Riviera Partners Expands Venture Capital-Backed Practice

March 1, 2024 – San Francisco-based Riviera Partners, a recruitment provider specializing in C-level engineering, product, and design leader placements, has expanded with the addition of Sam Wilkins as its newest partner, joining the firm’s venture capital-backed practice led by managing partner Eoin O’Toole. “We are delighted to welcome Sam to the team,” said Mr. O’Toole. “In addition to being an incredible search professional, Sam embodies the entrepreneurial DNA shared by the founders with whom we work. His reputation has been built on incredible delivery and forging lasting relationships through delivering outsized value.”

Mr. Wilkins brings a wealth of experience from his decade-long tenure at Erevena, establishing the CTO practice in Europe before relocating to San Francisco five years ago and increasingly concentrating on product and deeptech. Throughout his tenure, he cultivated relationships in the U.S. by working with a diverse array of venture capital, private equity, and publicly backed technology companies. His collaborations spanned the portfolios of prominent firms such as Accel, NEA, Insight Partners, Redpoint, Battery, Stripes, A16Z, Gradient, Y-Combinator, Norwest, Sapphire Ventures, Advent, and Apollo Capital.

“Working with people building Frontier technology companies where scientific discovery powers the core product has always been where I get most energized,” said Mr. Wilkins. “Riviera presents the perfect opportunity to deepen my involvement in this sector. I am excited at the prospect of placing executive operators and board advisors into the next wave of these pioneers and supporting those who have already reached remarkable heights.”

New Venture-Backed Practice

Mr. O’Toole leads the recently formed venture practice, which combines Riviera’s former emerging and growth practices. The fully VC-backed focus aims to expand and strengthen Riviera’s existing relationships by offering service and continuity across the spectrum of company growth stages and better leverage the agility and innovative approaches of the emerging practice along with the depth, experience, and expansive network of growth.

“By uniting these practices under a single, venture-backed umbrella, we are enhancing our ability to deliver a seamless experience across stages,” said Mr. O’Toole. “Our clients, ranging from ambitious startups through rapid growth and expansion phases, will benefit from a broader range of expertise, deeper market insights, and a more robust candidate network, positioning us to meet the unique challenges and opportunities of this segment.”

“Starting in Silicon Valley with a strong heritage of venture-backed partnerships, Riviera has worked with over 600+ seed through series B companies and more than 300 unicorns, representing companies disrupting industries by defining new categories of products, services, or entire markets,” the firm said. Riviera has placed talent at companies including Uber, One Kings Lane, Box, Dropbox, Warby Parker, Airbnb, Zappos, Zendesk, and OpenTable and partnered with venture capitalists including Sequoia, Thrive, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, Benchmark, Accel and many more.

Related: Riviera Partners Acquires Arete Partners, Creates Riviera Ventures

Riviera Partners is a global recruiting firm specializing in the technology industry. The firm provides clients with optimal placements by combining recruiter interactions and experience with data-driven findings about candidates. Riviera Partners has recruited for key executive roles at Pinterest, Postmates, Tinder, Twilio, Uber, Asana, Dropbox, GitHub, DoorDash, Hulu, and partnered with venture-backed concerns, including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Benchmark, Accel, Menlo Ventures, KPCB, Greylock, and General Catalyst.

Riviera Partners Receives Investment from Insight Partners
Riviera Partners has received an investment from global software investor Insight Partners. Privately backed since 2019, this investment allows Rivera Partners to forge additional opportunities for its recruiters and employees to scale into new markets and geographies. Riviera Partners will continue to operate independently. “With thousands of open engineering, product, and design leadership roles across Insight Partners’ portfolio, we know how in-demand top talent is,” said Allyson White, managing director at Insight Partners. “Riviera Partners has established a best-in-class, tech-driven approach to finding the best product and engineering candidates. Hiring is a critical component to a company’s success regardless of their stage, and we recognize that Riviera plays a large role in the health of the software ecosystem. We look forward to working with Riviera Partners as they continue to grow and place top technical leadership that will build the future generational companies.”

Through machine learning algorithms, Riviera Partners identifies specialized, highly qualified candidates that fit an organization’s needs from 600,000 professionals across tech geographies. Riviera can often provide a short list of candidates in 30 days and has a success rate of over 95 percent.

Recent Growth in London

Riviera Partners recently added Simon Gray as its newest partner to the EU region, based in London. “Simon brings experience from world-class companies, including Salesforce and Celonis, and has built relationships over many years due to the pride he takes in completing complex executive searches,” said Glenn Murphy, managing partner for Riviera Europe. “He has seen hypergrowth from the inside and will add a lot of value to Riviera, not just in Europe but across the globe.”

Mr. Gray has over 20 years of executive search experience hiring for pre-IPO ventures and large-scale publicly-listed technology providers. His expertise spans all functions with a specialty domain focus on hiring C/SVP/VP-level executives in product and engineering across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Mr. Gray most recently served as global head of executive talent acquisition for Celonis. In this role, he had the responsibility for the creation and execution of the executive hiring strategy.  Prior to this, Mr. Gray was head of international recruiting for Infoblox. His previously HR experience include senior roles with Cisco, Salesforce, and Nicholson.

Riviera Partners’ EU team operates across the U.K., DACH, France, the Nordics, Benelux, Iberia, and Eastern Europe. Clients include Personio, Bumble, Beauty Pie, and Sorare.

Related: Riviera Partners Adds New Senior Leaders

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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