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Apple hires prominent venture capitalist for App Store role

Elman’s role will focus on app discovery for customers, he said in a statement Monday.

By: Bloomberg | December 1, 2020 6:58:30 pm
Apple, Apple App Store, Apple App Store head, Josh Elman, TikTok, Discord, Medium, Robinhood MarketsUntil last year, Elman was the vice president of product at Robinhood Markets Inc., the wildly popular stock-trading app. (Image: Bloomberg)

Apple Inc. hired Josh Elman, a former venture capitalist at Greylock Partners who led early investments in Discord and the precursor to TikTok, to work on the App Store.

Elman’s role will focus on app discovery for customers, he said in a statement Monday. He’ll step back from investing and the corporate boards that he serves on, which includes the communications app Discord and the blogging site Medium.

Until last year, Elman was the vice president of product at Robinhood Markets Inc., the wildly popular stock-trading app. His experience identifying and investing in apps that later became hits could help Apple better promote software in its app store, which generated almost $54 billion in revenue for the company in fiscal 2020. Elman’s presence could also improve relationships with developers, which has become strained over the last year or so.

Two of Elman’s most successful investments now belong to two major Apple agitators. SmartThings, which makes technology for connected homes, was acquired by Samsung Electronics Co. HouseParty, which develops games for smartphones, is now owned by Epic Games Inc., the Fortnite maker that’s suing Apple over its rules for the App Store.

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