Jan 24, 2017

Silicon Valley lawyer Ted Wang is becoming a VC

Ted Wang is stepping down as a partner with Silicon Valley law firm Fenwick & West, in order to join Cowboy Ventures as its second partner. He is expected to remain of counsel to Fenwick, where he has worked on mergers for such companies as Jet.com (sold to Wal-Mart) and Quip (sold to Salesforce).

Why it matters: Almost any time I've worked on a story involving startup stock or M&A law, people tell me to call Ted. Not only does that mean he's a consensus expert, but he's also now more likely to return my calls.

More on Cowboy: Aileen Lee, who founded Cowboy in 2012 after a stint at Kleiner Perkins, says Wang was the attorney at RMG Networks while she was founding CEO between 2007 and 2009. Early last year he reached out to say he was considering other opportunities and, after having discussions with several venture firms, agreed to become Lee's first-ever partner at Cowboy. Lee adds that the new hire does not mean Cowboy is about to raise a new fund, as it's still investing out of a $57 million second vehicle that closed in early 2015.

"He has no track record as an investor, but lots of operators have been hired into venture firms," Lee says. "Hopefully the practice he's built over the past 10 years is a great proxy for having a nose for startups. He walked into Fenwick without any marquee clients, and demonstrated that he had a great chemistry with entrepreneurs, both for enterprise and consumer companies."

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