Seed investor Ben Narasin joins NEA, expects to meet at coffee shops less often

Ben Narasin updated his LinkedIn profile this week for the second time since the summer as he officially has joined New Enterprise Associates as a venture partner.

He’s been tapped to help invest the firm’s new $3.3 billion fund, telling VCJ he will spend 80 percent of his time on seed and Series A investments and 20 percent on growth deals.

Narasin, a longtime seed investor, will work out of NEA’s office in Menlo Park, California, which is located in the same complex as the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel. He said he is “super excited” to bring people to NEA’s office for meetings rather than to Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park or other coffee shops, where he would inevitably get coffee and a treat.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in coffee shops as a seed investor, and this move should also help my waistline,” he joked.

The move to NEA comes a couple of months after Narasin left Canvas Ventures, where he had served as a general partner for less than two years. Narasin was on the roster when Canvas raised $300 million for its second fund late last year.

Narasin said he’s known NEA Managing General Partner Scott Sandell for years. He has other connections with NEA, as well, having made seed-stage investments in Branch Metrics, Enigma and Transfix and was on the board of the startups when NEA invested in later rounds in each of the companies.

Prior to Canvas, he was at TriplePoint Capital, where he oversaw the firm’s seed funding efforts, investing in more than 75 startups. He was an early backer of DropcamLending Club and Zenefits, among others.

Narasin said his decision to leave TriplePoint to join Canvas more than two years ago and invest in more Series A and B deals was a natural transition.

“I thought I left seed behind,” he said. “But it became obvious to me I love the seed stage and finding early entrepreneurs and I needed to do more seed deals.”

Photo of Ben Narasin courtesy of a file photo from Canvas Ventures.