Trae Vassallo leaves Defy to join Apple

The co-founder of Defy Partners announced she's joining the worldwide operations team of Apple, 18 years after she turned down an opportunity to work with the iPod team at the company.

Trae Vassallo, co-founder of early-stage venture firm Defy Partners, announced in a Medium blog post today that she’s left the firm to join the worldwide operations at Apple full time. She remains listed as an adviser at Defy.

The longtime venture capitalist had previously worked in operations, including as founder and product manager at Good Technology. She said in her blog post that she turned down an opportunity to work with the iPod team in 2003. Instead, she began her investment career at Kleiner Perkins, where she remained for more than 11 years.

She then co-founded Defy Partners in 2016, and the Woodside, California-based firm is currently investing from its $262 million Fund II that it raised in 2019.

Defy co-founder Neil Sequeira noted that with Vassallo’s departure, the firm now has five investment partners. When asked if the the firm would add another partner, he said, “We have a great and diverse team, and we will continue to grow the firm.”