Patrons of applied innovation

Supporting founders with elevated visions and unflappable persistence.

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In Sweden, fika is an essential cultural activity that involves sharing a cup of coffee with friends. It’s a moment to take a break, an informal way to get to know someone, without pressure.

Fika is an excuse to spend time with the best and brightest as well as an opportunity to listen, create, and collaborate. It’s what we love to do most with our entrepreneurs.

It’s your invitation to let us be part of the magic.


Our Code, Our Promise


Whole stories, not headlines.

We seek to deeply understand and support the unique, special, and complete story behind each and every founder. And help them create the next chapters of their narrative. We shy away from backing what is most popular or obvious.

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Iterating in steps, thinking in leaps.

We look for teams and leaders who embrace an audacious vision but can execute brilliantly day-to-day. We gravitate towards leaders who care about getting to the right answer versus being right themselves.

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First institutional money in and there for the journey.

We are comfortable leading rounds with more than half of the the fund allocated for follow-on investments to support our companies as they grow. We know that success is not always guaranteed, but be assured our support is.


Our community is our currency.

We are building a community that becomes exponentially more impactful and productive with each additional member. We measure our success by our ability to identify entrepreneurs who help each of us be the best version of ourselves.

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Data will be your most valuable asset.

We invest in companies that leverage the power of data as a core component of their value proposition. While this horizontal thesis allows us to be fairly sector agnostic, we are especially drawn to innovations in enterprise software, fintech, marketplaces, and digital health.


Eva Ho

General Partner

Prior to Fika, Eva was a founding GP at Susa Ventures. She is a serial entrepreneur and founder, most recently a founding executive at Factual, a leading location data provider in Los Angeles. Prior, she was a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Google and Youtube for 5 years. Prior to Google, she was the head of marketing for Applied Semantics, a company that sold to Google in 2003. She also co-founded Navigating Cancer, a health startup, in 2008 which is now based in Seattle. She is active in the non-profit sector, serving on the boards of California Community Foundation and First Descents. She is also a founding member of All Raise. She recently served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the city of Los Angeles working with Mayor Eric Garcetti and his team.

In her spare time, you can find her wandering remote geo coordinates, with a special affinity for cold, inhospitable places. Almost always, she is accompanied by her trusty camera and a backpack too large for her frame.

Eva holds an MBA from Cornell and a BA from Harvard.

TX Zhuo

General Partner

An entrepreneur at heart, TX has been involved with startups since his college days where he started then successfully sold an online college textbook marketplace. After a stint at McKinsey where he was a core member of their financial services and consumer goods practices, he came back to his roots and served as the CFO for an electric vehicle startup, Lit Motors. Thereafter, he worked for Innovation Endeavors, a seed stage venture fund backed by Eric Schmidt. In 2012, he co-founded Karlin Ventures, based in Los Angeles, where he served as the managing partner for 4 years before co-founding Fika Ventures. He is a strong proponent of transparency and efficiency and is constantly on the lookout for new platforms that seek to disrupt old, antiquated industries.

Once a competitive badminton player who trained 4-5 days a week, he now can be found on the golf course or maxing out his ClassPass account on the weekends. He is also passionate about supporting initiatives that help cancer fighters.

TX holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Wesleyan University.

John Chen


John has spent his entire early career working with SaaS entrepreneurs, both on the operating and investing side.

John began his journey in the world of enterprise at Box, where he served as Chief of Staff to Aaron Levie. Having joined during the pre-IPO growth phase, John drove numerous strategic initiatives in sales, marketing and business development including the launch of, which today serves over 9,000 nonprofits including The World Bank, Teach for America, Charity Water, and Kiva.

Later, John joined Emergence Capital, a leading early-stage venture capital firm in enterprise cloud. At Emergence, John co-led Series A investments in CrunchBase and SimpleLegal, where he served as Board Observer and was also closely involved with Emergence’s investments in LogDNA, Project44, DroneDeploy, UpKeep, Guru, and Blend Labs.

John holds a BA in Government from Harvard, and spent time working on open government products at Google, as well as Domestic Policy at The White House under the Obama Administration.

When not in the office, you can find John on the tennis courts, writing his next piece on TechCrunch, or karaokeing in LA traffic.

Matt Hersh

Operating Partner

An atypical investor, Matt brings seventeen years of hands-on operational experience within early and growth stage companies and has two successful exits under his belt (JetBlue IPO in 2002 and Envestnet | Yodlee IPO/acquisition in 2015). Functionally, Matt brings business development, marketing, sales, pricing and revenue management experience, along with a strong, active network of c-suite relationships across the Fortune 1000. Matt began his career as part of the founding team at JetBlue and after stints at Apple and Redpoint Ventures, Matt joined financial software and data giant Yodlee where he focused on business development and sales across the emerging fintech industry. Most recently Matt was the Head of Business Development at Factual focusing on strategy and partnerships across enterprise software, financial services and retail verticals.

Matt lives in Los Angeles and maintains deep roots in his native Colorado. He's an avid skier, fly fisherman, and an outdoor enthusiast.

Matt holds an MBA from UCLA and a BA in Economics from Boston College.

Gabriella Brignardello

Vice President

A SoCal native and first generation American, Gabriella has always been a ‘fixer’ and puzzle aficionado. Excited by opportunities to find solutions to problems, she began her career at Parthenon-EY, a global strategy consulting firm, and spent time across the industrials, technology, and consumer practices. After three years as a consultant, Gabriella transitioned to a venture role at WndrCo, a consumer technology holding company, where she worked on a broad set of initiatives from sourcing to portfolio operations.

