community, Dave's professional career began at Lockheed Corporation in the software engineering department. Following his tenure there, he joined Sun Microsystems in sales and sales management. In 1991 Schwab co-founded Scopus Technology with a fellow Sun sales manager and two other executives. While at Scopus, he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Scopus was taken public and subsequently acquired by Siebel Systems. Dave holds a Masters in aerospace engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard University.
Accruent (acquired by Vista Equity Partners)
360Commerce, Inc. (acquired by Oracle)
CrossLogix (acquired by BEA Systems, Inc.)
Interact Commerce Corp. (NASDAQ:IACT)
Knova (Merger of Kanisa and ServiceWare)
Micromuse (acquired by IBM)
Onlink Technologies (acquired by Siebel Systems)
Steven Williams Managing Director
Steve joined Sierra in 2000 after helping three companies get up and running: InterCAD, where he was Vice President and General Manager (later sold to Bishop Graphics); Tivoli Systems (NASDAQ:TIVS), as Vice President, Western US; and Marimba (MRBA), Vice President, World Wide Sales and COO. Having spent his career in sales management and operations, Steve applies his strong operating background to the companies in which he invests. Steve holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Accruent (acquired by Vista Equity Partners) Adometry (acquired by Google)
Axentis (acquired by Wolters Kluwer)
CrossLogix (acquired by BEA Systems, Inc.)
DynamicOps (acquired by VMware, Inc.)
Marathon Technologies (acquired by Stratus Technologies Inc.)
Permeo (acquired by Blue Coat Systems) Razorsight (acquired by Synchronoss - NASDAQ:SNCR)
SenSage (acquired by KEYW) TouchCommerce (acquired by Nuance)
TriActive (acquired by Versata Enterprises)
WebCollage (acquired by Answers.com)