StageLoan | Alive
Last Raised$680K | 3 yrs ago
Mosaic Score The Mosaic Score is an algorithm that measures the overall financial health and market potential of private companies.
+20 points in the past 30 days
PayJoy enables consumers with no bank accounts or formal credit history to purchase smartphones on installment payments and get cash loans. It does so by turning the smartphone into collateral through software that locks the phone when payments have not been made.
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Expert Collections containing PayJoy
Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.
PayJoy is included in 3 Expert Collections, including Digital Lending.
This collection contains companies that provide alternative means for obtaining a loan for personal or business use and companies that provide software to lenders for the application, underwriting, funding or loan collection process.
Companies and startups in this collection enable consumers, businesses, and governments to pay each other - online and at the physical point-of-sale.
PayJoy has filed 6 patents.
The 3 most popular patent topics include:
- Home appliance brands
- Kitchenware brands
- Mobile phone manufacturers
Home appliance brands, Diagrams, Mobile phone manufacturers, Consumer electronics brands, Kitchenware brands
Home appliance brands, Diagrams, Mobile phone manufacturers, Consumer electronics brands, Kitchenware brands
Latest PayJoy News
Dec 14, 2022
Michelle Aguinis Aguinis is part of the founding team of Menlo Labs, an early-stage fund and incubator. Since joining Menlo in 2020, Aguinist helped incubate five new companies, working closely with their CEOs on everything from financial discipline and relationship management to branding and recruiting. Before joining Menlo, she helped guide the strategy of Fortune 500 companies as a consultant at BCG and brings that experience to her work with startups. Aguinis believes that any successful business partnership relies on rigor and discipline, but also looks for businesses that are thoughtful about where they focus their efforts. "Working hard isn't always what begets success," she said. "It's also important to be strategic about where and with whom to do your hard work. " Earlier this year, Aguinis launched Menlo's Future Founders program, a network of aspiring entrepreneurs that aims to identify and nurture a new generation of high-impact startups. Kamran Ali Kamran Ali Ali joined Inspired Capital as an investor in 2020 and the firm promoted him to principal earlier this year. Recently, he invested in Hopscotch, a pediatric mental-health startup that raised an $8 million seed round this fall. Prior to becoming a VC, Ali spent three years as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs after he graduated from Dartmouth College. For aspiring investors, Ali recommends doing your research. "Really spend time learning which stage of VC investing excites you the most and plays to your strength, as the day-to-day responsibilities of sourcing, diligence, decision-making, and portfolio support looks quite different across stages," he said. "Similarly, it's important to understand a fund's strategy. For example, how many investments do they make per fund? Do they typically lead or follow? Do they take board seats? The answer to these questions will have important implications for your deal velocity, depth of founder relationships, and the investing skill that you develop." Nan Bai Nan Bai Since joining DCM in 2017, Bai has led ambitious investments in deep-tech verticals like autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and robotics. In addition to spearheading new investments for DCM this year, he also oversaw the IPO of the logistics company GigaCloud Technology, one of the few Chinese companies to go public in 2022. Focusing on these areas has allowed Bai to leverage his substantial operational and technical experience. Before joining DCM, he was part of the founding team at the robotics startup RoboteX, where he tackled everything from engineering challenges to supply-chain optimization to financial analytics. DCM China's cofounder and general partner, Hurst Lin, said that thanks to Bai's investments in areas like AI and robotics, the firm is now well positioned to be a major player in the industries of the future. "He helped DCM to expand beyond the usual VC comfort zone," Lin said. Maya Bakhai Maya Bakhai After leading investments at 35 Ventures, the fund created by the basketball star Kevin Durant, Bakhai struck out on her own with a $10 million early-stage fund in the hopes of disrupting the venture-capital industry itself. Her fund's backers include a who's who of the VC industry, counting Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, and Alexis Ohanian as limited partners. "Today, everyone is an investor," Bakhai wrote in an investment memo, "yet in private markets, VCs are still serving as gatekeepers to innovation, and their backers are not reflective of the communities they serve. " Spice is looking to leverage underrepresented and untapped investors and founders in order to champion startups with diverse perspectives across the broad categories of crypto, capital, and community. The majority of her capital comes from female limited partners, a rare feat in an industry still dominated by men. "Maya brings empathy and transparency to every conversation," said Howard Akumiah, the founder of Betty Labs, which was acquired by Spotify in 2021. "She fights for her founders and isn't consumed by hype, which is rare in this industry." Morgan Beller NFX Despite the ravages of the crypto-winter, Beller remains a big believer in the transformative power of the blockchain. She insists that it's only a matter of time until Web3 becomes a larger part of people's lives. She's brought that belief to NFX, where, since 2021, she has led some of the firm's biggest crypto investments, including a seed investment in the crypto-infrastructure provider Ramp and a pre-seed investment in Carapace, which provides protection against crypto-default risk. Beller honed her views on the blockchain during her time on the corporate-development team at Facebook, where she helped define the company's strategy around Web3 and was instrumental in the creation of Facebook's digital currency, Libra. Beller prefers working with founders who look at the world in new and unconventional ways. "I'm a big believer that if you're not weird, you're weird," she said. "So whether it's you think the world is broken and it won't be fixed until you do this thing, or you're obsessed with X, or you lose sleep over Y. Whatever is your thing that makes you weird, that's great, and if you're weird, come find us." Mercedes Bent Mercedes Bent In her career working at startups, Bent has served in almost every functional role, spanning operations, product management, customer service, talent and recruiting, design, sales, marketing, strategy, and general management. In 2019, Bent brought this expertise to Lightspeed's consumer investing team. Bent looks for early-stage startups that are helping members of underserved communities in tech and business create and build personal wealth, whether it's through crypto, fintech, career mobility, or the creator economy. Some of her most well-known investments to date include the rapid-grocery-delivery startup Flink, the NFT marketplace Magic Eden, and edtech startups Fidu, Forage, and Outschool. She also leads the firm's scout program and has spearheaded efforts to invest in companies based in Latin America. Bent's best advice for aspiring venture capitalists is to learn through doing, by writing out investment theses and memos and sharing them with investors who could be prospective employers. "Don't email someone asking for a job. Start doing the job and email asking for feedback on what you built," she said Ryan Biggs Ryan Biggs Biggs, the cohead of private investments and managing director of Franklin Templeton's venture-capital arm, Franklin Venture Partners, has helped the investment giant land deals in tech's buzzy mid-to late-stage growth companies, including Benchling, Discord, Gong, and Ironclad. At Franklin Templeton, Biggs looks for startups that are "clear breakout winners of large categories" that he believes will become "enduring public companies," he told Insider. More specifically, Biggs