Photo of Gülsah Wilke, partner at DN Capital


March 22, 2024

Interview with Gülsah Wilke, DN Capital’s newly appointed first female partner

“I hope I can make an impact”

Amy Lewin

3 min read

DN Capital, the London and Berlin-based VC firm, this week announced that it has hired its first ever female partner: Gülsah Wilke, an experienced COO, investor, founder and startup advisor.

She joins the firm seven months after a Sifted investigation into allegations of sexual harassment levied against DN’s founder Nenad Marovac. 

DN and Marovac denied the allegations and commissioned law firm Withers to lead an independent investigation into workplace misconduct at the VC firm. DN said that Withers findings “did not match” Sifted’s reporting and Marovac has now returned to work.


Wilke, founder of the 2hearts community for people working in tech with a migrant background, and former COO of healthtech Ada Health, says she interviewed with several other funds as well as DN, and “took her time” deciding where to work. 

“I had a chance to go into a fund that’s proved itself as a very successful fund, with great LPs, and to show this money can be used through a female partner — who stands more than anyone else in the German ecosystem for diversity — to shape the future of VC,” Wilke tells Sifted. 

“I want to bring in the founders that aren’t being seen. I hope I can make an impact.”

The job to be done

Wilke joins as partner and head of the firm’s German office. Another “super nice female hire” will join the team in September, she says. 

“There’s a lot of room for improvement in the German office, to make it a nice place to work from.”

Day-to-day, she’ll be “screening deals, connecting with the ecosystem, making sure the brand is being understood here, having touchpoints with LPs and portfolio companies”. 

She also wants to look at investments in areas DN hasn’t previously looked into much, she says, like impact, education and digital health. 

If she succeeds in her role, she says “DN’s portfolio will show the richness of our society — every second person on earth is a woman, and every fourth person in Germany has a migration background”. 

The DN team

Wilke began speaking to the firm about 10 months ago — before Sifted’s investigation was published.

She says: “It was important for me that there was a full, independent investigation — and I received the results.” She did not confirm to Sifted whether she received the full lawyer’s report — or DN’s summary of the external law firm’s findings. 

“DN is one of the most international funds I’ve seen,” she says. “I’m impressed by the cultural diversity within DN — there are people in the team from Germany, Iran, Lebanon, France, the US and the UK… I have never seen this density of people with two hearts [a migrant background]. 

“For me, as someone who is the granddaughter of Turkish immigrants, it’s beautiful to see. Nenad’s parents also came to Germany as immigrants, with nothing. This touched me a lot. This is something that differentiates DN, especially from many German VCs.” 

Wilke says she had no concerns about joining DN. 

“My judgement gave me a good feeling when I spoke to every person at DN,” she says.

“Believe me — these are some of the most humble guys I have met. This is what is important for me.

“We need investors like [Marovac] who have done successful investments. He, as a person and his experience, is super valuable for the European tech scene.” 


Women in VC

“I have worked in so many male-dominated environments that I know how to make my voice get heard,” she says.

“We do not have enough women in senior decision-making positions. What’s the solution? To say we won’t go in there. No — the solution is to dare and take the first step.” 

Amy Lewin

Amy Lewin is Sifted’s editor and cohost of Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast , and writes Up Round, a weekly newsletter on VC. Follow her on X and LinkedIn