Alphabet’s growth stage venture arm, CapitalG, is shaking things up by appointing Laela Sturdy as its new leader. With this move, CapitalG will be among the few venture firms led by a female partner. This is a big deal, as the industry has a long way to go regarding diversity, with few women and people of colour in partner or leadership positions.
Sturdy has already greatly impacted the industry and within Alphabet, having invested in household names like Stripe and Duolingo. And according to those companies, she’s done more than just provide monetary value – she’s been a valuable sounding board and advisor.
In fact, Sturdy’s investments have helped 10 companies reach valuations of over $1 billion in the last two years, including UiPath, one of the most anticipated public offerings of 2021.
CapitalG is distinct from Alphabet’s early-stage venture arm, GV, and invests similarly to other growth-stage firms. However, it only has one limited partner – its parent company, Alphabet.
CapitalG Founder David Lawee, who previously served as Google’s first chief marketing officer and VP of Corporate Development, is stepping down after a decade at CapitalG and 17 years at Alphabet.
Sturdy has been with Google since 2007, starting in a strategy and marketing role before moving into sales. She later led Google’s emerging businesses, overseeing the growth of new ads and commerce products.
Lawee says he’s always heard great things about Sturdy from other successful women in Silicon Valley, and it’s clear that her contributions to CapitalG have been significant.
All of this comes at a challenging time for venture funding and initial public offerings, with economic uncertainty and recession concerns leading to budget cuts and plummeting startup valuations. But with Sturdy at the helm, CapitalG is in good hands.