On behalf of the whole a16z team, I am thrilled to welcome Anish Acharya as our newest General Partner.
There’s a joke I sometimes give in a presentation on fintech: the best fintech investments are probably Google stock, Facebook stock, and Credit Karma stock. Why? Because most venture capital flowing into consumer fintech companies eventually makes its way to these three companies— since that’s where the customers are (and that’s consequently where fintech startups spend marketing dollars!). Credit Karma has become a trusted financial services advisor for tens of millions of Americans (⅓ of the country with a credit profile!), who rely on it to decide which financial products to use.
Anish spent the last four years as VP Product at Credit Karma and has mapped out fintech with a level of precision that blew us away. He also has a unique background as a two-time entrepreneur (he joined Credit Karma when his most recent company, Snowball, was acquired by them), and he’s also been a venture investor, having joined GV after his first company, SocialDeck, was acquired by Google.
At Credit Karma, with roles as GM of Core Consumer and GM of Cards, Anish developed unique insights into what consumers are looking for and also what challenges established players are facing: what holes can be filled, and where are incumbents vulnerable? As an entrepreneur who spent many years building consumer products, Anish realized that increasingly, the biggest improvements to people’s lives could be delivered by helping them with money.
Once upon a time, “fintech” meant selling “tech” to “fins” – large banks and financial institutions. Now, it means going full stack and building fundamentally better experiences in everything from real estate to investment management to lending to insurance. The number of fintech opportunities is exploding, and (despite my joke!) we think the best opportunities aren’t just buying public company stocks, but backing amazing entrepreneurs, and we’re thrilled to have Anish join us and entrepreneurs in that journey.
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