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David Orfao

Managing Director

“I get excited about operational excellence, because that’s what makes ideas come to life as products, companies, and platforms for other people to build on. When ambitious founders find operating wisdom and experience that complements their vision, amazing things happen.”

I have spent my entire career working with great founders. Early on, my focus was scaling revenue for early-stage software companies. As those companies grew and went public, I rose with them to lead sales or the entire company. It was a great run, including technology leaders such as Lotus Development, Ashton-Tate, Frame Technology, Claris, and SQA.

The culmination was leading Allaire Corporation, which created Cold Fusion, the app server that launched the client-server web apps era. The company was small when I became CEO, but together with the Allaire brothers and team, we took it past $100 million in revenue in just a few years, and ultimately to a public offering and eventual merger into Macromedia/Adobe.

Now I get to work with entrepreneurs as a co-founder of General Catalyst, but my playbook is similar. I work best with great product founders who are looking for a trustworthy partner to help them scale up revenue, become strong operators, and build a high-growth company in the software, SaaS, application, information analytics, or security space. I still love to see teams come together, forge bonds of trust and commitment, and then go out and change the world with high integrity. I am directly involved with Circle Financial, ClearskyDataGravityImprivataPing Identity, and Rstudio. I’m also on the board of Brightcove, which was formerly a General Catalyst portfolio company.

My business background began at Norwich University, where I studied business and accounting. Although I’m fortunate to be one of those people who enjoys his work so much that it doesn’t feel like work, I always make time for my family. One of our favorite pastimes is boating on the Cape and islands during summer weekends in New England.