Kemi Odusan

Senior Associate

Kemi is a Senior Associate at NEA’s offices in London, focused on technology investing across Europe. She joined NEA in 2023 after spending nearly two years as an Associate at General Atlantic, where she focused on the technology sector in EMEA. Previously, she was an Investment Banking Analyst in the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) group at Goldman Sachs, in London. Kemi graduated from the University of Bristol with a BSc in economics.

You’re based out of Europe. What excites you about the region from an investment standpoint?

It’s an exciting time to be focused on Europe because the market is no longer the tech underdog it once was. Europe is home to world-leading universities, and it has a healthy population of engineers—which makes the market ripe with talent and innovation. The wealth of diversity and ambition is staggering, and I feel privileged to represent NEA on the ground here.

From your perspective, how is NEA different from other VCs?

If you make the decision to partner with NEA, I think you will inevitably feel the support of the entire organization and have several touchpoints at the firm. It’s rare to find a firm that takes the value of a team so seriously. Everyone here wants to do the very best for our limited partners and the companies we work with, and that means leaving ego at the door.

How would you describe the team at NEA?

I believe the NEA team is truly special. I think a lot of us were probably the uncool kids in school—the chess club members, the computer club members, the orchestra or band members. We’re all incredibly passionate and are willing to go deep on things in an effort to better understand and master them. No one takes themselves too seriously; we’re curious, thoughtful, and—above all—empathetic.

What’s been the most helpful piece of advice you’ve received from a colleague?

Know your strengths, or as an old colleague of mine termed them, “your spikes.” Her advice was to work on building a strong foundation across the skill set that you need (the table stakes), and then focus on growing and training your spikes. Few people can be exceptional across the board, but you can nurture the areas that make you stand out.

How do you want to see the venture capital space evolve in the future?

I’d love to see a huge improvement in the levels of diversity in the space—the current statistics are dire and in much need of change. I’m grateful to see people in the ecosystem actively trying to address this. It’s important to show support for these efforts and hold the industry accountable.

Where did you start your career?

I started as part of the Tech team within the Investment Banking division at Goldman Sachs in London. Whilst it was extremely challenging, I was reminded every day of how much I was capable of, and that hard work was not something to fear. Every time I’m faced with a challenge now, I think back to those days to reassure myself that I’m more than equipped to tackle any task head on.

Minutes spent listening to podcasts in 2022
Nationalities (British and Nigerian)
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