Aaref Hilaly

  • Bay Area

Aaref focuses on seed and Series A investments in apps powered by product-led growth, machine learning and cloud infrastructure. Prior to joining BCV in 2020, he co-founded two companies and spent seven years as a partner at Sequoia.

Aaref helps founders build companies around their ideas. He presently serves on the boards of Clari, ReCharge, Truera, and a handful of early-stage companies presently in stealth. Previously at Sequoia, Aaref worked closely with the leadership teams of several category-defining companies, and served on the boards of Guardant Health (NASDAQ: GH), Lightstep (acquired by ServiceNow), MobileIron (NASDAQ: MOBL), Remix, Skyhigh Networks (acquired by McAffee), StackRox (acquired by Red Hat), and ThousandEyes (acquired by Cisco).


Before becoming an investor, Aaref spent 10 years building two companies as an entrepreneur. In 2000, he co-founded CenterRun, a pioneer in datacenter automation, and sold the company to Sun Microsystems three years later. He then became CEO of Clearwell, an early SaaS application, which automated e-discovery for legal teams. Aaref grew Clearwell from a handful of engineers into a profitable company with over $100 million in annual recurring revenue. In 2011, Symantec acquired Clearwell for $410 million, and Aaref became vice president of engineering in Symantec’s information management group. 


Aaref read philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at Oxford University, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking in Marin and following the English Premier League.