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Merci Victoria Grace

I was able to experiment with building a company because someone bet on me – venture changed what I thought was possible

Merci was first exposed to the world of venture capital while fundraising for her social games company at just 22 years old. And having the opportunity to start her own company fundamentally changed the course of her life. “I was able to experiment with building a company because someone bet on me – venture changed what I thought was possible,” said Merci. Born fifth in a working class family of seven children, she learned an important life lesson early on: “You must push yourself to win. No one is more invested in your success than you.”

Fast forward to today, Merci is a former founder and seasoned growth product leader who has built lasting, high performance teams. Look no further than her experience as Head of Growth at Slack, where she helped grow the product from 500,000 Daily Active Users to over 5 Million in just two years, earning her a spot on Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business list.

Prior to Slack, Merci focused on engagement and paid conversion at Couchsurfing and Gigwalk. Her operational background, innate growth mindset, and experience across consumer and enterprise companies made Merci a natural fit for Lightspeed and its portfolio companies. She’s especially helpful to companies early on who are looking for product/market fit, as well as those who are growing and need to scale their product and growth teams.

Inside and outside of Lightspeed, Merci’s passionate about mentoring women and underrepresented minorities. In 2015, she founded the Women in Product community, which has grown to 5,000 women worldwide. “Any one person’s network will be relatively homogenous. It’s key to create connections into less privileged networks so that technology we use every day continues to improve,” said Merci. “It’s just smart to find new perspectives and ideas.” She also love to travel to both urban and wild spaces. “I’m an explorer, whether it’s a mountain, an ocean, or a city. I like to do things that scare me, like freediving with sharks. It’s a reminder not to let the fear of failure hold me back.”