prefers companies that show compound growth for decades and business models "that lend themselves to being highly cash-generative," he said. Morgan Blumberg Morgan Blumberg Even with a slowdown in investing, Blumberg is doubling down on investments in healthcare. In the past year, Blunberg helped M13 win nine competitive healthcare-startup deals, including the fund's largest investment to date in Canvas Health, which raised $24 million in funding in July of 2022. In addition to sitting on the board of Agora Health and writing regularly about the future of healthcare, she also hosts panels and events designed to bring together founders and investors in the healthcare-startup community. Morgan joined M13 in 2021, after working as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and at former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg's philanthropic organization and on his presidential campaign. Chris Brown Chris Brown Brown joined Inspired Capital, a $500 million firm that focuses on early-stage investing, in 2020 after stints at First Round Capital and the Blackstone Group, and he leads the firm's enterprise-software, fintech, and proptech investing. Through his career he's been an avid angel investor and helped found Angel Track, a platform and community for emerging angel investors across the country. His recent investments at Inspired include QA Wolf, a cloud-based startup that works to detect software bugs, and Scythe Robotics, which builds autonomous robots for landscaping. Brown said that seed and Series A startup founders need to show him that they can make their business their life's work. Hannah Chelkowski Hannah Chelkowski Originally hailing from the UK, Chelkowski began her US venture-capital career as an analyst at Initialized Capital before moving to Inovia Capital in 2018. In early 2022, Chelkowski founded Blank Ventures, a pre-seed and seed fund, alongside Abhinav Tiwari and Antoine Nivard. Chelkowski values integrity, founder-market fit, compelling industry insights, and a demonstrated ability to execute in the founders that she works with. When evaluating investment opportunities, she told Insider that she always asks these three questions: "What unique advantage does this team have, how big is the opportunity, and why now?" Tom Chi Tom Chi Chi is used to tackling difficult challenges. One of the founding team members of Google's moonshot venture X, Chi helped create the prototype of Google Glass. And as the founding partner at At One Ventures, an early-stage VC firm that looks for startups that have a positive effect on the planet's health, Chi is tackling the climate crisis. Chi's fellow VCs hold the investor in high regard, with last year's rising star Ed Roman praising Chi's investments in climate-crisis startups. Prior to At One Ventures, Chi spent time investing at Hack VC, founding two startups, and leading teams at large tech companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google. Founders that can establish and maintain a "high rate of learning towards deeply understanding and skillfully solving a customer problem," inspire Chi the most, he told Insider. Courtney Chow Courtney Chow Chow cut her teeth in tech working as an in-the-trenches operator at some of the world's biggest companies, helping to design product strategy at LinkedIn and optimize supply-chain and inventory management at AmazonFresh. After her experiences at these tech giants, Chow was intrigued by the idea of helping build operations at startups. She joined Battery in 2019 to help lead the firm's global consumer-tech practice, and since then Chow has deployed more than $325 million to startups, spearheading Battery's foray into new verticals such as digital health, proptech, and blockchain. Chow has become one of the firm's resident experts on Web3, regularly leading internal presentations on cryptocurrency, decentralized finance, and blockchain interoperability. She also led the firm's expansion into Latin America, establishing herself as an expert on the region's startup ecosystem and laying the groundwork for Battery's investments in the Brazil-based Flash and Xepelin in Chile. Of all the investments Chow has led at Battery, she said she's most proud of her work with Modern Health, a company that she believes can make an impact on society by increasing access to mental-health services. "I believe we're facing another epidemic of sorts," Chow said. "Mental health has been stigmatized for a long time and considered an afterthought to physical health. Modern Health tackles this head-on." Sumi Das Sumi Das Das joined CapitalG in 2015 following stints at the asset manager Lazard and the PE firm Providence Equity Partners. Since joining the firm, Das has invested in notable startups across the fintech and healthcare spaces, including the investing app Robinhood, the payment processing startup Stripe, and the kidney-care startup Strive Health. Das is passionate about companies that offer mission-critical services and improve consumers' economic mobility. In addition to fintech and healthcare, he invests internationally in India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. James Ephrati James Ephrati Born in Paris, the son of med-school dropout turned aerospace entrepreneur, Ephrati joined Lightspeed's growth practice in 2019 to lead the firm's reinvestment team, focusing on fast-growing consumer and software companies. Since then, he's hired and trained two new associates and deployed more than $500 million in follow-on and new investments. Earlier this year, he helped a firm partner Justin Overdorff open Lightspeed's first ever Manhattan office , spearheading the storied firm's entry into the New York venture scene. He also runs Lightspeed's fundraising bootcamp where he's worked with founders at more than 250 portfolio companies, helping them hone their pitches and get the most out of new funding rounds. Ephrati sits on the boards of multiple companies including the newly minted unicorn company Glean. When scouting new investments, Ephrati says, he looks for founders with clarity of vision, depth of thinking, and grit. "Founders who exhibit these qualities will typically be a magnet for talent, prospects, and capital," Ephrati said. Chrissy Farr Christina Farr In the two years since she made the jump from journalism to investing, Farr, who was a healthtech reporter for CNBC, has quickly become one of the premier investors in the healthtech space, specifically when it comes to women's health startups. She is a founding partner in Caraway Health , a telemedicine startup for women in college, as well as Oath Care, a medical- and community-support network for moms. Farr told Insider that she looks for founders with good storytelling capabilities and grit. "At the early stages, when there isn't much else to go on, CEOs must convince new hires, customers, investors, or the press to rally around their vision," she said. "That's a momentous task, and those who do it well tend to be captivating and authentic." Avichal Garg Avichal Garg/LinkedIn Garg wasn't content with just being a startup founder — in addition to founding and selling two startups to Facebook and Hobson's, a subsidiary of The Daily Mail Group, Garg also cofounded the crypto-VC firm Electric Capital, where he's now a managing partner. While at Electric Capital, Garg has invested in the likes of MagicEden, Bitwise, Kraken, dYdX, Aven, and Frax. The investor has also served as a part-time partner at Y Combinator, where he advised startups on a number of topics, such as product strategy, scaling, and fundraising. From 2012 to 2016, Garg also led the product team for Facebook's "Local" organization, which includes Events, Pages, and Local Search. Cristina Apple Georgoulakis Cristina Apple Georgoulakis Born in Miami to Cuban-Greek immigrants, Georgoulakis has worn many different hats in her professional career, including as a small-business owner, jeweler, voice-over artist, executive coach, service designer, and as a leader in customer experience at the survey company Typeform. All those experiences helped her understand customers at a deep level. Now her customers are the startups themselves. In 2021, Georgoulakis became the first non-founder partner of 776, the venture firm founded by Reddit's Alexis Ohanian. She has created open-source programs to support the firm's