Aaron Frank Joins Lightspeed as Venture Partner in Fintech
As a former operator, Frank knows how to work with founders to succeed over the long haul
The Fintech industry has changed a lot over the past three years. We are in an era of broad consolidation and rethinking what it means to be a Fintech company. Many startups that were once flying-high are reinventing themselves and focusing on building durable businesses to weather the ongoing storm.
But one thing that has not changed is our approach to Fintech investing. At Lightspeed, we’re looking for Founders who are trying to solve foundational problems in creative ways. That’s why we’ve invested $2 billion in over 100 fintech companies over the years. We’re looking for people who are doing the hard work now to be in a position to win over the next decade.
We also apply the same standards to the investors we bring into the Lightspeed fold. Which is why I’m so pleased to announce that Aaron Frank has decided to join our Fintech team as a Venture Partner, helping to drive our Fintech investment strategies moving forward.
Some of you will know Aaron from his days as an operator. A decade ago he co-founded Final, a next generation credit card acquired by Goldman Sachs that went on to become the foundation of the AppleCard. Even more of you will know Aaron through his time as an angel investor and advisor with companies such as SentiLink, Yendo, Highnote and many more Fintech startups.
I’ve known Aaron personally for a long time, and I know he shares our commitment to cutting through all the noise around Fintech and identifying the outliers that deliver genuine long-term value.
“We’ve seen a lot of Fintech tourism over the past three years in venture,” Aaron says. “It’s rare to find a fund that really wants to go deep and think about how to solve the hard problems in the world, and not just copycat their way into investments. That was the thing that really enticed me about Lightspeed.”
We value the kind of deep operational expertise Aaron will bring to his new role. The challenges of building a startup in a highly regulated environment like finance can be daunting. Bringing people into our team who have gone through those same struggles, on the product level as well as compliance, is crucial. Having walked several miles in their shoes, Aaron understands the hurdles Fintech founders face in a way few other investors can. He commands a level of trust among his peers that isn’t easily duplicated.
His hiring comes at an important crossroads in the industry. The end of the ZIRP era has forced Fintech companies to prioritize finding a path to positive cash flow over unbridled rapid growth. At the same time, we’re entering a new era of Consumer Fintech. Fintech 3.0 will likely be AI driven and highly personalized, focused around wealth management and optimizing marginal spending.
And, as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, Fintech companies will be playing a crucial role in the largest transfer of generational wealth in our nation’s history — some $16 trillion over the next ten years. Identifying the next unicorns in such a rapidly shifting environment requires the kinds of experience and insight that Aaron and the other members of our team can bring.
Please help us welcome him to the Lightspeed community.