Our guest for this episode is Caribou Honig, a founding partner of QED Investors. QED has quietly become one of the top investors in the financial technology space — their investment portfolio includes early big successes like SoFi and Prosper and also firms like LendUp, borro, Orchard, Avant Credit, blooom, and ApplePie Capital.
As part of our conversation, Caribou shares his personal path to how he ended up as part of the founding team of QED after a post-MBA career at Capital One where he developed a passion for data-driven marketing,, including responsibility for a $50 mm marketing budget, management of a 200 person underwriting operation, and cracking the code on digital credit card origination. This experience, along with his co-founders which include the founder of Capital One, provides a differentiator for the investment firm when it comes to deal flow and portfolio building.
In this episode, Caribou shares his views on:
- his background running data-driven marketing at CapitalOne and how this impacts his firm’s approach to investing in early stage fintech
- why “data-first” strategies are more likely to win
- hist team’s 150 years of experience in consumer lending market and why it’s such an exciting sector right now
- current trends in the financial technology space
- how incumbent financial institutions view startups in the space
- how these larger financial firms are planning for their futures
- QED’s investment mandate and the types of fintech companies that fit well into the investment firm’s sweet spot
- the companies in his portfolio and the investment thesis behind them
- lastly, we’ll talk about where Caribou is looking to make investments in the future.
Listen to the FULL episode
- QED Investors (Caribou’s firm)