startups, leading workshops and working closely with management teams to enhance customer experience and define strategy. She also serves as product manager for Cerebro, 776's in-house operating system that serves as a platform to connect and support founders. John Gianakopoulos John Gianakopoulos Though Gianakopoulos' role has evolved over time from operator to investor, an interest in fintech has been a running thread throughout his entire professional career. Post-college, the Scale Venture Partners vice president started as a product manager at the financial-software company Intuit before moving to Personal Capital, a startup specializing in financial tools and advisory. In 2018, the investor joined Scale and since then has invested in the likes of AppOmni, Archipelago, Comet, Papaya Global, Scout RFP, Socure, Spot AI, Spruce, and Tetrate. Gianakopoulos told Insider that he doesn't "buy into the whole 'good venture investors need operating experience' mantra," but he does believe that "some expertise in a given domain can help you better identify relevant trends within that sector" and encouraged aspiring VCs to "find an area they're genuinely curious about and focus time and professional energy there." Gaby Goldberg Gaby Goldberg Goldberg found her passion for tech on a sabbatical from college in Israel. She then landed an internship at Chapter One and never looked back. As one of Insider's rising stars of crypto investing, Gaby Goldberg told Insider that she looks to invest in startups at the intersection of consumer and crypto. Before she joined The Chernin Group as a crypto-specific investor in 2021, she worked at Bessemer Venture Partners. Despite the crypto winter, Goldberg has made early-stage deals across the Web3 space this year, including with the digital-museum-membership startup Arkive, the digital-fashion platform Draup, and with Branch, the studio behind the popular island survival sandbox game "Castaways. " For Goldberg, the most important quality she looks for in a startup or founder is "intellectual honesty," she said. Alana Goyal Alana Goyal For Goyal, VC was a side hustle before it became her full-time focus. While working as a product manager at Samsara, she founded Base Case "out of a burning desire to spend more time with earlier-stage founders." Nine months later, she took the leap to working as a full-time VC. The early-stage VC firm focuses on the enterprise-software space, and Goyal has already seeded notable startups like the creator-economy startup Beacons and the billing-infrastructure startup Orb. For others looking to break into venture capital, Goyal said it's tough — but possible — to do it without a track record. "Spend time around exceptional people and companies, understand what makes them great, and figure out where you can add value," she said. "Building a 'portfolio' of companies that sing your praises can in many ways be more powerful than putting money into companies that don't say the same." Sofia Guerra Bessemer Venture Partners Guerra understands the challenges of entrepreneurship at a deep level. In 2019, she cofounded Nucleate, a life-sciences accelerator and incubator where students, Ph.D. recipients, and post-doc researchers can learn to build businesses based on their research and discoveries. She's using that experience in her role as an investor. A senior associate at Bessemer Venture Partners' Cambridge, Massachusetts, office, Guerra focuses on backing startups in healthcare and life sciences. Before joining Bessemer in the summer of 2021, she was an investor at BoxGroup Ventures. Guerra has invested in a number of healthtech and biotech startups, including House Rx, Oshi Health, Rupa Health, and Turquoise Health. "Venture is a difficult industry to break into, but it definitely rewards hustle and grit," Guerra told Insider. For anyone looking to get into venture capital, Guerra said the best tactic is to "lean into your superpowers," like sector expertise or soft skills when looking for roles, and to join a local entrepreneurship community. "It will help you stand out and prove that you can already do the job before you even start," she said Linda Guo Linda Guo As the youngest and first female investor to make partner at Glade Brook Capital Partners, Guo has been building a reputation as one of the top investors to watch. After six years at the firm, Guo currently leads its efforts in e-commerce, digital and social media, the creator economy, healthtech, AI and Big Data, and Web3. In all, she's led more than a dozen new investments over her time at Glade Brook. She was a big advocate for investing in the now-unicorn Patreon back in 2019, and she's now a board observer for the company. She also serves on the boards of KitaBeli and Headout and is a board observer for Hopper and NimbleRx, all of which were deals she helped close for the fund. Guo also works closely with Glade Brook's founder and chief investment officer, Paul Hudson, to identify new investment themes that will underpin the firm's future fund strategies, including those for the latest $430 million growth-equity fund, which closed in June 2022, according to her nominator. "I look for founders who can demonstrate a right to win in whatever market they are tackling," Guo told insider. "Often it comes from a unique set of experiences, but it can also come from technical expertise, relentless drive, or simply strong execution." Lisa Han Lightspeed Han became a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners in October after having graduated from the firm's scouting program in 2019. Before Lightspeed, she was an investor at Google's Gradient Ventures, where she led deals in early-stage SaaS, AI, and fintech startups. Before working in venture, Han was the first business hire at Ramp, where she started and led business development and partnerships. She also previously worked as the head of business-development at Atrium, where she helped scale the company from 10 employees to a team of more than 250 and over $20 million in revenue. At Lightspeed, Han focuses on enterprise deals, including enterprise applications for AI and infrastructure. She's also an active angel investor and has personally backed several early-stage startups including Hightouch, Pave, Rutter, and Secureframe. Tomy Han Tomy Han Right after graduating from Harvard in 2012, Han joined Volition Capital. For the past decade, Han has risen through the ranks of the Boston-based growth-equity firm. Earlier this year, he became the first non-founding member to be internally promoted to partner in the firm's history. During his time at Volition, Han has deployed more than $250 million into startups, leading Series A investments in the unicorns Assent and Securonix. He serves on multiple boards and has overseen successful exits at companies such as the video-technology provider Connatix, which was acquired by Court Square Capital Partners; the earthquake-modeling-software company Insite Software, which was acquired by Episerver; and the mortgage-processing company LoanLogics, which was acquired by Sun Capital Partners. Charlie Hanna Charlie Hanna Hanna is a talent agent turned venture capitalist, who used to work for William Morris Endeavor and Paradigm Talent Agency in Los Angeles before jumping into investing. As a principal at Marcy Venture Partners, the venture-capital fund cofounded by Larry Marcus, Jay Brown, and Jay-Z, Hanna focuses on backing startups in consumer products and services with an emphasis on sustainability and accessibility. Some of his more well-known deals include Rihanna's Savage X Fenty, and he's backed trendy consumer startups like Our Place and the skincare line Versed, and the camera-equipment company Wyze. He's also backed a few marketplace startups, including StockX. Hanna looks for startups that have a clear sense of community behind their products and audience, he told Insider. "Community drives down customer-acquisition costs and fuels organic growth, which is absolutely crucial when scaling a consumer business efficiently and profitably, especially in today's macroeconomic environment," he said. Dawit Heck Dawit Heck Heck joined Bain Capital Ventures in 2020, after working as an associate at Long Ridge Equity Partners for a year. Since joining, he has spearheaded investments and diligence efforts for BCV's commerce-tech team, and led the