It’s just your average weekday in the world of venture capital fundraising, which means that someone is raising hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in startups.
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Today’s someone is Scott Tierney. Tierney is the sole person listed on a regulatory filing for an entity called “Valo Ventures I, L.P.,” an investment vehicle targeting $250 million under management. The filing, posted late Monday afternoon, says that $175.9 million has already been raised for the Palo Alto-based firm, with all capital so far coming from just one limited partner. The date of first sale is listed as May 25th of this year, well within the SEC’s requirements to file within fifteen days of when the first investor commits.
Crunchbase News has strong reason to believe that the Scott Tierney listed on the regulatory filing is the same Scott Tierney who, to this point, enjoyed an over six-year tenure as a senior corporate strategist and investor within the broader Alphabet ecosystem.
Shortly after spotting the filing, Crunchbase News called the number listed on it and reached a person who upon answering the phone identified himself as Scott. In response to questions regarding his possible relationship to Alphabet or its constituent companies, he said, in a practiced tone, that he had no comments to offer at this time. During our brief but overall cordial exchange, he remarked, “It’s just a filing.”
Another individual we spoke with was declined to categorically deny that the Scott Tierney listed on the regulatory filing is the same person who, since July 2017, has served as the director of corporate development and strategic partnerships for smart thermostat and home automation company Nest Labs.
Tierney has a long history at Alphabet, the parent company of Google and Nest. In 2011, he was hired as the director of corporate development at Google. In 2013, Tierney co-founded Google Capital, the growth stage investment arm of the Alphabet investment universe now known simply as CapitalG. In 2015, he became the director of strategy and business development for Google Fiber, where he served until 2017. In July of that year, Tierney returned to his roots in corporate development and strategic partnerships, this time at Nest Labs.
Nest Labs was acquired by Google in 2014 for $3.2 billion. It was spun out of Google itself during the Alphabet restructuring in 2015. After failing to thrive as a standalone venture, the home automation and monitoring company was welcomed back into Google’s nest in early 2018 to contribute to Google’s household hardware endeavors. The last of Nest’s founders still at the company, Matt Rogers, who served as its chief product officer, announced he was leaving the company the day after it rejoined Google.
Crunchbase News was unable to confirm Mr. Tierney’s current employment status at Nest Labs, or if he was set to leave that company to pursue venture investment independently. Due to regulatory requirements, corporate custom, or some combination thereof, most companies are unable to disclose information about individual employees.
Although the identity of the person or entity who committed the $175.9 million to Valo Ventures remains unknown, Crunchbase News learned it did not come from Google, Nest Labs, or other Alphabet corporate entities.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias