We have worked with a lot of VC’s and Josh Hannah is in an entirely different league. Josh thinks about things more as a guy running a company than a typical VC. This means a lot when you consider his experiences as a successful entrepreneur. He knows what he’s doing, knows our space, and serves as an outstanding mentor. We couldn’t ask for a better partner as we build our business.
Josh Hannah has been fortunate to make a career of founding and building companies and helping other entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of start-up life.
Josh’s career as an entrepreneur began with the unconventional idea of turning sports wagering into an efficient financial transaction by using an online exchange to execute bets. In 1999, he co-founded Betfair.com and revolutionized the gaming industry by building the world’s first online marketplace for sports betting. Today, Betfair is publicly-traded on the London Stock Exchange (BET.L) and manages more than $50 billion in transactions each year.
In 2004, he and a partner purchased eHow, an ailing, Web 1.0, how-to directory. Josh and his partner restructured eHow by outsourcing content creation to the community and employing then-new advertising and search engine optimization techniques. In six weeks, they had earned enough from advertising to pay off the cost of the purchase. They increased revenue and traffic 30-fold before selling the company to Demand Media.
Long a passionate angel investor, he joined Matrix Partners as a general partner in early 2009 and turned a love of backing great founders into a career. “The key lessons I learned as an angel was to begin and end with the entrepreneur, because the great ones find a path to success, regardless of the obstacles.” Angel investments in great companies such as HotelTonight, Angellist, and Minted.com all emerged from investing in amazing entrepreneurs with very different visions.
Since joining Matrix, he has continued partnering with exceptional founding teams through investments in AssetAvenue, Bee Cave Games, Huddle, Inflection, JustFabulous, Kinnek, Koding, Quora, RocksBox, and Taulia.
Josh Hannah just gets it. He knows how to spot a growth opportunity and rapidly scale without losing control of what makes a company great. We always take away valuable, practical lessons from Josh. He’s hands on, dedicated, and accessible. We could not have picked a better VC partner for our business.
Matthew Monahan, Inflection Co-founder and CEO
Areas of Interest
Web marketplaces, online and offline gambling, innovative online retail models, online media and publishing, mobile content and commerce, SaaS
Betfair: Co-founder (originally Flutter.com)
Bain & Co.: Consultant (an education masquerading as a job)
University of California, Berkeley, BA, Economics
Stanford Graduate School of Business, MBA