firm's deal in the inventory-management startup Cogsy. He's also assisted on deals with the e-commerce marketing studio Soona and the mobile-restaurant startup Wonder. When considering backing a startup or not, Heck first looks for a strong, smart founder. "The best founders always find a way to win," he told Insider. "The difference is backing a founder who you believe to have tremendous founder-market fit, product vision, is a thought leader, has a real sense for collaboration, and someone you can get along with," Heck said. Brian Hollins Brian Hollins Hollins launched his venture fund, Collide Capital, in January this year. He and his fellow cofounder and managing partner, Aaron Samuels, announced its debut fund in October, with $66 million in capital from impressive backers, including the tech giants Amazon, Alphabet (Google's parent company), and Twitter, as well as Citi and Bank of America. It's a project he spent the better part of six years building, all while working at Goldman Sachs across investment management, investment banking, and merchant banking. Through Collide Capital, Hollins writes checks ranging from $500,000 to $1 million for companies across enterprise SaaS, supply-chain infrastructure, and Gen Z-minded consumer software. Some of his most recent investments include Atomic Invest, Rheaply, Slang.ai, Tango, and Weav. Hollins is a founding board member of the industry group BLCK VC, and the founder and CEO of the Takeoff Institute, which provides Black undergraduate students with resources and mentorship to jump-start their professional careers. "Your effort in spending six to 12 months building relationships with a firm can pay off in a big way long term," he told Insider about getting started in venture capital. "Start sending deals, sharing thoughts, and building rapport with members of the team without expecting anything in return. Oftentimes the best jobs in venture don't show up on a job board, but instead result from the firm being all in on adding someone who has been adding value for some time." Diana Hu Y Combinator Hu recently joined Y Combinator more permanently as a group partner after serving as a visiting group partner for three batches. Before her work with YC, Hu was a cofounder and the CTO of Escher Reality, an augmented-reality back-end company that Niantic, the makers of Pokémon Go, acquired in 2018. At Niantic, she was head of the AR platform. Previously, she led data science at OnCue TV, which Verizon bought in 2014. Because of Hu's professional experience, she advises founders with questions about data science, developer tools, virtual and augmented reality, and computer vision. There isn't one single characteristic that can make a founder successful, Hu told Insider. "In general, they are technically oriented and ambitious who are good at holding dichotomies in their heads. They balance the long-term goals, but also incredibly pragmatic and move very quickly early on," she said. Merritt Hummer Merritt Hummer As a VC focused on growth-stage fintech, marketplace, and B2B software startups, Hummer has focused on building out Bain Capital Ventures's international reach since she joined the firm in 2018. She led the firm's European investments in Ankorstore, Pleo, and Fidel API, and also made BCV's first-ever investment in Latin America, backing the B2B marketplace startup Miferia. Prior to joining BCV, Hummer was a growth-equity investor at Goldman Sachs. Hummer told Insider that the most important quality she looks for in startup founders is a combination of ambition, determination, and humility. Grace Isford Grace Isford Lux Capital promoted Isford to partner this month after she worked there as a principal since this February. She sources and leads deals in startups that are "focused on innovating at the nexus of the computational sciences," she wrote on her LinkedIn profile, such as enterprise and data infrastructure, blockchain infrastructure, and AI and machine-learning applications, especially in healthcare and financial services. Before joining Lux, Isford invested in enterprise, supply-chain, and data startups at Canvas Ventures, where she led top deals in Conduktor, Flowspace, Robocorp, Skyflow, and Vendia. Isford is also a board member for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, which helps early entrepreneurs and engineers develop new technologies and scale them to successful businesses. The most important quality in a startup founder that Isford looks for is "a mix of humility and ambition," she told Insider, as well as knowing to "hire the right team members and partners to complement their strengths." Gosia Karas Gosia Karas is the colead and investment director for the SB Opportunity Fund at Softbank Investment Advisors. Gosia Karas, PhD Since joining Softbank in 2019, Karas, who has a Ph.D., has already made her mark on the storied firm: She fast-tracked two promotions, to vice president and investment director, and helped to launch the firm's $100 million Miami initiative for startups in the city. She also coleads the SB Opportunity Fund, which is Softbank's venture arm for investing exclusively in Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous founders. Since launching the fund in 2020, she's personally backed over 15 companies, including Drift, the fund's first successful exit to Vista Equity Partners at a unicorn valuation. She's backed large-growth-stage startups like Eight Sleep, Paystand, QuickNode, and Upside Foods. These days, Karas is bullish on AI and looking to invest in founders and companies that are "solving a specific problem for a large but specific audience incredibly well," she told Insider. Brianne Kimmel Brianne Kimmel As the founder and managing partner of her solo fund Worklife Ventures, Kimmel works to help operators from high-growth companies start businesses of their own. It's a path Kimmel is familiar with: She was working in growth marketing at Zendesk before diving into startup investing full time. In the three years since she started Worklife, Kimmel has backed some of the startup world's most promising unicorns, like the fintech unicorn Pipe and the virtual-events giant Hopin, and got more than seven-times returns for her first fund in less than three years. She has also invested in workplace-tech-tool startups across all functions like Hex, WorkOS, Tome, and Webflow. Recently, Kimmel has been active in backing startups that are creating "AI-first tools for work," including the image generator Stable Diffusion. She's always interested in startups that create "new ways for anyone to build and be more creative, either for their day job or hobbies on evenings and weekends," she told Insider. Read more about Kimmel's investment strategies and thesis here Ann Lai Ann Lai Lai has spent her career actively working against the biases and toxicity of venture capital's "old boys' club" mentality, going so far as to sue her former employer for the right to tell her own story. Lai has established herself as an investor at Bullpen Capital, where she's deployed her unique investment approach — which she describes as data-informed, not data-driven — to find and support exciting founders who otherwise might have been overlooked. She also strives to look beyond the traditional metrics and "gut feelings" about how good a founder's bio looks. "The traditional bro-style, hype-driven VC approach is prone to bias, too often unsubstantiated by real performance," she said. "The result? Vapor valuations. Diligence should be about telling the true story of a company; it's as much about uncovering gems as finding reasons to dismiss deals." Alex Laplaza Alex Laplaza Lowercarbon Capital's mission is to invest in startups working on solutions to the climate crisis, something that Laplaza has been passionate about for years. Before joining Lowercarbon Capital, Laplaza was a Fullbright Scholar and had been working on clean-energy deployment in emerging economies in India, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, Uganda, and Bangladesh. He joined Lowercarbon in 2020 as an associate and worked his way up to partner in less than two years, backing cutting-edge climate-tech startups like Lilac Solutions, Sublime Systems, Remora, Kula Bio, Zero Acre Farms, and Solar Square. Laplaza likes founders that have what he calls "unreasonable ambition," who "ignore what