Skip to main content

David Cahn

  • Growth

My job is to believe when others don’t—and then to hold myself accountable to your mission so that together, we can make a dent in the universe.


I joined Coatue in 2018. At the time, we were just starting to build out our private software portfolio. In my first three years, I had the chance to work on investments in Snowflake, Databricks, Confluent, UiPath, Gitlab and Marqeta.

After being promoted to partner, I went all in on AI and developer infrastructure. I led Coatue’s investments in Runway, HuggingFace and Supabase. I also joined the boards of Weights & Biases and

In 2022, I was promoted to lead the venture business as General Partner & COO, one of three COOs leading the private business. In that role, I recruited, trained and led a strong team of investors, while driving the broader fund strategy.

After intersecting with Sequoia on HuggingFace and Notion, I was honored to get an opportunity to join the partnership. My goal now is to keep relentlessly improving, both as an investor and as a partner to founders. I’m grateful for the chance to learn from those who came before me at Sequoia and paved the way.

On the lookout for

I believe there’s a tradeoff between looking smart and being right. I’m not looking for the perfect, polished founder who says all the right things. I love working with people who are iterating quickly, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes and trying again and again.

My wife likes to say she’s never met anyone whose first attempt at things is as horrible as mine. But she’s also never met anyone whose second attempt is so dramatically better, and whose third attempt pushes for excellence.

I resonate with people who are trying and failing. Failure and willingness to look stupid—these are essential ingredients in any founder. When I first started investing in AI, it wasn’t a popular category. A lot of investors thought that the market was too small. And companies struggled because there were so few customers to sell to. Great founders have an insight that no one else believes is true yet. My job is to understand their perspective and to believe when others don’t.

Get in touch with David

Personal Side

  • Hiking
  • Reading
  • Family
  • Travel

Press & Media