“A lending company? Matt, you know I’m more of a tech guy.”
This was my first work conversation with Noah Breslow, a longtime close friend but, as yet, not a colleague. And based on how this conversation was going, I was stuck in the friend zone for sure.
This was 2007, and the worlds of “fin” and “tech” still seemed miles apart. And Noah was, for sure, a legit tech guy — CS from MIT; interned at Netscape in 1996; designed satellite communication systems; and led marketing and product for a software startup that exited.
Thankfully, Noah concluded that the application of sophisticated tech to lending could be as interesting as all of these other endeavors, and he ultimately joined OnDeck, where he first ran product and tech and then ultimately became CEO.
OnDeck pioneered the use of data analytics and digital technology to make real-time lending decisions and deliver capital rapidly to small businesses online. Under Noah’s leadership, OnDeck provided nearly $14 billion in credit to Main Street businesses, reached $450M in annual revenues, and provided many of its investors liquidity north of $1 billion in value — both privately and ultimately as a public company. Late last year Noah sold OnDeck to Enova, and my wooing of Noah began again.
“A venture firm? Matt, you know I’m more of an operator.”
But, of course, special operators like Noah can play a pivotal role at a venture firm like BCV, where we strive to find and fund the very best entrepreneurs in the world and support them at every step in their journey.
Noah has been a clear-headed mentor to many founders over the years, both within fintech and in tech more broadly, and his position as an operating partner at BCV will give him the opportunity to do more of that work. Our other operating partners, Jeff Williams and Keri Gohman, have shown that it can be an enormously impactful position across the entire venture capital value chain. And, finally, it’s a great perch from which to see a broad swath of the technology landscape, and figure out the next leadership opportunity.
So now I’m two for two! Noah joins BCV this week as an operating partner, and we couldn’t be more delighted. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org with your next amazing idea.