Oct 15, 2020

Yuri Namikawa joins Expa as Principal

I’m excited to share that I’ve joined the Expa team as a Principal. Based out of San Francisco, I’ll be working closely with Roberto, Milun, Dave, and George to partner with the next generation of great founders and expand Expa’s ecosystem.

As the daughter of immigrant entrepreneurs, I’ve always been obsessed with the opportunity, innovation, and energy of startups and tech. Prior to joining Expa, I was an investor at Norwest Venture Partners, where I sourced and/or co-led investments in promising brands including Imperfect Foods, Grove Collaborative, Opendoor, Knotel, and Birdies. Before this, I was Chief of Staff to the CEO and led Business Operations at Udemy, an online learning platform, where I had a unique view into all aspects of the business as we scaled. I started my career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley both in Menlo Park and NYC, and graduated from Stanford with a degree in Management Science and Engineering. I’m grateful for the talented people I’ve had the privilege to work with and learn from, who have prepared me well for my new role at Expa.

Since first meeting the team, it’s been clear that building and operating are core to Expa’s DNA. Lots of VCs say they’re “hands on,” but from what I’ve seen so far, I can tell Expa really means it. Over the years, I’ve also found I’m most passionate about working with companies at their earliest stages, and I’m excited to partner with founders as they build out their initial product, team, and go-to-market. The Expa team is small yet deeply talented, which means we’re nimble and adaptable, evolving as fast as the companies we invest in. We also have access to a strong global community and network.

The world is changing and uncertain, now more than ever. While it might not seem like the most obvious time to be starting a new job or building a new company, I believe there’s no better time than now. Some of the best companies are built during these generational shifts, creating opportunities and eventually solutions to the world’s new challenges. I’m thrilled to be joining the Expa team to identify and support the next great problem solvers.

If you have an idea that you’re passionate about, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out at hello@expa.com.

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