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Apple hires former venture capitalist Josh Elman for App Store discovery role

Credit: Josh Elman

As part of Apple's ongoing efforts to improve app discovery, the company has hired former venture capitalist Josh Elman for a related role on the App Store.

In a statement Monday, Elman said he would be joining Apple to "help customers discover the best apps for them." He added that he was excited to "build ways to help over a billion customers and millions of developers connect."

As part of the transition to the new role at Apple, Elman said he would be stepping back from some of his active boards and investments — including Discord and Medium.

Elman was previously a venture capitalist at Greylock Partners and led early investments in Discord and the precursor to TikTok. Until 2019, he was also the vice president of product at Robinhood.

Elman's experience identifying and investing in apps that later became hits could help Apple in its app and software promotion endeavors. According to Bloomberg, the former venture capitalist could also help smooth over the relationship between Apple and developers.

Two of Elman's most successful investments now belong to Apple competitors: smart home technology firm SmartThings and game developer HouseParty. Those companies are now owned by Samsung and Epic Games, respectively. Apple is currently in a legal battle with Epic Games over in-app payments.

Apple's app marketplace has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, both from antitrust regulators and developers. In moves likely meant to mitigate potential backlashes, Apple tweaked its review guidelines and introduced a new small business program that cuts App Store commissions to 15% for the majority of developers.