On behalf of the a16z team, I am excited to welcome Alex Rampell as our newest General Partner!
Alex is perhaps best known as the CEO and co-founder of TrialPay, a leading transactional advertising and payments company serving digital goods and e-commerce clients such as Facebook, Zynga, and Gap, with 100+ employees and over $300M in cumulative revenue since inception. TrialPay was acquired in 2015 by Visa. TrialPay also spun out another company, Yub, the first offline affiliate network, where Alex simultaneously served as CEO through its acquisition in late 2013 by Coupons.com.
Alex’s knowledge and experience of tech startups is comprehensive and encyclopedic. His interests and areas of expertise include software, security, crypto, payments, e-commerce, advertising, marketplaces, fintech, and more. He also coined the now internationally recognized term of O2O (“online to offline”) in 2010, and is a frequent commentator on the current and future state of monetization.
Prior to TrialPay, Alex co-founded FraudEliminator, the first consumer anti-phishing company, which merged into our partner Chris Dixon’s company, SiteAdvisor, and was acquired by McAfee in 2006.
And if that weren’t enough, Alex is also a cofounder of three other companies — TXN, a survey and transactional data company; Point, a real estate marketplace; and Affirm, with Max Levchin. We are investors in all three companies.
Alex’s entrepreneurial nature surfaced early. His interests in software, entrepreneurship, and payments converged in 1991 at age 10, when he started writing and selling “shareware” programs on the then-nascent “Internet.” Within a week of uploading his first shareware program, he was receiving paper checks via postal mail — the only form of payment for digital goods at the time. Alex’s most successful shareware program was 1996’s AlwaysOnline, which re-dialed each AOL number 1,000 times and kept you on AOL forever. AlwaysOnline sold tens of thousands of copies (checks in the mail!), got banned by AOL (great press!), and paid for Alex’s college education.
His entrepreneurial nature has burned brightly since. On top of his own entrepreneurial endeavors, Alex has actively invested in and advised dozens of startups, including Pinterest, Bloomreach, SiftScience, Wooga, Hunch, Truaxis, OrderAhead, Twice, and CardSpring.
All of us at a16z are thrilled Alex is joining our team. His deep experience starting, running, and advising such a wide range of tech startups makes him ideally suited to coach and mentor the next generation of founders as a venture capitalist. His first day will be October 1, and we look forward to working together to help build the next generation of great technology companies!