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Mike Vernal

  • Seed/Early
“My general goal and management style is just to try to make other people successful. If something goes wrong, I will try to jump in front of it, but otherwise I just want to see others win.”

I never aspired to do venture. I like building things! I was a PM and engineer at Microsoft and then spent eight years at Facebook leading engineering, product and design teams. But a close friend and college roommate—Matt MacInnis—founded a Sequoia-backed company called Inkling. He introduced me to Bryan and I slowly got to know the team at Sequoia. The most fun I had in my career were the early years at Facebook where everything was crazy and frenetic. It was just a bunch of kids running around, sleeping on sofas and trying to keep up with the insane growth while also building new products—it was incredibly fun. If you experience that once in your career, you are incredibly lucky. Sequoia offered the opportunity to help founders and teams going through similar journeys. I’ve seen hypergrowth a few more times now and it’s always exhausting but exhilarating. That’s probably what’s most exciting to me.

I like folks that are super sharp and clear thinkers—people who tend to be simplifiers (vs. complexifiers). I also look for impatience—speed is one of a startup’s most important assets. I tend to not over-index on sector—great founders have a way of making any industry interesting and compelling. I’m on the board of Whisper.ai—a hearing aid company—not because I have any expertise in hearing aids, but because the founders saw an opportunity to make life meaningfully better for tens of millions of people around the world (while also building a great business). And the technology is really cool.

The two things I know best are consumer products and developer products. I spent about half my career doing each. I spent a lot of my career designing APIs, developer tools and documentation. Nowadays, I gravitate most to products whose fundamental goal is to connect people.

Get in touch with Mike

Dad / Bass player / Runner / Madden (my pandemic vice)

Press & Media

Current Companies

  • Aquarium is a machine learning data management system that helps teams improve their models.
    Current Stage

    Seed

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Blues Wireless builds and deploys wireless connected devices.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Canvas is a recruiting platform that helps companies pursue their diversity initiatives.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2019

  • Census is the data automation platform that syncs users' data warehouse with all their business apps.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partners
      Mike Vernal,
      Sonya Huang,
      Lauren Reeder
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Citizen is a personal safety network that uses real-time alerts to keep you informed and prepared.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2017

  • Elementl is the company behind Dagster, a data orchestration platform.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2018

  • Gadget is a development platform designed to rid ecommerce app developers of busywork.
    Current Stage

    Seed

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2021

  • The Handshake coin is the way participants transfer, register and update internet names.
    Current Stage

    Early

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2018

  • Notion is a collaborative workspace with notes, docs, wikis, and projects.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Mike Vernal,
      Pat Grady,
      Dannie Herzberg
    Partnered In

    2021

  • PicsArt is a creative platform with free-to-use editing tools.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2014

  • Rippling connects every business system to one source of truth for employee data.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2021

  • Rockset is a real-time analytics at cloud scale.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Mike Vernal,
      Bogomil Balkansky,
      Carl Eschenbach
    Partnered In

    2016

  • StarkWare brings scalability and privacy to blockchains with zero-knowledge STARK proofs.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2018

  • Statsig is a modern experimentation platform that enables teams to ship products optimized experiences.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Mike Vernal,
      Lauren Reeder,
      Dannie Herzberg
    Partnered In

    2021

  • Switchboard’s cloud coworking space makes remote collaboration as good as in person.
    Current Stage

    Seed

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2020

  • Threads is an online collaboration platform designed to scale decision-making.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2017

  • Verkada is a security surveillance system backed by software.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partners
      Mike Vernal,
      Konstantine Buhler
    Partnered In

    2019

  • Whisper is using AI to build the best hearing aid system.
    Current Stage

    Growth

    Partner
      Mike Vernal
    Partnered In

    2017