Operator, angel investor Bob Rosin joins Defy as partner

The entrepreneur and operator-turned-investor, who previously worked at Stripe, LinkedIn and Skype, has joined Defy in Woodside, California as an investment partner.

Early-stage investor Defy Partners, which last year raised $262 million for its second fund, has added Bob Rosin as a partner, Venture Capital Journal has learned.

Rosin joins co-founders and managing partners Neil Sequeira and Trae Vassallo on the firm’s investment team. He started about three weeks ago.

“I’ve always been drawn to early-stage investing,” Rosin told VCJ. “And now I have the chance to do that, working at Defy.”

Rosin said he first met Sequeira at Harvard Business School about 20 years ago and kept in touch, as tech investors and founders often do in Silicon Valley. Rosin – who has two daughters with his wife, a five-year-old and an eight-month-old – said the time was right to make the move to go pro and join a firm.

Sequeira said Rosin is well-connected within tech circles, having worked in leadership positions at Stripe, LinkedIn and Skype. At LinkedIn, Rosin was VP of business development and reported to CEO Jeff Weiner.

Rosin’s own start-ups include Bang Networks, OQO and Qik. After Qik was acquired by Skype for its video calling app technology, Rosin said he had some liquidity and started backing deals as an angel, which he continued to do on the side of his other jobs, increasing his interest in investing.

He has advised or made angel investments in several companies, including Workato, Tenor (acquired by Google), Cursor (bought by DataRobot), MindMeld (acquired by Cisco), Instawork, Tonal Fitness, Accord, TruePlan, Prairie Health, Capchase and Curated.

At Defy, he said he will focus on fintech, with an emphasis on payments, as well as look at B2B SaaS and other start-ups. Defy is not sector-specific, and the portfolio is almost evenly split between consumer and enterprise deals.

Rosin said he is also interested in productivity apps and communication tools, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.

Defy, based in Woodside, California, raised $151 million for its maiden fund in 2017 to make Series A investments on the West Coast, though the majority of its deals are in the San Francisco Bay Area. The firm began deploying Fund II in January.