Doubling Down

Melody Koh
Mar 5 · 3 min read

Almost a year and half ago, I decided to take on a new challenge and joined NextView as a Venture Partner. I was excited about this new chapter with an inkling of uncertainty — after all, I loved building products and teams as an operator, and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about leaving that behind.

Today, I’m thrilled to announced that I’ve committed to a long-term career as a Partner with NextView in New York City. As the first Partner to join the NextView partnership since Rob, David, and Lee started the firm eight years ago, I’m excited and humbled by the opportunity.

Doubling Down on Early Stage Investing

One unknown for me coming into this role was whether I would enjoy seed and early stage investing. I suspected that I would — even though the focus of my last VC job was mostly Series B/C investments, what I enjoyed the most then was meeting early-stage founders when they were just building out the V1 of their products and getting their first customers.

Since joining NextView, I’ve led four investments for us and loved every aspect of the job (except for saying No to founders, which I try my best to say it quickly and directly). I love meeting founders at the earliest stage of their businesses and the intellectual challenge of being the first to build conviction around a nascent business with little data.

What I love the most is working closely with our portfolio founders at the earliest stage — being a hands-on thought partner on product, go-to-market, hiring/talent, and just everyday company building. It’s also been extremely rewarding to leverage what I’ve learned through experiencing hyper-growth on the frontline and apply those lessons to set the teams up for success.

Doubling Down on NextView

Once I figured out that I would enjoy a long-term career in early stage investing, there was little hesitation that NextView would be the right place for this next chapter.

For one, we at NextView believe in approaching early stage investing as high-conviction, hands-on investors. This style of investing really aligns with how I enjoy spending time as an investor, and I’ve seen first-hand how it has resonated with both prospective and portfolio founders.

Although I’ve loved being an early stage investor, there are two things I miss from being an operator — being part of a team and building something. Compared to operating, investing is inherently a solo sport. However, over the past 18 months, I have been pleasantly surprised by how well we collaborated and elevated each others’ work as partnership. Building a venture capital firm is quite different from building a company, but I am excited about the journey ahead to help build an enduring platform that does the best job possible of partnering with and supporting founders.

Doubling Down on New York City

Part of this commitment is also about my long-term belief in NYC as an entrepreneurial and technology ecosystem. Compared to ten years ago (when I had my first VC job), the ecosystem has absolutely exploded — the diversity of technology problems people are tackling, the depth and quality of the talent pool, and the number of high-growth companies that have achieved meaningful scale or blockbuster exits.

NYC is also the perfect place to build an Everyday Economy company, a thematic focus we have at NextView. As a recent New York Times article puts it:

New York’s advantage is its concentration of people in other industries working on problems that require technology to solve.

The diversity of industry experiences and perspectives, coupled with a technology and early-stage talent pool that’s getting deeper by the day, makes NYC an exciting place for founders solving Everyday Economy problems. As someone who’s been part of the NYC tech ecosystem for the last ten years, I can’t be more excited about what’s to come in the next ten years.

Melody Koh

Written by

Partner @NextViewVC. Former Head of Product @BlueApron.