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#EcosystemGiants' - Laura Thompson - Sapphire Ventures

Tune in on Tuesday,30 March at 5pm GMT (6pm CET)!

ParlayMe is proud to support '#EcosystemGiants' , the series featuring the leaders redefining the tech investment and entrepreneurship landscape. The perspective from a leading institutional limited partner (LP) - Laura Thompson (Partner, Sapphire Ventures) will join @Tzvete in a conversation about investing in established and emerging fund managers, funding inclusive innovation (#OpenLP) and the state of the venture ecosystem.


The aim of ‘Ecosystem’ as a project is to contribute to democratizing access to funding for very early stage founders through the resource share in the newsletter and the knowledge exchange that takes place in each online initiative. Wondering where the money behind the money in venture comes from? The next #EcosystemGiants session will be an opportunity to gain a unique insight view into the VC industry works - and the role of Limited Partners (LPs). VC firms may be the stewards of capital, directed to founders, but it is the LPs who are the allocators of this capital.

As such, it is an incredible pleasure and honor to welcome Laura Thompson (Partner, Sapphire Partners, the LP arm of Sapphire Ventures) as the next #EcosystemGiants guest! Laura invests in technology-focused venture funds in the US and globally. She is passionate about partnering with established and emerging firms to advance the thinking in the limited partner space and a frequent contributor to in an effort to help increase transparency across the venture ecosystem. Laura was also one of Venture Capital Journal’s 40 under 40 leaders named a VC Rising Star in 2021. Before joining Sapphire Partners in 2018, Laura worked as part of the investment team at Horsley Bridge Partners, where she helped the team make hundreds of millions of fund commitments.

Founded in 1996, Sapphire Ventures is a leading venture capital firm that partners with visionary teams and venture funds to build companies of consequence with over $5.7BN AUM. Sapphire Ventures has three separate investment teams (Sapphire Ventures, Sapphire Sport, and Sapphire Partners) from which it invests in expansion-stage enterprise software companies, early-stage sports, media, and entertainment startups, and early-stage venture funds respectively. Sapphire Ventures has invested in more than 100 companies from 10 countries and has had more than 55 exits from its direct portfolio. Sapphire Partners is the dedicated investment organization within Sapphire Ventures focused on investing in early-stage venture funds in the US, Europe and Israel and is committed to more than two dozen early-stage funds through which it holds interests in more than 1,500 companies globally.

A conversation about :

  • The LP/VC ecosystem - how is a VC fund raised?

  • What do LPs look for when assessing new and established fund managers?

  • What role do institutional limited partners have in increasing diversity in the venture ecosystem?*

Tune in at 5 GMT (6pm CET) on Tuesday 30 March 2021.

Timings (GMT)

17:00 Start; in conversation with Laura Thompson (Partner, Sapphire Partners, the LP arm of Sapphire Ventures)

17:30 Market commentary and Q&A

Moderated by Tzvete Doncheva, Founder 'Ecosystem' and visiting analyst, Stout

17:45 Pitching for feedback

For the first time in the series, a fund manager will pitch for feedback. In a 3' presentation, Júlia Sohajda (Managing Partner, Vespucci Partners) will share her vision for Vespucci Partners and the opportunity her team is going after.

*Only 12% of decision-makers (check writers) at U.S. venture funds greater loop than $25m are women-> Laura looks into the stats and offers recommendations on the collective action that should be taken to support inclusive investing.

“Increasing diversity in the tech ecosystem is a collective action — No one type of investor or person can do it alone.”


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