seems possible in favor of exceptionally big and painful problems," he told Insider. "Audacious missions fuel recruitment of top talent, sustained obsession with learning, and access to markets big enough to create highly valuable and impactful businesses." Danielle Lay Danielle Lay Lay joined NEA in 2017 after a stint as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. She was quickly promoted to principal and has been instrumental in defining NEA's strategy around the consumer internet with a particular focus on e-commerce, mental health, and dating. Working closely with startups has taught her that the most important determinant of success for a new company is resilience, Lay said. "I've learned that being a founder can look glamorous on the outside, but building a large company is not for the faint of heart," she said. "If you have a big, audacious vision, things are going to feel impossibly difficult at some point along the journey — likely at many points. We believe in being in the trenches with our founders." Lay has also been key to the firm's expansion into Southeast Asia, spending time on the ground in the region meeting founders and funders and helping plant a flag for NEA in a dynamic, fast-growing startup scene. Jessica Leao Jéssica Leão In only two years, Leão went from an intern at Maverick Ventures to a principal. Prior to joining Maverick, Leão invested in pre-seed and seed businesses as managing partner at Dorm Room Fund , a student-run VC fund that First Round Capital backed, and through The 21 Fund , a $2 million seed fund backing the Stanford Graduate School of Business startups — her alma mater. Originally from Brazil, Leão focuses on investing in cybersecurity, SaaS, climate tech, and AI while also investing in Latin American startups. When evaluating founders, Leão said she looks at the distance they've traveled — in any shape or form. "Sometimes that comes in the form of a successful professional outcome they can already point to, but often it's a personal story that shines the most light on who they are and will become as leaders," she said. "There are many picture-perfect résumés out there, but in the end, being a founder is often grueling work, and pedigree isn't what determines success. I want to see that someone has the drive and grit to run through walls if necessary." Jane Lee Jane Lee Lee has always been fascinated by macroeconomic trends. During her time as an undergrad at Berkeley, she spent a summer in sales and trading, where she got a firsthand look at the chaos of the markets before pivoting to investment banking to develop a deeper understanding of what makes businesses tick, she told Insider. Now, Lee leverages both her market experience and her business-model know-how to advise startups as a vice president at Sapphire Ventures that focuses on fintech, e-commerce, and broader enterprise software, investing in the likes of AvidXchange, BetterUp, Brightfield, Gorgias, Mercury, Paper, Podium, and Sword Health. For Lee, the founders that stand out the most are those who are “extremely thoughtful about the way they build their business, have deep empathy for their customers, and demonstrate unwavering grit to execute on their vision,” she told Insider. Abir Liben Abir Liben As an investor, Liben's strength comes from her nontraditional professional and personal background, Adrianna Samaniego, a principal at Female Founders Fund, told Insider. Having operated in challenging environments across Sub-Saharan Africa and the US as an urban planner, consultant, and investor, Liben understands the struggles of forward-thinking founders, she added. Liben currently invests in fintech and Web3 startups as a principal at the seed-stage VC firm Primary Venture Partners. Before joining Primary, she was a founding member at Serena Ventures, tennis star Serena Williams' VC firm , where she helped raise the firm's debut $111 million fund. When evaluating startups, Liben is most drawn to founders that can not only embrace the risk of entrepreneurship but also are "brave enough to self-reflect" and "proactively surround themselves with talent" that fills in the gaps in their capabilities, she told Insider. Jerry Lu Jerry Lu A data scientist by training, Lu spent the early days of his career at Google, where he helped to launch and grow YouTube's first paid-subscription businesses. Working with one of the most widely used consumer services led Lu to have an interest in backing the next big consumer idea. At Maveron, Lu leads seed and Series A investing for consumer startups. His recent investments include StageGlass, a startup that helps homebuyers digitally decorate their new living spaces; the sustainable-coffee startup Brewbird; and Free Agency, a talent-management startup for tech workers. Lu said that his investing interests lie at the intersection of consumer, community, and culture, and he has two pieces of advice for aspiring investors: do things that others aren't willing to do, and always be willing to help others. "It sends a signal about your integrity, it will make you a better person, and you never know when an act of goodwill might end up benefiting you enormously later," Lu said. Emily Man Emily Man Man admitted that she might not have the typical investor background. Born and raised in Indiana before moving to Beijing at age 12, Man told Insider that her unique upbringing, during which she saw Beijing go from a "totally cash-based society to a place that's, in many ways, more modern than the living experience in the States," actually sparked her initial interest in tech, markets, and globalization. After graduation, Man spent time at the asset manager Point72 as a founding member of the firm's venture-capital arm, where she participated in everything from strategy and investing to portfolio management. Following Point72, Man joined Redpoint Ventures and now invests in fintech and enterprise-software startups like the rocket-ship company Ramp. Man encourages aspiring investors to dig deep when exploring industries and develop differentiated, unique insights on trends. And, she added, they should "never underestimate the power of a good cold email." Ashley Mayer Ashley Mayer Mayer made a name for herself by running global communications for Box, taking the company from a 50-person startup through its IPO and beyond. She's now taking her PR expertise to venture. Mayer cofounded Coalition Operators in 2021 alongside Jaclyn Rice Nelson, Toyin Ajayi, and Lindsay Ullman. Mayer, who also ran communications at Glossier and Social Capital, backs early-stage startups with capital and operational expertise. Some of the startups Mayer has backed include Summer Health, Pager, Dreambound, Ado nis, and Canal. Mayer said that senior leaders in operating roles can also make great investors. "Operators can be some of the most valuable people on cap tables, and the fact that you're currently in the trenches will only make your expertise more relevant to founders," she said. "Additionally, many emerging fund managers will take investment from 'micro LPs' who can provide support to their portfolio companies." Lauren Miller Lauren Miller Miller has been a principal partner at Plus Capital for two years, during which time she's invested in the consumer startups Vivrelle, a membership club loaning designer handbags and jewelry; Bobbie, which sells organic baby formula; and the restaurant-and-lifestyle brand True Food kitchen. She's also invested in the sustainability startups Pachama, which uses AI to restore forests; and MycoWorks, a biotech startup that makes vegan leather from mycelium. Prior to Plus Capital, Miller invested in the direct-to-consumer hair-care startup Madison Reed while at Enlightened Hospitality Investments, the restaurateur Danny Meyer's fund. Miller said that her first gut check with meeting a founder is deciding how much a startup needs to exist: "How badly does this founder believe this company needs to exist, and are they the right person to build it? Maybe you could call this the convergence of product-market fit and founder-market fit." Michelle Nie Michelle Nie Michelle Nie's a Gen Z-er, and a proud one at that. She published a piece in 2020 on the future of social for the rapidly growing generation, and since then has focused on Gen Z platforms, marketplaces, and consumer software as an investor at Norwest