Dafina Toncheva has joined early-stage venture firm U.S. Venture Partners as a partner. Toncheva, who will focus on enterprise, SaaS and security software, joins USVP from Tugboat Ventures. She was a principal investor at Tugboat from 2010. Prior to Tugboat, she spent two years at Venrock.
U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), a leading early-stage venture capital firm, announced today that Dafina Toncheva joins the firm as Partner, reinforcing its leadership position in investing in the next-generation of premier opportunities in the areas of enterprise, SaaS and security software. “These are segments in which we have traditionally thrived and where recent wins, like Guidewire, Imperva and Yammer have provided our LPs with excellent returns,” said Steve Krausz, USVP General Partner. “We want to back companies in sectors that we are used to dominating, while we simultaneously expand into exciting new markets. Hiring the best talent is the primary way we can ensure our track record of success.”
Toncheva joins USVP from Tugboat Ventures, where she was a principal investor since 2010. Prior to Tugboat, she spent two years at Venrock. Toncheva helped expand the firm’s software investments in the areas of SaaS, virtualization, security, infrastructure and enterprise applications with investments such as Cloudflare and Aria Systems, both stellar examples of the current generation of great enterprise software companies.
“This business is all about building a great team. Dafina is a rising venture star and we are thrilled she is joining us. We fully expect her to become a major contributor to the firm,” said Rick Lewis, General Partner at USVP. “She brings a terrific combination of successful operating and investing experience in high growth technology companies. Dafina understands entrepreneurs and has a proven ability to help them grow great companies, a quality that is the hallmark of the USVP team.”
Prior to becoming a venture investor, Toncheva held roles in development and product management at Microsoft and focused on authentication systems, digital signatures and business workflow. She worked on MSN Live ID and MS Office, and co-authored several key patents. Dafina has served as a Director at MATRIXX Software Inc. and Risk I/O, and as a board observer at PGP, Imperva and Cloudflare. Toncheva holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BS in Computer Science, magna cum laude, with special focus on cryptography, efficient algorithms and database systems from Harvard University.
“I’ve known several members of the team at USVP for many years and I’m excited to be joining their partnership. I admire the firm’s culture built on high integrity, persistence and relentless commitment to entrepreneurs, and I look forward to working with the group to deliver strong results for both our entrepreneurs and investors alike,” said Toncheva.
USVP is currently investing its tenth fund, an early stage $630M investment vehicle. USVP recently led a series C financing for ZEFR (formerly known as MovieClips), a premium content network and one of the most watched YouTube channels. Four USVP portfolio companies were named to the Digital 100 – The World’s Most Valuable Private Tech Companies: Box, Living Social, Media6 Degrees and Xirrus. USVP portfolio company Yammer was purchased by Microsoft for $1.2 billion in July 2012. Xirrus was named #2 in the 2012 Wall Street Journal list of Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies.
About U.S. Venture Partners
USVP is a leading Silicon valley-based venture capital firm, helping entrepreneurs build world-class companies since 1981. USVP focuses on early stage opportunities in sectors where the Partners have the domain expertise, operating experience and network relationships to contribute to the success of an enterprise. Currently, the firm invests in digital communications, network systems, consumer and business services, media, semiconductors, clean technologies, biopharmaceuticals and medical devices.