Crystal McKellar

A Harvard-trained lawyer, Crystal learned to invest from Peter Thiel and began her venture career in 2012 at a growth-stage venture capital fund backed by Thiel. There, she held board positions at Neurable, Siren Care, DoubleDutch (acq. Cvent), and Fractyl Labs, and was instrumental in the fund's 2012 investment in Palantir Technologies.

While working for Thiel, Crystal supported several frontier health tech startups, and from her work with Palantir developed a deep network in the national security tech arena.  Since then, Crystal has been at the forefront of a nascent but growing movement in Silicon Valley to develop and deploy the best technologies in the service of our national security.

In 2019, Crystal launched her first early-stage fund under the name Anathem Ventures, later rebranding as Aloft VC, and invested in contrarian bets turned category-leaders including Vannevar Labs, Brave Health, Cooler Heads, Obviant, Siren Care, Mach Industries, and Angle Health. Many of the founders in Aloft’s portfolio began their careers at Palantir or elsewhere within the Thiel network.

Prior to her career in venture capital, Crystal graduated with honors from Yale College and Harvard Law School, and practiced securities law at global law firms Davis Polk & Wardwell and Morrison & Foerster. While practicing law, she made her first angel investment in the national security space into SpaceDev, which designed and built the hybrid rockets for Paul Allen’s SpaceShipOne, the first-ever crewed private spaceflight. Prior to her legal career, Crystal was an award-winning actress, starring on the hit television series The Wonder Years

Why the Best Founders Choose Crystal

“From our first meeting, Crystal “got” the business and understood the value and importance of Ellevest. I am thrilled to have her as an investor.”

Sallie Krawcheck, CEO Ellevest

“Our 2019 financing round was significantly oversubscribed. Based on our positive interactions with Crystal and her thoughtful understanding of our business strategy, we were happy to include her.”

Jeff Shouger, CFO Niantic Labs

“Crystal was our first institutional investor, and from our first meeting has consistently added value to the company through investor intros and references, helping demystify VC deal terms and incentives, and took an active role in our PR strategy–even drafting our first press release announcing our FDA clearance.”

Kate Dilligan, CEO Cooler Heads

“Crystal was an early believer and advocate for Siren Care. She introduced us to one of our largest customers, and has been an invaluable strategic thought partner and sounding board, providing valuable and insightful advice.”

Ran Ma, CEO Siren Care

“Crystal really took the time to get to know our business, bringing deep curiosity and thoughtfulness to the process. Once invested, she immediately took an active partnership role and opened her rolodex to us right away, introducing us to two major growth funds within weeks of her investment.”

Anna Lindow, CEO Brave Health