If you don’t know who Garry Tan is yet, you will soon—the investor was just name dropped on Forbes’ 2018 Midas Brink List of Venture Capital’s biggest up-and-comers. He’s making big waves in the investment world and we’re thrilled to have him lined up to speak at our PreMoney Investor Conference on October 2nd.
Tan was previously a partner at Y-Combinator and is now the cofounder of Initialized Capital, an early-stage seed fund he started with Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian. Initialized Capital was the earliest investor in trailblazers like Coinbase and Instacart, so Tan knows a thing or two about spotting the “it factor” in young companies.
Not Your Average VC
While many big investors come from a more buttoned-up business world, Tan boasts an impressive technical background, including a degree from Stanford in computer systems engineering.
He spent two years at Microsoft before leaving to become the 10th employee at a little data company called Palantir. There, he co-founded the financial analysis platform that led Palantir to become the $20 billion empire we know today.
Tan later went on to co-found two blogging platforms—Posterous, which raised $10 million and was acquired by Twitter, and Posthaven.
A Road Paved in (Reddit) Gold
Tan spent 2010-2015 at Y-Combinator; starting as a designer creating their internal portal, Bookface, and getting promoted to partner shortly after. While there, he helped over 700 early-stage startups build world-changing companies.
In 2013, he joined forces with fellow YC partner and Reddit cofounder, Alexis Ohanian, to raise $39 million for a founder-focused fund; and thus Initialized Capital was born. Tan is now the managing partner, overseeing the $250 million fund and a portfolio of over 200 companies including Coinbase, Instacart, Opendoor, Patreon, Reddit, and PlanGrid. They call themselves the “honey badgers of venture capitalism” and pride themselves on being a VC firm started by founders, for founders.
Garry Tan and Alexis Ohanian