We’re growing our team to support our founders with more expertise in healthtech, SaaS and analytics, and to foster more relationships across our portfolio, the VC world, and beyond.
We are thrilled to announce that Parul Singh is joining us as Initialized’s newest partner.
When I first met Parul, it felt like I was already speaking to someone on our team. We skipped the formalities and got right into a natural and thoughtful conversation about product and design. In a world where business conversations tend to be more transactional, it’s rare to meet someone who just wants to have a thoughtful conversation about what they love to do.
Parul is a builder at heart, as well as a founder and a connector with a unique combination of operations and venture capital experience. Along her journey, from startup engineer to venture capitalist, she discovered a passion for helping other founders. In fact, she can often be found helping founders in her free time, including late nights and weekends. Her natural ability to connect with people and foster relationships between them is another reason why she is different and exceptional.
At Initialized, one of our most important values is collaboration, both as a team, working together closely on everything we do, and in how we work with our portfolio companies. Parul is all about helping out founders and she intuitively puts people first. Many CEOs she has worked with compliment not only her ability and willingness to help with product strategy and operations, but also her honesty and transparency. They say she’s a founder’s advocate, who helps make venture capital understandable, and she has an ability to deliver tough messages thoughtfully while understanding the founders’ point of view. In other words, they trust her and they love working with her.
Parul has also found ways to connect with founders through her writing. Venture capital can be very opaque, especially for new founders who haven’t gone through the fundraising process before. There isn’t always an incentive for venture capitalists to share trade secrets, which can then lead to more funding being driven by relationships or insider rules. But that’s not the only way deals can or should get done, especially if you’re trying to be thoughtful about inclusivity. Parul has been a prolific writer in the past decade, covering topics about venture capital to help founders, as well as topics that are important to running a startup, like fundraising strategy and product management.
Parul spent the past five years on the investing team at Founder Collective where she focused on early-stage tech companies in Boston and New York City. She evaluated over 3,000 companies and spearheaded the firm’s investments in Embark Veterinary, Broadlume, Running Tide, HumanFirst, Flume Health and HealthNote.
Before she became an investor, she spent close to a decade as a full stack and devops engineer and product manager at the NYTimes.com, Inc. and Fast Company. She also founded a learning analytics company for K-12 schools (during which time she met her husband, a data-driven public school principal).
At Initialized, Parul will focus her investing efforts on software companies, with a special interest in the areas of healthtech, SaaS and analytics.
Parul told me, “As I got to know the Initialized team, it was impossible not to feel an incredible fit and it has been a very natural transition. As a builder at heart, I was drawn to the Initialized team of ‘builder-investors’, who work together to support and help their founders at that early stage when it makes a tremendous difference. Their operating principles and hands-on approach play to my strengths and I’m so excited to be here.”
You can read Parul’s post about why she decided to join Initialized along with more of her advice for founders here, and watch Garry interview her here. And keep an eye on our Initialized blog for more of her writing in the near future.
Meet Livingston Miller, Our First General Counsel
As our funds and team grow, and as our portfolio companies mature, we are also growing our internal legal and compliance infrastructure to handle our evolving and complex legal needs, such as portfolio company IPOs, SPACs and mergers & acquisitions that have increased over the last year. We couldn’t be happier to have Livingston Miller, formerly of WeWork, join us as Initialized’s first General Counsel.
Livingston’s background in investments, mergers & acquisitions and governance are important as we build Initialized for the future. His more holistic approach to legal goes far beyond transactions and compliance – he has a track record of incorporating legal and strategic advice into the overall management of the business. We’re also excited about Livingston’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, which we will continue to incorporate into future initiatives.
At Initialized, he’ll be responsible for all legal and compliance matters. The complexity of those matters is increasing as our first fund nears 10 years old and our total investments have surpassed $1B in total value.
Livingston has led over a hundred mergers & acquisitions and venture capital investments in over a decade of legal work. In his most recent role, he was WeWork’s general counsel for the U.S. and Canada, where he oversaw the day-to-day legal operations of the region. Prior to that, he was the global head of corporate transactions, including responsibility for all WeWork mergers & acquisitions and investments. He also led the company’s legal response to the COVID-19 pandemic across its U.S. and Canada portfolio.
Throughout his career, diversity has always been a priority for Livingston. As in-house counsel, he previously developed policies and procedures to ensure that outside law firms had adequate diverse representation amongst its senior attorneys working on legal matters. He’s also a member of several organizations and networks focused on promoting the success of attorneys of color in the legal industry.
“Diversity within organizations is critical to be competitive and successful. Diverse teams are better at innovation, creativity, problem-solving, and decision making,” he told me recently. “There is a unique opportunity in venture capital to deploy capital to founders who are members of historically underrepresented groups leading to innovation in previously underserved markets.”
Welcome Livingston! We’re so excited you’ve joined Initialized.