Venture Partners. There, she's invested in companies like Faire, Homeward, ICON, and Rare Candy. Before joining Norwest, Nie spent two years as a tech-investment banker at Morgan Stanley advising tech companies on capital raising and mergers and acquisitions. What makes Nie excited to work with a founder is "clarity of thought," she said. This strength helps founders not only build a "differentiated, durable company" but also gets startup teams and potential recruits "excited and aligned," she added. Ritika Pai Ritika Pai Until recently, Ritika Pai, an investor at ICONIQ Growth, has spent the majority of her life in the heart of the tech ecosystem as a Bay Area native, cutting her teeth at Morgan Stanley as a tech-investment banker before pivoting to growth-stage investing. At the end of 2021, however, Pai spearheaded her firm's expansion into Europe as a founding member of ICONIQ Growth's European office. There, she's helped the firm stamp its mark in the thriving European tech scene. Pai loves founders who can learn and evolve. "An underlying trait in the founders with whom we've been fortunate to partner is a genuine desire for continuous improvement and the growth mindset to constantly seek out and act on learnings from customers, team members, competitors, the market, investors, and others," she said Becky Pferdehirt Becky Pferdehirt According to Vijay Pande, a fellow Andreessen Horowitz general partner, Pferdehirt stands out for her unique perspective, "combining both scientific depth and business acumen" from her years working in biopharma R&D and business development. Pferdehirt, who's a partner on Andreessen's bio-investing team, previously spent time at the biopharmaceutical company Amgen both developing technologies for cell and gene therapies and working on business development and technology licensing. Pferdehirt is most excited to "back companies pushing the boundaries of science and technology to change the future of human health" and founders that have "not only big ambitions, but the unique combination of technical chops and business acumen to execute on that vision," she told Insider. Haseeb Qureshi Haseeb Qureshi Qureshi, a managing partner at the crypto-investment firm Dragonfly, has perhaps one of the most colorful backgrounds of Insider's rising VC stars. At the age of 16, Qureshi became a professional poker player and was highly regarded in the industry, netting over $1 million in one year at the age of 19. After retiring from poker at 21, Qureshi pursued a number of projects and roles, going on to write a book on the philosophy of poker, teach students how to code, and join Airbnb as a software engineer. In 2019, Qureshi joined Dragonfly and since then has invested in Web3 startups like Avalanche, MakerDAO, Dune Analytics, NEAR, and zkSync. Karthik Ramakrishnan Karthik Ramakrishnan Ramakrishnan joined IVP as an investor in 2019, and this year he became, at 28, one of the youngest partners in the firm's history. Since joining the firm, he has helped deploy more than $500 million in new investments and has taken the lead on managing some of IVP's biggest public investments, including its stake in CrowdStrike, a company currently valued at more than $26 billion. Ramakrishnan has identified a number of promising startups for IVP, including sourcing the firm's investment this year in Jasper AI, which valued the company at $1.5 billion . When sourcing new deals, Ramakrishnan said the No. 1 feature he looks for is single-minded devotion to understanding the customer. "Whether you're closing your first enterprise contract or your thousandth, I'm looking for founders who are constantly obsessing over the end-user experience," he said. David Roos David Roos Roos has been at Core Innovation Capital for just two years, but he's already been making a name for himself within the fintech-investment community. "He is usually my first phone call if I am looking at anything in the space," said one of last year's rising stars Christopher Harper. During his tenure at the firm, Roos has led deals in many top early-stage fintech, payments, and insuritech startups, including Assured Allies, Conduit, Forward, Health Sherpa, Klover, PayJoy, Spinwheel, and Yotta. Roos told Insider that the key to breaking into venture capital is "doing the job before you get the job" by becoming an expert in a specific sector and then reaching out to other investors to build a network. "Conduct deep research into sector-specific topics, reach out to industry specialists with thoughtful questions, build a network of other investors and operators in the space, blog your thoughts and ask for feedback, or help build a company in that sector before becoming an investor," he said. Seth Rosenberg Greylock For Rosenberg, a career in venture capital wasn't always the most obvious path. After spending time at Goldman Sachs as a tech, media, and telecommunications investment banker, the Greylock principal joined Facebook as an early product manager on its Facebook Messenger team as the messaging app exploded in popularity. After trying his hand as a startup founder, Rosenberg joined Greylock in 2017 as an investor. One of his earliest investments was in online-game platform Roblox, which ended up being Greylock's second-largest check ever and snagged the firm a return fifteen times the amount from its investment to IPO. Since then, Rosenberg has invested in a number of other companies like Espresso Systems, Tome, PayJoy, Wisetack, and Pine and has focused on crypto and fintech as the sole member of Greylock's team based out of New York City. Rosenberg told Insider that he loves working with "founders who find the balance between being experts in their domain, are fully aware of the risks, and yet build as if success is inevitable." Bryan Rosenblatt Brian Rosenblatt After early roles at Twitter and Reddit, Rosenblatt joined Craft Ventures in 2018 and focuses on building out the firm's East Coast portfolio. Since 2017, Rosenblatt has also been investing in tech's hottest startups through his own personal fund, Riverside Ventures, including Carta, Bonobos, Slack, and Dapper Labs. Rosenblatt, whose investment focus is on SaaS, marketplaces, and consumer tech, is also a Backstage Capital mentor working to advance opportunities for underrepresented founders. Jay Rughani Jay Rughani Rughani has centered his career around healthcare, first as Deloitte consultant to large healthcare companies, and later as an operator at Flatiron Health, which was eventually acquired by Roche. Since joining Andreessen Horowitz in 2018, he has continued to champion innovation in healthcare while developing deep subject-matter expertise. In addition to sourcing some of A16z's biggest healthtech deals and helping multiple portfolio companies raise follow-on capital, Rughani also helped create the firm's Bio + Health Go-To-Market playbook . Working with healthcare startups is especially fulfilling, Rughani said, because he's helping people live healthier, happier lives. He recalled working with the cancer-support startup Thyme Care, which begins every board meeting with the story of a patient who has been impacted by the company. "At the first meeting, I distinctly remember getting goosebumps, feeling lucky to have the opportunity to partner with such a brilliant team on such an important mission," he said. Rex Salisbury Cambrian Ventures; Insider Salisbury set off on his own earlier this year after a two-year stint at Andreessen Horowitz, where he helped build the firm's fintech practice. His $20 million fund, Cambrian Ventures, focuses on pre-seed fintech investing, and Salisbury has already added two startups to the portfolio: the B2B buy-now, pay-later startup OatFi, which raised an $8 million seed round in October; and the employee-benefits startup Keep, which raised $9 million in May. At Andreessen, Salisbury made investments in startup hotshots like Deel and Tally. Salisbury told Insider that the most important qualities he looks for in founders are "deep domain expertise coupled with a passion and obsession for fintech," along with the "ability to materialize a team." Kyle Samani Kyle Samani Samani brings his operating experience as the founder of the health-IT startup Pristine to his current role as a venture capitalist. In 2017, after the tech-training platform Upskill acquired Pristine, Samani cofounded