Matthew Brennen

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Matthew Brennan


“I have deep admiration for entrepreneurs who push the limits to make what they believe in happen. They deserve the best possible circumstances for taking their ideas as far as they can go, and my role is to help create those circumstances in ways that extend far beyond funding.”

I became interested in entrepreneurship early on in life. Most of the jobs I held before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania were primarily running businesses I started myself. I enjoyed the combination of freedom and responsibility, and I also gained huge respect for people who have realized the only limitations for success are the ones they put on themselves. That’s why I went to The Wharton School at Penn: to be around entrepreneurial people and learn about building companies.

I started my investment career at Insight Venture Partners and then joined Bain Capital Ventures. I have focused mainly on investments in application software, SaaS, financial technology and data-services companies, including working with companies, such as Chrome River, AvidXchange, IEX, Swift, and Passport, among others. Doing this work instilled a deep appreciation of how hard it is to build a company and a passionate desire to help entrepreneurs by bringing them expertise and experience that complements theirs.

Coming to General Catalyst felt like a natural fit because of the great diversity of backgrounds and skills of the people at the firm. This plays into my strengths in both analyzing and articulating where the emerging opportunities lie for growth-stage companies. When investors support and guide entrepreneurs with awareness of patterns and nuances of each company, everyone wins.

I’m fascinated by companies that have a rich stream of data and information, whether they are originating it, managing it or transacting with it. Companies that develop and win such a market position eventually become the ones the rest of us can’t do without. If you have a perspective around this, I’m eager to hear it.

On the personal side, my sense of adventure comes out in travel; when we vacation, my wife and I love to explore other cultures around the world. Closer to home, I enjoy skiing, tennis, running, and cooking.

Ken Chenault