Today is a day of big change in the IA Ventures family. After nearly five years working together my partner Ben has decided to return to being an operator. While I’ll miss Ben, I’m proud of his decision to follow his heart and take the long-term perspective on his career. With his experiences as a banker, as an operator and as an investor, he has built a set of skills and experiences that will serve him well in his next company.
Ben and I started working together well before IA Ventures. Ben joined me at IA Capital (my angel investment vehicle) straight out of Columbia Business School, and improved the organization and accessibility of my portfolio data. He later became an operations lead at a few of my portfolio companies, most notably the very successful search retargeting firm Magnetic. He was a boon to technical founders who needed help on the business and operations end of things, and was key for helping Magnetic (then called Domdex) between its Seed and Series A rounds. I saw his passion for working closely with founders as well as his love of business operations. And he was very good at it.
Ben’s operating career was derailed by IA Ventures. We raised two funds, built a portfolio I’m proud of, and developed the IA Ventures brand as well. It has been a very good period for the firm, our portfolio companies and our growth and development as investors. However, after deep introspection Ben decided that this was the right time in his career to return to the operating side, something he has always deeply valued, as evidenced by the in-depth way he’d connect with founders and their teams. Now it’s time for him to fully immerse himself in that world, not as an agent but as a principal. I know he’ll do great.
Regardless, Ben will always be part of the IA Ventures family and his contributions during our earliest days will not be forgotten. Thanks for everything, Ben, and all the best as you tackle new and exciting challenges.