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Dana literally helped me transform and accelerate our business from the minute he joined Zong’s board of directors. Dana is first and foremost a phenomenal operator turned venture capitalist. This gives him a huge edge as he's been close to the fire, and he's a great judge of talent. I particularly appreciated his directness and style that enabled us to have very meaningful and efficient conversations. - David Marcus, Zong Founder and PayPal President

Dana Stalder knows what it takes to turn a scrappy start-up into a strong, independent company. Dana has managed nimble ventures as well as 2,500-person teams. He has sat on both sides of the table in acquisition talks and sold to consumers, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike. His experience cuts across multiple disciplines including sales, marketing, finance, technology and product management at companies such as eBay, Netscape and PayPal.

“My goal each day is to help entrepreneurs get where they want to go. I have been in their shoes, struggling to launch new businesses, and I have scaled high-growth public companies,” he says. “I am passionate about identifying and developing future leaders and enabling them to use their individual talents to make a lasting impact.”

Dana was born and raised in Silicon Valley, and studied business and economics at Santa Clara University. After college he worked at Ernst & Young advising technology companies such as Quantum, Sun Microsystems, Remedy, Netscape, and Intuit.

In 1994 he left to help build Netscape, then a nascent, few-month-old, pre-revenue company boldly defining the ways in which consumers and enterprises were going to use the Internet. In his four-year tenure, Dana held several executive positions in finance, sales and operations. 

Dana left Netscape after its sale to AOL in 1998 and became a member of the founding executive team of Respond.com, an early pioneer in online lead generation. There, he served as the company’s Vice President of Business Development and CFO.

Dana joined eBay in 2001.  As Vice President of Internet Marketing, Dana managed the company’s global customer acquisition strategy and a multi-hundred million-dollar Internet marketing budget, where his responsibilities included running eBay’s search engine marketing and search engine optimization initiatives. Dana was also responsible for eBay’s Strategic Partnership Group, which generated more than several hundred million in revenue from third party partnerships and media sales. 

In 2004 Dana joined PayPal, where he managed all business operations, including product, sales, marketing and, eventually, technology. Dana started PayPal’s international business from scratch, and led PayPal’s expansion beyond the eBay platform onto other online retail sites. He also initiated a number of other startup projects, including PayPal Mobile and the PayPal Developer Platform.

Dana left PayPal in 2008 to join Matrix Partners, where he invests in software and Internet businesses that target consumers as well as corporations.  He is a board member at ApartmentList, the web’s fastest growing apartment search site; Gilt Groupe, a private e-commerce network for event-based sales; iRise, an enterprise software company that is reinventing how software applications are designed with its innovative prototyping tools; Lever, a cutting-edge hiring platform; Minute Key, who is building the next generation of self service retail kiosks; Polyvore, the web’s largest fashion community, where members can discover or start fashion trends; Poynt, the world's first smart payment terminal; QuinStreet (QNST), the leading online lead generation and performance marketing company; Quri, a retail intelligence and analytics company; Work4 Labs, helping companies leverage social media to find, engage and hire top candidates; Zendesk, a help desk software-as-a-service company; and ZestFinance, a financial services technology company committed to serving the needs of the underbanked.  Dana also invested in Zong, the leading mobile payment service used by online gaming and social networking websites (acquired by PayPal in 2011).

Outside of the office Dana loves to ski the bumps on Granite Chief in Squaw Valley, is an avid wake boarder and enjoys coaching youth sports.

Dana Stalder is one of the most helpful partners you can have on your side. His advice is always relevant and grounded in reality. He genuinely cares both about the well-being and growth of the venture as well as the people involved. I recommend Dana without reservation and hope to work with him again and again.

Pasha Sadri, Polyvore Co-founder

Dana is always accessible, and he has been a huge asset to Zendesk. He really gets our business and fits in perfectly with our team. Dana collaborates and inspires through friendly debate. He contributes unique insight and has the company-building experience to back it up.

Mikkel Svane, Zendesk Founder and CEO

Dana has been instrumental to our development and success. As our first outside director, Dana was key to the formation and formalization of our board. His extensive business and Internet experience and counsel have been invaluable to us as we have evolved as a company and navigated our rapidly changing industry over time.

Doug Valenti, QuinStreet Founder and CEO

Dana’s strong background in product management, sales and finance has been invaluable to iRise. His combination of operational experience in successful businesses that cater to large enterprises, small businesses and consumers is truly unique. We constantly challenge ourselves to tune our product and business strategy in order to further increase our competitive advantage. Dana has supported us every step of the way and consistently provides valuable new insights, ideas and feedback.

Emmet Keeffe, iRise Co-founder and CEO

Dana Stalder

General Partner, Silicon Valley
Assistant: Hilary Benjamin

Previous Investments

Zong (acquired by PayPal)

Areas of Interest

Enterprise software and consumer internet


PayPal: Senior Vice President of Product, Sales, Marketing and Technology

eBay: Vice President of Internet Marketing and Strategic Partnerships

Respond.com: founding executive team, Vice President of Business Development & Chief Financial Officer

Netscape: Vice President of Finance and Vice President of Operations, Sales & Service


Santa Clara University, BS, Commerce