Cathy Gao


Based in San Francisco, USA

About Cathy

Cathy is a Partner at Sapphire Ventures. As a daughter of a software engineer and a small business owner, Cathy has been immersed in technology and entrepreneurship from an early age. She has experience investing at multiple stages, ranging from buyout to venture capital and has also sat on the other side of the table as a business operator. Her experiences have shaped her passion for deeply understanding business models and working hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs to help scale companies. Through investing, Cathy strives every day to express her core values of conviction, partnership, and passion.

For her work, she has been recognized by the Venture Capital Journal as a Rising Star and by Silicon Valley Business Journal as a Woman of Influence. 

Prior to Sapphire, Cathy was an investor at AXA Venture Partners where she invested in enterprise software. She started her career at Blackstone and TA Associates and was an operator at Gusto, joining shortly after the Series B. 

Cathy graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in economics and a minor in history. She is a history nerd and enjoys reading biographies in her spare time. Cathy is also a staunch advocate for women in technology and venture capital and is a proud member of AllRaise.

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Focus Areas

  • B2B SaaS
  • Future of Work
  • Customer Experience
  • Digital Health
  • Data
  • Collaboration Tools

Cathy goes above and beyond most investors—she’s an integral partner to Medable. She provides valuable business insights and rolls up her sleeves to help the team with any needs, no matter how big or small. Cathy is incredibly founder-focused and she is a thought partner and a true champion through the ups and downs of building a rapidly scaling business.

Michelle Longmire

Founder & CEO, Medable


  • Gem

    Gem’s modern recruiting platform helps businesses attract top talent through custom, automated outreach and gain insight into their candidate pipeline to improve hiring speed, quality, and diversity. Companies like Square, Twilio, Cisco, and Lyft are leveraging Gem to 5x their recruiting productivity.

    CEO: Steven Bartel

  • Medable

    Medable is on a mission to get effective therapies to patients faster by transforming clinical drug development with disruptive technologies. The company’s digital platform streamlines design, recruitment, retention and data quality for decentralized trials, replacing siloed systems.

    CEO: Dr. Michelle Longmire

  • is the first customer intelligence platform designed to help customer success and sales professionals unify all their customer data, predict who will churn and grow, and do it with accuracy using our early warning dashboard. 

    CEO: Gaurav Bhattacharya

  • SafeGraph

    SafeGraph builds truth sets for physical places, powering analytics at organizations like Ares Management, Sysco, Goldman Sachs, Verizon Media and the CDC. SafeGraph’s high-precision places data covers business listings, building footprints, and aggregated foot traffic data for millions of points of interest (POI) and thousands of brands.

    CEO: Auren Hoffman

  • CaptivateIQ

    CaptivateIQ empowers revenue teams with the modern engine for commission management so that businesses can better adapt commission plans, workflows, and outcomes to changing business needs.

    CEOs: Mark Schopmeyer + Conway Teng

  • Paradox

    Paradox is building the world’s leading conversational recruiting software to drive automation with a human touch. Serving global clients with hiring needs across high-volume hourly and high-skilled professional roles, Paradox’s conversational assistant Olivia does the work talent teams don’t have time for.

    CEO: Aaron Matos

  • SWORD Health

    SWORD Health is the world’s fastest growing virtual musculoskeletal (MSK) care provider. It’s mission is to free two billion people from physical pain by delivering care to members through licensed Doctors of Physical Therapy and the FDA-listed SWORD Health Digital Therapist. Because SWORD’s care is clinically-proven and personalized, it is more effective and less expensive than the traditional gold standard of care, and has been third-party validated to deliver best-in-class clinical results and ROI.

    CEO: Virgílio (“V”) Bento

  • Splashtop

    Splashtop Inc. delivers the best-in-class cross-screen productivity and collaboration experience, bridging smartphones, tablets, computers, TVs, and clouds. Splashtop remote desktop enables people to access and control their favorite apps, files, and data via their mobile devices.

    CEO: Mark Lee

  • UJET

    UJET empowers support organizations to create intelligent workflows, make data actionable, and create a modern business model where organizations have the tools and technology they need to create an immersive, engaging, and one-of-a-kind experience for their customers.

    CEO: Anand J.

  • Moveworks

    Moveworks is the industry’s first autonomous AI platform for resolving IT issues in the enterprise.

    CEO: Bhavin Shah

  • Gorgias

    Gorgias is a customer support helpdesk for ecommerce. It helps brands deliver an outstanding customer service experience by centralizing all customer interactions and automating responses to the most repetitive questions.

    CEO: Romain Lapeyre

  • CircleCI

    CircleCI is the leading continuous integration and delivery platform for software innovation at scale. With intelligent automation and delivery tools, CircleCI is used by leading engineering teams to reduce the time from idea to execution.

    CEO: Jim Rose