Multicoin Capital, an investment firm specializing in crypto. The Austin-based $75 million VC firm, which counts Andreessen Horowitz as an LP, focuses on several overarching theses, including decentralized, open finance, the power of Web3, and global, state-free money. Dylann Sands Dylann Sands In her first six months at the Gen Z-focused venture-capital fund Animal Capital, Sands has already built out her portfolio to include prominent health and fitness startups like the remote learning-difference education and therapy platform Parallel Learning and the wearable Whoop. Prior to joining the firm in July, Sands spent nearly two years at AF Ventures, and has completed stints at General Atlantic and Goldman Sachs. Sands recommended that people looking to break into venture capital lean on their networks. "Today it's easier than ever to meet new people and stay in touch with existing contacts," she said. "Try to grow your network every day and you never know what will present itself — new friendships and relationships, business ideas, and investment opportunities. Eventually, networking will become second nature and be one of the most enjoyable and productive ways to spend your time as an investor." Sanjiv Sanghavi Sanjiv Sanghavi Like many successful VCs, Sanghavi came to the world of venture capital through founding a startup. He cofounded the consumer exercise-class marketplace ClassPass in 2011 and worked as the chief product officer at Arcadia, a green-energy data-analytics company, before joining Day One Ventures as a climate-focused venture partner in January 2022. Since becoming a full-time VC, Sanghavi has backed several of Day One's top-performing climate-tech portfolio companies, including the YC-backed Alga Biosciences, the molecular biology startup Concert Bio, the green land-management startup Vibrant Planet, and the eco-friendly portable-potty startup Wasted. "My advice is to build and invest in a community of people and ideas you actually want to see succeed," he said about what it takes to break into early-stage venture capital. "When I think back to my time as a founder, I preferred partners who actually cared about what we were doing, not those investing on hype or a shaky prediction of the future. " He added: "Now that I'm an investor, this approach has been incredibly fulfilling and leaves little space for regrets." Aashay Sanghvi Aashay Sanghavi Only an undergrad at Harvard at the time, Sanghvi was already trying to help local entrepreneurs get seed funding. After he graduated, Sanghvi went straight to work at the early-stage firm Haystack, an early backer of startups like Instacart, DoorDash, Figma, and Carta. At Haystack, Sanghvi focuses his investing on young software-and-tech startups such as the data-streaming platform Redpanda and the universal-commerce API Rutter. Sanghvi joined Haystack in 2019. "I'm inspired by what I call spiky founders — those with outlier characteristics averse to the status quo," he said. Sanghvi also writes a tech-investing newsletter and founded Branch, a direct-to-consumer office-furniture retailer. Joanne Shang Joanna Shang Shang joined IVP in 2021 after a three-year stint as a technology-investment banker at Morgan Stanley. She focuses on later-stage enterprise and consumer-technology investments, including the AI-copywriting startup Jasper AI, which just raised $125 million at a $1.5 billion valuation, and the digital lender Tala, which raised a $145 million Series E late last year. Shang told Insider that when she's evaluating founders, she focuses on how they're building their teams. "Founders can't build a big company alone," she said. "The ability for founders to recruit and retain talent is a critical factor in startup success." Sarah Smith Sarah Smith For Smith, the four most important qualities she looks for in an early-stage startup are "founder grit, team composition, distribution advantage, and a big vision," she told Insider. It's a formula that has served her well: Before leaving Bain Capital Partners to start her solo fund this fall, Smith led major deals for more than four years as a venture partner at the firm, sourcing top deals like Lime, Rightfoot, and Mathison. Her angel portfolio is equally impressive, featuring big names like Airtable, Sorare, Pocus, OnDeck, Winnie, Biobot, Truehold, Arc, and Hey Jane. Smith specializes in pre-seed and seed-stage deals, and her advice to those wanting to break into an increasingly crowded sector is to "have a clear, differentiated product or value to offer founders in order to win allocation in the very best companies." For first-time investors, building relationships early on is key to any future success. "Get to know industry insiders by sharing leads, introductions, and your point of view on exciting founders and investment opportunities," she said. Matt Streisfeld Matt Streisfeld Streisfeld has been with Oak HC/FT since 2015, but he's had a particularly busy year, including a promotion to general partner this past summer. Over the past 12 months, he's spearheaded many of the firm's key exits, including the acquisition of the data provider Urjanet by Arcadia, and the acquisition of the automation company Kyron by Nintex for a reported $100 million . One of his portfolio companies, Pagaya Technologies, successfully went public this year, with the company valued at $8.5 billion. He also serves on the boards of ZenBusiness, which recently raised a $200 million Series C, and Justt, which raised a $70 million Series B, both led by Oak. Streisfeld believes in taking a focused approach and going deep to specialize in one sector. "You should be able to understand the business as well as the entrepreneur does," he said. Adam Struck Struck Crypto Struck founded his eponymous company in 2014, which encompasses Struck Capital, the group's general venture fund, its crypto fund, and its startup incubator. Since its launch, it has become one of the most well-known venture funds in the Los Angeles area and has positioned Struck as a major mover and shaker in the LA VC and startup scene. Through the Struck umbrella, he has been able to back high-growth companies at the early stages, like Apollo.io, Latch, Mythical Games, Postmates, Sendoso, and Zero Hash, and counts A-list celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio in his roster of limited partners. Struck told Insider that the No. 1 quality he looks for in a founder is the ability to handle adversity. "Creating a startup is a polarizing experience, not for the faint of heart. Those who succeed expect to be knocked down and already envision themselves getting back up," he said. Jenny Sui Jenny Sui Though Sui started her career on the operating side at Visa and Brex, the Craft Ventures principal told Insider that she always knew she wanted to break into investing. Sui's past professional experience, though, especially her time at the fintech startup Brex, has helped inform the advice and guidance she provides founders with, she said. Now, Sui is an integral part of Craft's investing team as the only non-partner based out of New York City and an investor that focuses on fintech and vertical software. For aspiring investors, Sui advised digging deep into spaces that interest them — one way to do this is to borrow a page from her book and "spend time working at a startup to get the real-world, first-hand experience of building at the early-stage," she said. Alexandra Sukin Alexandra Sukin Sukin first started her venture career while still an undergrad at Harvard. She helped identify and source promising new investments as a venture partner at Contrary Capital, a VC firm designed to back student entrepreneurs at universities and colleges. She's now one of Bessemer's youngest investors and has played "an essential role in the acceleration of the firm's consumer strategy," said Jeremy Levine, a partner at the firm. Sukin led Bessemer's $17 million investment in Truebill, a personal-finance app that was acquired by Rocket Companies last year for $1.2 billion. Since joining Bessemer, Sukin has helped define the firm's strategy around new online platforms and content curation as the author of Roadmap: Curating the Internet . She's also the architect of Bessemer's Creator Collaborative, a collective of high-impact social-media creators focused on identifying new trends in the creator economy. Sukin