In conjunction with the annual Midas List, TrueBridge and Forbes partnered again this year to publish the Brink List highlighting talented, emerging investors making a name for themselves in the increasingly competitive world of venture capital. Nominees are evaluated based on qualitative and quantitative measures that weigh an investor’s momentum, position, reputation, and other variables. This year, we once again enlisted the expertise of a panel of investors previously named to the Brink List to provide their insight into the selection process: Jesse Beyroutey of IA Ventures, Mar Hershenson of Pear Ventures, and Elliot Robinson of Bessemer Venture Partners.
Our 2022 list of up-and-coming investors represents a diverse range of problem-solvers whose unique experiences, backgrounds, and expertise position them to take center stage in the world of VC. We expect them to continue to drive trends and shape the future of the industry as we head into a year that potentially could be quite different than 2021. We’re pleased to present this year’s Brink List.
Key Deals: Check, Gong, ServiceTitan, Shopmonkey
Nina joined Index Ventures as a partner in 2017, and has led investments across enterprise SaaS, vertical software, and voice and AI to help legacy industries modernize workflows and adopt solutions in software and payments. She believes legacy industries are ripe for digital transformation and will continue to adopt more modern, vertical-specific solutions.
Before Index, Nina was an FP&A Lead at Google, managing a multi-billion-dollar book of business. She currently serves on the boards of ServiceTitan, ShopMonkey and DeepScribe, having led various early-stage investments in each over the past two years. She also founded HIVE Ventures, the first venture fund focusing on Armenian entrepreneurs, where she invested in over 30 companies.
Nina started her career as a high yield bond trader at Citigroup after graduating from Harvard in 2008, where she was a recipient of the Michael C. Rockefeller Scholarship.
Key Deals: Factorial, Gtmhub, Tinybird, Vercel
Reid joined CRV in 2017, and in just five short years has made his mark at the 50-year-old firm by finding extraordinary success in the crowded early stage tech space, helping founders across the US and Europe realize their full potential and get their products to markets with massive opportunities.
Recent investments have spanned hot sectors including collaborative work, open source, and APIs with Vercel, Postman, GreyNoise, and others. He also currently serves on the boards of Bbot (acquired by DoorDash), Carrot, Checkly, Factorial, Gtmhub, Lokalise, Squire, and Tinybird. Prior to joining CRV, Reid gained experience at Battery Ventures and was a growth equity associate at Symmetric Capital following a stint in investment banking at RBC Capital Markets. He graduated from Bates College, where he was captain of the basketball team.
Point Nine Capital
Key Deals: 15Five, Algolia, Contentful, Factorial, Loom, NexHealth, Typeform
Christoph co-founded Berlin-based Point Nine Capital in 2011, and along with partner Pawel Chudzinski, has led investments in some of the most exciting European SaaS and marketplace startups over the past decade.
Early-stage investments in content management platform Contentful, SaaS search engine Algolia, and others kept Point Nine at the forefront of global VC investing in 2021.
Before starting Point Nine Capital, Christoph co-founded a handful of successful European internet companies, beginning with El Dorado Software in 1993. Other ventures include DealPilot.com (acquired by Shopping.com), Friendity.de (acquired by a top-three German ISP) and Pageflakes (acquired by LiveUniverse). His successful turn as an angel saw him back companies like FreeAgent, Geckoboard, and Zendesk. He’s known for his hands-on approach to companies in Point Nine’s portfolio, serving as a trusted advisor to Clio and Momox, among others.
Partner & Chief Product Officer
Key Deals: Ironclad, Maven Clinic, Mos, Otter, Pace, Protégé, Wonolo
Jess Lee became a partner at Sequoia in 2016. In addition to investing, she also serves as Chief Product Officer and leads the engineering, product, design, and data science teams in the US and Europe. She found her way into the industry after serving as product manager for Google Maps and as co-founder and CEO of fashion app Polyvore.
After Polyvore was acquired by Yahoo! Inc. in 2015, Jess briefly served as VP of Product, which is when she was approached by Midas List mainstay Roelof Botha of Sequoia Capital. Since joining Sequoia, Jess has led seed and early stage investments in tech companies focused on issues ranging from maternal health to staffing. She graduated from Stanford University in 2004, where she studied computer science. She is also a founding and board member of All Raise, a non-profit dedicated to improving diversity in the tech industry.
Key Deals: Adyton, Basis Theory, CloudTrucks, Goldfinch, Tala
Kanyi is a Managing Partner at Kindred Ventures, where he’s focused on investments in fintech, health and wellness, e-commerce, supply-chain, and climate tech since joining the firm in 2018. He and firm founder Steve Jang have focused Kindred on both forming and investing in new startups, and have worked with companies such as Cloudtrucks, Hellosign, Just, Outschool, and Upstart.
