Doogie Howser, VC – Matrix adds 28-year-old Jared Fliesler as general partner

Jared Fliesler boasts an impressive resume: After holding down senior positions at Slide and Google, he became vice president of business operations at Square, where he helped the Jack Dorsey-led startup grow its payment processing business from a $2 billion annual run rate to more than $10 billion. Now Fliesler’s joining a hotshot Silicon Valley venture capital firm in a top role.

All of which is very nice for a 28-year-old.

“Jared is a talented and experienced operator who is also, even by Silicon Valley standards, very young,” Slide founder Max Levchin told me. Levchin, of course, knows something about being a boy wonder, having been a grizzled 23-year-old when with Peter Thiel he co-founded the company that became PayPal.

For his maiden foray into venture capital, Fliesler’s landed at Matrix Partners, where he’ll be a general partner. Typically, younglings are brought into venture firms bearing titles such as “principal” or “venture associate;” VCs like to talk about their industry as an “apprenticeship business.”

But Dana Stalder, the former eBay VP who helps run Matrix’s Palo Alto office, said cabin boys aren’t the firm’s style.

“We think it’s important when we bring people in that they have an equal seat at the table,” said Stalder, whose firm doesn’t grab headlines like a Greylock or Andreessen Horowitz but over the years has invested in hot startups ranging from Apple to Quora.

Fliesler brings the firm’s number of general partners to eight, split evenly between Palo Alto and Boston. The oldest are in their 50s, and Stalder said Fliesler was added in part with an eye toward “laddering” ages and tenures.

“He’s one of those guys who just impressed you with how much he’s accomplished at a young age,” Stalder said of Fliesler. The latter gushed that “Only an incredible opportunity could get me to leave Square. [Matrix is] not a firm that simply writes a check and walks away.”

Levchin, for his part, thinks Fliesler’s dearth of grey hair will be a competitive advantage. “The next generation of entrepreneurs will see a peer in Jared,” Levchin said, “giving him a real edge in the world of venture capital.”



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