serves on the boards of multiple Bessemer portfolio companies and said that attending her first board meeting has been one of her favorite moments in her venture career so far. "It was so exciting to get to participate in supporting a company at that level," Sukin said. Victoria Sun Victoria Sun An internship with the supply-chain and electronics manufacturing giant Flex piqued Sun's interest in more complex technologies. Now a principal at Playground Global, Sun is passionate about backing startups in the "techbio" sector, including logistics, agriculture, and manufacturing. Sun has already sourced and led investments in areas like logistics with the companies Pandion and Leaf, software infrastructure through EraDB, aerospace through Universal Hydrogen, and computational biology with Strand Therapeutics. She is also a board observer for the 3D-printed-rocket company Relativity Space and the gene-sequencing company Ultima Genomics. "The entrepreneurs who've inspired me the most typically have traits that signal an obsessive personality, relentless pursuit, and a burning desire to win as a team," she told Insider. Sydney Sykes Lightspeed Venture Partners While at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, Sykes started scouting deals for Lightspeed Venture Partners. One of the deals she sourced, Archive, which lets stores integrate secondhand shopping into their online sites, is now part of Lightspeed's portfolio. Now a full-time partner at the firm, Sykes focuses on consumer startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. In addition to Archive, which Lightspeed has backed twice in 2022, she also scouted PIN , a startup that helps groups build out investment clubs and funds; Gander, which lets users generate videos for e-commerce sites; and the online-shopping startup Whym. She has also personally backed companies including the green-skincare line Apothekary. Before joining Lightspeed, Sykes was a principal at Wave Capital and an investment analyst at New Enterprise Associates. She also previously managed the growth, forecasting, and strategy for several native brands at the alternative-fashion company Dolls Kill. Sykes is a cofounder of the industry group BLCK VC, which connects and advances Black venture investors. She served as the group's co-CEO until March 2022 and still remains a board member. During her time as co-CEO, she built the nonprofit to a multimillion-dollar annual budget and an over 20,000 person reach. Nancy Torres Nancy Torres Torres has dedicated her venture career to supporting underrepresented founders as one of the newest partners at Ulu Ventures, a seed-stage VC firm focused on data-driven and diverse investing. Here, she's invested in startups like Hey Jane, a virtual abortion clinic , and Parfait, a startup leveraging AI to better customize wigs. Torres is also a cofounder and board director of the Latinx MBA Association, a nonprofit focused on developing and supporting Latino business leaders. Before joining Ulu, Torres cut her teeth as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, where she advised companies on IPO and M&A transactions. Prior to Goldman, she spent time at the VC firm Harlem Capital and tech companies like Google and Uber. For those looking to break into the industry, Torres emphasized the importance of strong relationships and recommended upstarts to "optimize for working with people who align with your own principles and values, and who will continue to invest in you over time." Sandhya Venkatachalam Sandhya Venkatachalam Venkatachalam was betting on AI before it became the next big thing in tech. She was previously a managing director at the AI-focused fund Deep Ventures, and prior to that led AI investments for the VC fund Social Capital from 2017 to 2019. She then brought her expertise to Khosla Ventures in 2020, where she has made a name for herself as one of the firm's go-to experts on artificial intelligence and machine learning. She led seed-stage investments in AI unicorn Groq as well as Forethought, Helm, and Fireflies. When sourcing investments, she chooses to throw her weight behind founders who are outliers. "I can help them build a complementary team around weaknesses," she said, "but they must be exceptionally strong in at least one valuable area, like leadership and vision, extreme customer empathy, or extraordinary technical capability." Venkatachalam also boasts substantial operational experience, having been the head of corporate development and the VP of product at Skype, as well as the first product manager at Andiamo Systems, which was acquired by Cisco for $1.5 billion. Matt Weinberg Matt Weinberg Weinberg came to the world of venture capital via politics and policy. Before becoming an investor himself, he worked for nonprofits and government organizations including the New York City Economic Development Corporation and President Obama's White House, where he worked to allocate $6 billion in federal funding to early-stage technology startups as a senior advisor in the Office of Investment and Innovation. Weinberg joined Max Ventures in 2019 as a principal and was promoted to partner this year. He focuses on digital-commerce and digital-healthcare startups across the United States and Europe. He has led deals for CertifyOS, Adonis, CuraFi, and Elion, a digital-health marketplace that he also cofounded and incubated. Weinberg tells anyone who wants to break into early-stage venture capital that becoming knowledgeable in a specific area and then building relationships is the key to success. "The goal is to show you can hit the ground running, add value on day one, and take less time to develop your 'book of business,'" he said. Jillian Williams Jillian Williams A self-proclaimed "fintech nerd," Williams began her investment career backing fintech startups for more than five years as a principal at Anthemis Group, where she worked closely with top fintech companies like Pipe, Atomic Invest, Maxwell, Rally Rd, and TrueLayer. After joining Cowboy Ventures in 2021, Williams was promoted from principal to partner in December this year. At Cowboy, Williams backs startups in a variety of verticals, including e-commerce, marketplace companies, and SaaS startups. More recently, she backed Getaway, a vacation-rental investment platform, and made a personal investment into the fintech-infrastructure startup Power's seed round. Williams told Insider that the two most important qualities she looks for in startup founders are the ability to hire and attract talent and being a "learning animal," meaning that they are able to recognize their own limitations and see where they need to grow. Carra Wu Courtesy of Carra Wu A Harvard dropout, the 23-year-old Wu parlayed internships at Apple and Microsoft to land a coveted internship at a16z that gave her access to the firm's estimated $9 billion in crypto-specific funds. Within a few months, supervisors promoted Wu to deal analyst, and made her a partner by her first anniversary at the firm — making her a16z's youngest check writer and a rising star in crypto investing. Wu previously told Insider that she cold emailed Arianna Simpson and asked to be the firm's first crypto intern, and reflected on breaking into venture capital as, "I climbed through a window," she said. Nancy Xiao Nancy Xiao During her four years at BOND, Xiao's investments have spanned from the consumer sector — including the running brand On and the camping startup Hipcamp — to the healthcare sector — including the birth-control startup Nurx and the women's telemedicine behemoth Maven Clinic — and beyond — such as the SpaceX competitor Relativity Space and the proptech Veev. Before joining the firm in 2019, she was a tech-investment banker at Morgan Stanley. Johnson Yang
PayJoy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was PayJoy founded?
PayJoy was founded in 2015.
Where is PayJoy's headquarters?
PayJoy's headquarters is located at 655 4th St, San Francisco.
What is PayJoy's latest funding round?
PayJoy's latest funding round is Loan.
How much did PayJoy raise?
PayJoy raised a total of $74.63M.
Who are the investors of PayJoy?
Investors of PayJoy include Paycheck Protection Program, Union Square Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, Greylock Partners, Assurant Ventures and 13 more.
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