Pelion Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm, announced the addition of Jeff Kearl as managing director. Kearl co-founded Stance in 2009 and was its CEO from inception until joining Pelion this month.
Alongside his decades of entrepreneurial experience at Stance and other notable start-ups, Jeff has an impressive history of angel and venture investing in consumer tech and software.
Stance is known as the brand that reinvented one of the world's most boring apparel categories – socks – through groundbreaking design and material science. Kearl, who still serves as Stance's chairman of the board, won the 2019 EY Entrepreneur of the Year award in Orange County, California, and currently serves on the board of directors of Domo, Scopely, and Just Water.
Prior to Stance, Kearl was the chairman of the board of directors for Skullcandy for over a decade, during which he was named Director of the Year in 2012 by the Forum for Corporate Directors. Kearl was also executive vice president and served on the board of directors at Logoworks, an internet marketplace that was acquired by HP in 2007. Following the acquisition, he ran strategy and new ventures for the Internet group at HP.
"I really enjoy spending time with entrepreneurs. I love the energy, strategy and risk taking of working with the earliest stage businesses," said Kearl. "Pelion allows me to spend all of my time working with founders who are trying to solve really interesting problems. I chose Pelion because I was attracted to the culture of the partnership. The most important part of any opportunity is the people."
Kearl's entrepreneurial experience is bolstered by his equally successful career in angel and venture capital investing. He has invested in more than 40 companies including Uber, Coupa, Away, MX, Omniture, Scopely, Lucidchart, Divvy and Domo.
"We couldn't be happier that Jeff is joining the Pelion team. As an investor and operator, Jeff's experience brings a unique look to building businesses and he intimately understands the needs of startups," said Pelion Managing Partner Blake Modersitzki. "Pelion has a great team, and adding Jeff makes our firm even better positioned to help our entrepreneurs realize their vision and potential. His understanding of what makes a company successful and his background of tech and consumer experience make him an invaluable leader."
Pelion Venture Partners was founded in 1986. The firm is based in Utah and invests in early stage enterprise software companies across the United States. Pelion will open a new location in Southern California where Jeff will be instrumental in crafting a strategy for startups in the region.
"Jeff has created, led and invested in brands that dominate markets and knows what it takes to help them succeed," said Josh James, founder and CEO of Domo. "His strength identifying opportunities is unparalleled and is the perfect ingredient for Pelion's growth in the tech sector."