Former Bainee Phoebe Harrop joins Blackbird in Auckland

25 April 2021 2 min. read
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Former Bainee Phoebe Harrop has joined venture capital firm Blackbird in Auckland as an Associate. 

Based in Auckland (Blackbird also has offices in Sydney and Melbourne), the ex-strategy consultant will work alongside Partner Samantha Wong and Principal Tip Piumsomboon to expand Blackbird’s portfolio of investments in New Zealand. She will focus on finding ambitious start-ups across the country, and contribute to the firm’s goal of becoming Kiwi's first choice investor among young founder-led companies.

Founded in 2012 by Rick Baker and Niki Scevak in Sydney, Blackbird has more than $1 billion under management and a portfolio of over 70 companies including some of the most successful Australian startups such as Canva, Culture Amp, Mint Innovation, Partly, SafetyCulture, Vow and Zoox. 

Phoebe Harrop, Associate, Blackbird

“I am psyched to be spending the next chapter of my career back home in Aotearoa New Zealand, working alongside an ambitious team – right from the beginning of their founder journeys,” said Harrop.

“I think the team at Blackbird is unrivalled in its enduring support of founders; willingness to invest early in start-ups; mission to strengthen and diversify the tech ecosystem; and commitment to helping Blackbirds do their best work. I'm stoked to be joining this epic crew.”

Blackbird is still pretty new in New Zeeland’s investment scene. The firm opened its local office in 2019, and since then, Blackbird has raised a $60 million fund, invested in 7 companies and hosted a number of small and large community initiatives including the inaugural Kiwi edition of its startup festival Sunrise.

“Community has always been core to how we operate at Blackbird, and there is a large opportunity to build community initiatives and programming to help grow the Kiwi start-up ecosystem. Phoebe will help to shape and lead our New Zealand community efforts,” said Wong. 

Before joining Blackbird, Harrop was a Director in the Growth Equity fund at Generation Investment Management in London, where she invested $50 to $150 million in mission-driven companies accelerating the transition to a more sustainable economy. Before that, she worked as a consultant at Bain & Company in Melbourne and London, where she began her career.

At Bain & Company, one of the globe’s three largest strategic consulting firms alongside McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group, Harrop worked with ASX and FTSE100 companies on topics ranging from customer strategy to organisational design.