He gained investment experience at Collaborative Fund, where he served as a Partner and worked with companies including Buffer, Hopscotch, Spruce, and True Link. As an entrepreneur and operator, he ran growth at One Block Off the Grid (acquired by $NRG) and was an early employee at Doostang (acquired by Universum Global).
Kanyi was born in apartheid South Africa and came to the United States as a refugee, and has had an impressive array of experiences since attending Stanford University as an undergrad, including working on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, as a teacher for the Stanford Design Program, and as a Lecturer and Adjunct at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. He also co-founded and serves on the board of directors of Heartbeat Health, a leading end-to-end virtual care platform tailored to cardiology patients.
Founder & Managing Partner
Key Deals: BigID, Blockdaemon, Kustomer, SecurityScorecard, Snyk, Superhuman
Ed is a seasoned VC with over 25 years of experience leading first-round investments and a passion for working with developer-first, engineering-driven founders. He founded boldstart in 2010 and has served as a day-one partner and board member or observer for cutting-edge tech names including Common Paper, Env0, and Spectro Cloud.
In 2021, Ed continued to see many of his early bets come to fruition, with Snyk, BigID and Dooly raising over $400 million in the past twelve months alone.
Previously, he co-founded Dawntreader Ventures where he worked with companies like Divide (acquired by Google), Greenplum (acquired by EMC), and GoToMeeting (acquired by Citrix). He learned to code and build quantitative trading models at JP Morgan, where he worked in the structured derivatives group and helped develop a real-time trading application for global asset allocation. In 2017, he co-founded MState, an enterprise blockchain lab, in partnership with IBM. MState seed investments include Fireblocks and Amberdata. He graduated from Harvard in 1993 and was a four-year letterman on the men’s lacrosse team.
Founder & General Partner
Key Deals: Cosmos, dYdX, OpenSea, Polkadot, SuperRare
Nick is Founder and General Partner of 1confirmation, a leading cryptocurrency-focused investment firm with assets under management of over $1 billion. With investments in OpenSea, Coinbase, dYdX, and many more, Nick has repeatedly been a source of ever-important capital for companies at the bleeding edge of the cryptocurrency space. He prides himself on his partnership with founders—he works to back those who are solving problems for the crypto community.
He’s been at the forefront of NFT investing, backing marketplace OpenSea long before NFTs were making headlines. He made early bets in CryptoPunks and artists like Pak and Beeple.
After graduating from Bowdoin College and attending a year at the Yale School of Management, Nick left school to join Coinbase, where he worked in business development. He also spent time at Runa Capital, an early stage VC firm focused on deep tech, cloud business applications, fintech, ed tech, and digital health.
Alexa von Tobel
Founder & Managing Partner
Key Deals: Chief, Habi, Orum, Public
Alexa founded Inspired Capital in 2019 with the aim of helping Seed and Series A consumer and enterprise tech businesses become category-defining companies.
Alexa has seen success with investments in B2B fintech Rho Technologies, social calendar platform Saturn and customer-focused AI startup Forethought. She draws on over a decade of experience as the founder and CEO of LearnVest, a learning platform that helped bring personal finance to the masses on its way to raising over $75 million in venture capital before being acquired by Northwestern Mutual in one of the biggest fintech acquisitions of the 2010s.
Beyond her role at Inspired, Alexa is a New York Times-bestselling author, writes as a columnist for Inc. and hosts both ‘The Founders Project with Alexa von Tobel’ and ‘Inspired in 15.’ She has been recognized on the cover of Forbes, Fortune’s 40 Under 40, Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30, and is a Henry Crown Fellow. She holds degrees from Harvard University and Harvard Business School.
Co-founder & General Partner
Key Deals: Flashbots, Foundation, Mirror, Phantom, Uniswap
Jesse co-founded Variant in 2020 at the outset of the pandemic and has quickly differentiated the firm as a leader in the crypto investing and ownership economy space. Investments in Uniswap, Aleo, and Phantom have touched on all aspects of crypto from DeFi to privacy and security to wallet management.
Prior to founding Variant, Jesse was an investment partner on the first crypto fund at Andreessen Horowitz and led the firm’s crypto startup school. He also led blockchain R&D at Spotify after a company he founded—Mediachain Labs, which developed a protocol for tracking ownership of digital media assets on public blockchains—was acquired by the company in 2017. He also founded Cool Managers, an artist management firm that leveraged tech platforms to help artists run their businesses independently. He received a bachelor’s degree from McGill University.