The Global VC

Announcing Courtney Powell as COO of 500 Startups

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Christine Tsai

Christine Tsai

Founding Partner and CEO





500 has seen incredible growth over the past 9 years, yet our goal has always stayed constant: back the world’s most talented founders. Everything we do is centered around bringing incredible ideas and entrepreneurial ecosystems to life through inspiring individuals around the world. It’s this principle that has led us to invest in over 2,200 companies, and in one of the most global and diverse teams in VC.

Earlier this year, I reflected on 500’s accomplishments and expressed that the 500 of the future is just getting started. With that, I am thrilled to announce that Courtney Powell has joined 500 as our COO. In this role, Courtney will help in continuing to scale 500 globally and explore new opportunities for us across both new and existing markets. Additionally, she will be driving day-to-day operations across the 500 team to pursue 500’s mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. 

Coming full circle

Courtney is no stranger to the 500 family. I first met her when she was one of our founders in Batch 4, back in 2012. At that time, she was the co-founder and CEO of PublikDemand. Since then, Courtney became CEO of Agent Pronto, one of the largest real estate agent referral services in North America, recently acquired by Fidelity National Title Group.

Just before coming to 500, Courtney was the Head of Corporate Development at Keller Williams, the largest real estate company in the world by agent count and transaction volume. During her tenure, she established the company’s first corporate innovation program, and served as a liaison for Keller Capital, helping the investment arm acquire tech companies in the real estate space.

In Courtney’s words

“I share 500’s most sacred belief that talent exists everywhere, but opportunity does not. Our mission is to invest in world-class founders and create thriving ecosystems all over the world. In addition to a global commitment, I’ve come home to 500 because their commitment to diversity and inclusion on both sides of the founder/investor table has been sincere and evident since my time in Batch 4 back in 2012. My experience founding companies and raising money, as a female, and young mother outside of Silicon Valley, opened my eyes to the adversity many face when doing the same. 500 was a beacon of hope to me as a founder, and now, I’m ecstatic to join 500 in bringing opportunity to great founders all over the world.”

500 today

With over $500M in committed capital across 21 funds, we have invested in over 2,200 companies and to date we have invested in 14 companies that are valued at over a billion dollars, including: Twilio, SendGrid, Credit Karma, Canva, Grab, Bukalapak, Gitlab, Intercom, Talkdesk, Revolution Precrafted, VTS, and The RealReal. Our team of over 100 staff is in 20 locations around the world in order to support the 500 Startups global portfolio of investments which spans more than 75 countries.

We are so excited to have Courtney joining us at 500’s HQ office in San Francisco. Like so many of the partners and executives at our firm, we love seeing former 500 founders come back to join the 500 team and further dedicate themselves to our mission. 

Please join me in welcoming Courtney!

Note: This blog post is intended solely to provide information regarding 500 Startups. The information provided above, including information regarding current and historical portfolio investments by funds advised by 500 Startups is based on internal estimates as at the date hereof and has not been independently verified. The information provided herein is not intended as a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any security or that you pursue any investment style or strategy. Under no circumstances is any content or information contained in this post intended as, nor should you construe it as legal, tax, accounting, investment or other advice from 500 Startups. The past performance on any investment, investment style or strategy is not a guarantee of future results, and it should not be assumed that results for any portfolio companies listed above will be achieved for other investments. The portfolio companies identified and discussed in this post may not represent all of the portfolio investments of funds advised by 500 Startups. Further, no content or information contained in this post is or is intended as an offer to provide any investment advisory service or financial advice by 500 Startups. Under no circumstances should anything herein be construed as fund marketing materials by prospective investors considering an investment into any 500 Startups investment fund.

Christine Tsai

Christine Tsai

Founding Partner and CEO

Christine Tsai co-founded 500 Global in 2010, and led the firm’s growth over the past decade from a startup accelerator to a multi-stage venture capital firm with $2.4B in assets under management, and more than 2,700 investments in 81 countries. 500 Global regularly ranks as one of the most active venture capital firms in the world, according to PitchBook, with a top number of exits. The firm’s diversified portfolio includes 49 companies valued at more than $1B, such as Talkdesk, Canva, Grab, GitLab, and Intercom. Private Equity International has named Christine one of 10 Women of Influence in venture capital. She currently serves on the venture capital committee of the Association of Asian American Investment Managers, the Global Tech VC Council of the Global Private Capital Association, and is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Christine is also an honoree of Gold House’s 2021 A100 List, recognizing the most impactful Asian and Pacific Islander leaders across business and technology, entertainment, advocacy and politics, lifestyle, and sports. Prior to founding 500 Global, she held product marketing and operating roles at Google, including monetization and developer products such as Google AdSense, Google Analytics, YouTube APIs and syndication, and Google Developer Platform Tools. Christine holds a B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley.