Peterson Ventures Brings on Former Weddington Way CEO as Newest General Partner
After backing Ilana Stern eight years ago, the firm is now hiring her as its newest partner to expand its presence in the Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO, October 17, 2019-- Today, the founder first early stage venture fund, Peterson Ventures, has announced Ilana Stern as the firm's newest general partner. Peterson Ventures invested in Stern's company, Weddington Way, eight years ago which went on to be acquired by Gap Inc. With Stern's arrival, Peterson Ventures has come full circle, now bringing her on to invest in early stage companies across the consumer and enterprise sectors. While Peterson Ventures has long standing roots in Utah, Stern will be the firm's first partner in San Francisco, spearheading the firm's Bay Area efforts.
Peterson Ventures is part of the Peterson Partners platform, with more than $650m assets under management and headquartered in Salt Lake City for over 20 years. Peterson Ventures has invested a majority of its vintage funds into Utah and Bay Area startups, where founding partner Joel Peterson has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for 25 years. Peterson Ventures also invests across key technology markets such as Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle.
Stern sold her brainchild Weddington Way, a direct-to-consumer brand, to Gap Inc. in 2016, and, after joining the executive team at Gap Inc., she moved on to angel investing. Identified as an "Accelerator" by WSJ and one of "40 under 40" by SF Business Times, Stern approaches brand building with unwavering focus and industry-changing boldness. She received an MBA from Stanford GSB and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.
"As a firm, we strive to be a true partner to our entrepreneurs, to be their first call in good times and bad so that we can help to strategize on the path forward," said Ben Capell, general partner at Peterson Ventures. "As a former CEO, Ilana has seen first-hand how we work, and she knows what it's like to go from startup to exit. We are thrilled to have her join our investment team and help other entrepreneurs."
As a Peterson Ventures Partner, Stern will cover early stage consumer and enterprise, with a focus on founders building the next generation of consumer technology and brands, as well as the B2B infrastructure that powers them. Peterson Ventures believes that Stern will play a crucial role in helping founders scale while navigating the ups and downs of the journey.
"It's an honor to join the Peterson Ventures team, and I couldn't be more excited to formalize my role after angel investing over the last several years," said Stern. "I am especially excited to work with the founders in the portfolio and help them with the challenges of entrepreneurship."
Peterson Ventures focuses exclusively on early stage investing into consumer and enterprise startups. The firm typically invests $250k-1.5m while also reserving follow-on capital to support growth along the way. The portfolio managed by Peterson Ventures currently consists of almost 100 companies. Consumer portfolio investments include brands, which they see as reinventing the way consumers live and shop like Ethos, Allbirds, and Bonobos. Enterprise investments in the Peterson Ventures investments include SaaS platforms like Lucid and Hirevue, which they believe are disrupting the future of work with web-based collaboration tools.
"When we decided to bring on a new partner, we knew Ilana was the perfect fit," said Joel Peterson, founding partner of Peterson Partners. "We've known Ilana for over a decade, and we've loved backing her at Weddington Way. The way she approaches entrepreneurship aligns very strongly with our mission of helping great people build great businesses."
About Peterson Ventures
Peterson Ventures, located in Utah and the Bay Area, is a founder first early stage venture fund that invests in consumer and enterprise startups. The Peterson Ventures portfolio consists of almost 100 companies and the firm has over $130m in assets under management. Consumer portfolio investments include brands it believes are reinventing the way consumers live and shop like Ethos and Allbirds. Enterprise portfolio investments include SaaS platforms like Lucid and Hirevue, which it sees as disrupting the future of work with web-based collaboration tools. Peterson Ventures has invested a majority of its vintage funds into Utah and Bay Area startups, where founding partner Joel Peterson has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for 25 years. It is the seven year old venture arm of the 20+ year old Peterson Partners platform, an independent investment management firm with $650m assets under management and investments across a variety of alternative asset classes.
Connect with Peterson Ventures via https://www.petersonventures.com/ and @PetersonVenture
These informational materials are not intended as, and do not constitute, an offer to buy or sell any security. These information materials are not intended as, and do not constitute, an advertisement for investment advisory services. Please refer to Peterson Partners' current Form ADV for information about the investment advisory services provided by Peterson Partners and its venture arm, Peterson Ventures. For a copy of the Form ADV, please call 801.417.0748. Interests in the Peterson Funds are available only to investors demonstrating in one-on-one meetings their general financial sophistication and qualification as accredited investors within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933.
The portfolio companies discussed herein do not represent the full universe of companies invested in by Peterson Ventures on behalf the funds it manages. No representation as to the performance of these companies is hereby made. For a full list of the Peterson Ventures portfolio of investments, please call 801.417.0748. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
Kelsey Cullen, KCPR
Venture Capital Database