Artico Search Recruits Partner for Decibel

October 24, 2023 – Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor of Artico Search has helped to recruit Jess Leão as a partner with Decibel in Palo Alto, CA. “Jess is a successful early stage VC who grew up in one of the lowest socioeconomic parts of Brazil where very few people could afford a computer,” Decibel said. “Her passion for learning new languages and computer science ultimately brought her to Silicon Valley, where she became an early investor in startups leveraging modern AI and Large Language Models (LLMs).”

Before joining Decibel, Ms. Leão was at Maverick Ventures, where she led early investments in open source LLMs and AI-enabled applications. Her investments included MosaicML (acquired by Databricks for $1.3 Billion), Wild Moose, Comity AI, and Atomic Semi. She works closely with founders at pre-seed and seed stage to find great early adopters, recruit essential talent, and overcome the daily challenges of nascent startups. Ms. Leão is the founder of The 21 Fund, a $2 million seed fund building investing in the next generation of Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) startups. During her career, she also has held various senior positions with Palantir Technologies and Kobre & Kim.

In her new role at Decibel, Ms. Leão will be investing in the next wave of AI engineering tools and autonomous software platforms that will help the company reimagine how traditional enterprise software is built and used. “The team at Decibel cares deeply about creating a highly differentiated founder experience from the earliest stage – and building the next great startups through a partnership that is unwavering in its commitment to put founders first,” said Ms. Leão.

Decibel is an independent venture capital firm created in partnership with Cisco to push the conventional boundaries of early stage investing. “The most critical phase of a startup is the earliest stage,” said Dug Song, co-founder and CEO of Duo Security. “Decibel commits their time and resources when you need it most.”

Related: Artico Search Recruits CISO for Xactly

With offices in San Francisco, New York, and Austin, TX, Artico is off to one of the fastest starts among boutique search firms in recent memory. Ms. Chatfield-Taylor co-founded Artico with Matt Comyns, a cybersecurity leadership expert, to lead the firm’s rapidly expanding growth executive search team. Given the billions of dollars flowing into venture capital and private equity investments these days, as well as the ever-present threat of cybersecurity breaches, the founders expect big growth acceleration ahead. Ms. Chatfield-Taylor has completed over 75 CEO searches as well as partner, principal, and other CXO level assignments.

Ms. Chatfield-Taylor’s team focuses on executive-level search for scale-up venture capital and private equity-backed technology companies. The team has deep expertise in global enterprise software, data and consumer internet businesses. Ms. Chatfield-Taylor is deeply passionate about the importance of diversifying the industry, with a full 53 percent of her placements tracked since 2019 being underrepresented executives.

Finding PE Leaders

Artico Search recently recruited Matt Garratt as general partner of U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), a Silicon Valley venture capital firm with a focus on cybersecurity, enterprise software, consumer, and healthcare. “We are thrilled to welcome Matt Garratt to the USVP team,” said Dafina Toncheva, general partner, USVP. “Matt brings a wealth of relevant experience to support our ongoing work in the enterprise sector. His expertise and broad network provide a unique value proposition to entrepreneurs building market-leading enterprise software companies.”

Artico Search Fills Position for RTP Global
Artico Search recently assisted in the recruitment of Andrea Funsten as a partner with RTP Global. Ms. Funsten becomes a partner on the U.S. investment team where her focus is on early stage investments in B2B SaaS and infrastructure. She favors categories like fintech, manufacturing, supply chain, and technologies that solve problems through the use of data, automation, and AI/ML. “Her investment thesis has a strong bias towards backing unconventional founders, and she prefers to be the first money in when others will wait and see,” RTP Global said. Ms. Funsten most recently served as a managing partner at Basecamp Fund where she built out a portfolio of over 50 companies such as Flatfile, Railway, and TripleBlind. She was on the investing team at Expa and Fika Ventures.

Mr. Garratt formerly served as a senior vice president and managing partner of Salesforce Ventures. He joined Salesforce in 2013 and spent eight years building and running the largest corporate venture arm in the tech industry. While at Salesforce Ventures, Mr. Garratt led investments in market leaders such as Anaplan, Gainsight, Mulesoft, nCino, Snowflake, ThousandEyes, Twilio, and Zoom, which resulted in returns of well over $2 billion. Most recently, Mr. Garratt was general partner at CRV, where he focused on enterprise software and SaaS investments.

Related: Artico Search Recruits Chief Revenue Officer for Labster

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; and Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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