Partner

Julie Kainz

“The very early days are the part of the journey I enjoy the most with founders – the scrappiness and ability to go fast and break things.”

Julie joined Lightspeed as an investor in London to help build out the team and presence on the ground, as Europe is seeing an inflection point in its venture activity.

It is not the first time that she joins a small team as one of its first hires, speaking to her own entrepreneurial mindset. “The very early days are the part of the journey I enjoy the most with founders – the scrappiness and ability to go fast and break things.”

Before joining Lightspeed, Julie focused on investing in data, infrastructure and automation at Dawn Capital, Europe’s leading fund focused purely on B2B software and fintech. Prior to that, she was an investor at Salesforce Ventures, where she helped shape the fund’s strategy in Europe and fell in love with B2B investing. “While building a successful business from the ground up is always a function of the quality of talent that you can attract, B2B software lends itself nicely to learning from the journey of other founders and businesses. May it be how to run a successful GTM strategy or build out a best-in-class sales org – I love to collect tales and learnings from different businesses across stages and sectors, and hope these will be helpful to the teams I work with too.”

While Julie loves backing businesses early on and getting to build deep relationships with the founding teams throughout their journey, she gained experience investing across all stages throughout her career. During her time at Salesforce, Julie participated in deals from Series A to pre-IPO and backed some of the most exciting businesses across Europe and Israel, such as Algolia, Appsflyer, Contentful or Gong. Before that, she worked with founders even earlier in their journey – most often at inception or ideation stage – during her time as one of the early team members at Founders Factory, an incubator and accelerator based out of London.

Born and raised in Germany and Austria, Julie grew up in an environment of entrepreneurship. Her dad started and exited his own first company in his early 30s, to then continue building and trying new ideas throughout his entire life. “My dad could never sit still and had this natural bug in him to try out new things. It wasn’t always easy, and some ideas were more successful than others, but his relentless drive, vision and creativity always inspired me. It is what naturally draws me to working in venture, a career I had not initially planned for.”

Julie graduated with a double degree from CEMS MIM, an international multilingual business program offered by some of the leading universities across the world. As such, she spent time in Austria, New Zealand, The Netherlands and Germany during her studies. Growing up close to the mountains, Julie loves to unwind outdoors, may it be hiking to a remote hut in the mountains or taking her longboard for a surf trip along the coast.