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chalmersIgnition Partners is strengthening its team in Silicon Valley, adding Rachel Chalmers as a principal. Chalmers most recently served as vice president of research for the 451 Group. In her new role at Ignition, she will assist existing portfolio companies and help find new deals.

Ignition’s Frank Artale met her while he was working at Xensource, and said that had a “unique mix of abilities related to spotting trends” around areas such as virtualization, big data, SaaS and cloud computing.

“Rachel brings a network and blend of expertise that is 100 percent additive our team,” said Artale.

Ignition is rebuilding itself after raising a new $150 million fund earlier this year. Most of the original partners in the Bellevue-based firm — including Michelle Goldberg, Jonathan Roberts, Brad Silverberg, John Ludwig and Steve Hooper — are not involved in Fund V.

In addition to Artale, partners in the new Ignition include former Microsoft chief financial officer John Connors and Silicon Valley venture capitalist Nick Sturiale. Cam Myhrvold and Robert Headley also continue to work with the firm, as do principals Kristina Kerr Bergman and Kellan Carter. 

“Rachel adds a well respected voice to the team that we did not have before,” said Artale. “While she lives in the Bay Area she — and all members of the team — work in all geographies where we are active.”

Focusing on business software and cloud computing, Ignition plans to make 15 to 18 investments from the new fund, primarily series A and series B deals in the $2 million to $5 million range. The firm has boosted its investment pace in Silicon Valley over the past two years, where Sturiale is based. Just this week, Ignition re-upped in the $16 million round for San Francisco’s Xamarin.

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