Abdul Ly, Initialized principal

At Initialized, our goal is to fund the future we want to live in. To do so, we need to assemble a multifaceted team of people who can bring their own unique experiences, knowledge, and skill set to support our portfolio at every stage.

Today, we welcome Abdul Ly to the Initialized investment team. Abdul is the fourth principal to join the firm, and he’ll work alongside Kat Steinmetz, Scott Moss, and Andrew Sather. He’s also the third investor to join Initialized through our open search process in just ten months.

In April, I wrote about what it’s like to work at Initialized and why we ran an open search recruitment process for our investment team. So many of us got to Initialized through different backgrounds, careers, and networks. That’s why we value a wide range of experiences in leadership and collaboration across the team. 

When we first met Abdul, we were impressed by his strong sense of identity as an individual with nomadic roots. Born in the United States, raised in Senegal, and having lived in Rwanda, Togo, and Brazil, Abdul has been shaped by different worlds. We believe his global background, training as an early-to-growth stage investor, and experience working at technology companies will help founders navigate every step of their entrepreneurial journey. 

Abdul’s path into the world of entrepreneurship and venture capital started years ago in his hometown – Dakar, Senegal. Seeing his world transition from analog to digital across banking, social experiences, and commerce, he was inspired by how technology – in the right hands – could create meaningful opportunities for people. Motivated by this experience, Abdul relocated to the Bay Area and joined a new team at Google to help founders scale consumer internet startups. 

Along the way, he discovered venture capital and saw it as an avenue to help creative minds build the future they wish existed. This led him to join First Round Capital and Index Ventures as an investor. In addition to sourcing investments, Abdul also helped First Round launch Angel Track, a three-month workshop series for operators and founders looking to develop their skills as early-stage investors.

In between his venture career, Abdul also worked at Blend as a product manager focusing on consumer banking software. His experience building, selling, and investing in software will help deepen our investments in financial services, B2B software, commerce enablement, and more.

At Initialized, we don’t evaluate founders based on education level or work credentials. Instead, we are more interested in their lived experience and the product they are building. Abdul’s philosophy about how he meets founders complements that of our investment team. He is most eager to learn about the distance a founder has traveled and the steps they took to get to where they are today. 

Welcome, Abdul, to Initialized. We know you will strengthen our point of view and investments with empathy, humility, and understanding of the world.