In her free time, you can find Gabriella working on the WSJ crossword, playing Settlers of Catan, or hanging out at the beach with her dog, Beau. She is also very involved in fundraising and operational initiatives for Mi Casa de Angeles, the 501c3 nonprofit she founded in 2009 with the mission of improving the quality of education in underserved areas of Peru, her father’s home country.

Gabriella holds a BS in Symbolic Systems: Human Computer Interaction from Stanford.

Jeff Diamond

Senior Associate

A former entertainment executive, Jeff has always been a storyteller. He spent nearly a decade working in Hollywood at WME, MGM, and Focus Features. Jeff helped build the Entertainment Division at Octagon, a global sports, and entertainment agency, before pursuing his MBA and working as Director of Sales at 4D Sight, a startup focusing on virtual advertising. Subsequently, he co-founded MedBytes, a news and research aggregator for physicians.

Passionate about supporting founders and disruptive technologies, Jeff worked with investment teams at Berkeley SkyDeck, Bee Partners, and Greenspring Associates during his MBA. In 2021, Jeff co-created and launched Haas’ first student-led venture capital fund, Courtyard Ventures.

A former Division 1 baseball player and competitive CrossFit athlete, Jeff is a wellness fanatic. Equally food-crazed, he loves cooking and discovering new restaurants.

Jeff holds an MBA from UC Berkeley and a BA from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

James Shecter

Senior Associate

Born and raised in Philadelphia, James' immersion into the world of entrepreneurship and venture capital began as an undergraduate, when he worked as a strategist and consultant to several student-run startups (including Seated and Transcend). He began his career at Citibank NYC providing multi-stage M&A advisory across aerospace and business services sectors. James then transitioned to Lee Equity (a middle-market PE firm) where he worked on several transactions across fintech/insurtech and healthcare. Most recently, James worked at 9Yards Capital (a growth-stage VC headquartered in LA) during which the firm deployed >$50 million into fintech, logistics, and enterprise startups including Chainalysis, LeafLink, and Remote HR. James is also a co-lead of The MBA Fund, an institutional seed fund backing entrepreneurs from the Harvard, Stanford, and UPenn ecosystems.

James is an incessant adventurer and existential ponderer. He loves to surf, read, and write (typically not simultaneously), and he's striving to build a collection of guitars as functional decoration for his future home. Since his high school days, he has remained active in mentoring, tutoring, and coaching inner-city Philadelphia students.

James holds an MBA from Wharton and a BA in Behavioral Economics from Harvard.

Ju-Djuin Csontos

Head of Marketing and Community

Ju-Djuin brings more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience with a deep passion for creating dynamic and impactful events.

Ju-Djuin began her career as an early employee (#33) at Hulu, where she led internal communications and culture building for more than 200 employees. After her stint in the startup world, Ju-Djuin joined Kleiner Perkins in 2012 and was responsible for building the KPCB brand by nurturing strong relationships with the firm’s portfolio companies and broader entrepreneurial community. She most recently served as the Head of Community for 5 years at early stage venture capital firm Canaan Partners, where she oversaw events, community and portfolio services.

When she’s not busy chasing after her active toddler, you can find Ju-Djuin rediscovering her LA roots since relocating from the Bay Area.

Ju-Djuin is a proud Bruin, holding a BA in English from UCLA.

Natalie Paz


Natalie brings over 20 years of experience in the accounting field, primarily working for venture capital and real estate funds. Pursuing her love for numbers she began her career at Deloitte, a Big Four audit firm, working on both privately-held and publicly-traded clients in the technology, action sports apparel, and real estate industries. She quickly rose through the ranks becoming the only early-promoted senior in her start group. Her business savvy and entrepreneurial spirit combined with a passion to help her clients meet and exceed their goals, compelled Natalie to start a consultancy to service multiple venture capital firms and real estate funds. More recently, she has dedicated her time to managing all aspects of back office, allowing the client to focus on what they do best.

Outside of work, Natalie loves watching her sons play sports, collecting Lego minifigures, and playing soccer.

Natalie is a CPA (inactive) and holds a BA in Business Administration with an accounting concentration from California State University, Fullerton.

Tracy Meng

Venture Partner

Tracy is a long-time fintech and payments operator and investor. She currently serves as the Head of Crypto Revenue at Plaid. Previously, Tracy built and led the global partnerships and partner engineering team at, which played a major role in the company’s early stage go-to-market. Tracy also led platform business development at Google and helped launch Google Pay on platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce along with household-name merchants like Gap and Panera. Her experience also includes product strategy and business operations at Google and Cruise, and management consulting at Bain & Company.

She's passionate about helping founders with GTM and money movement strategy, as well as connecting great people in her network.

Tracy holds a BA in Economics and Psychology, Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard.

Aaron Szekel

Venture Partner

Aaron has over 15 years of both investing and operating experience, focusing on healthcare and future of work.

As an operator, Aaron was one of Flatiron's earliest hires, building the Special Projects, Finance and Operations from the earliest stages through its $2B exit by Roche. He is also an early employee at Level where he focuses on Partnerships, is a co-founding advisor to Ostro and was on the M&A teams at CBS and at Lehman Brothers.

Aaron’s experience in venture took shape at First Round Capital, starting in 2011, where he worked directly consulting for and incubating companies, supporting investment diligence, launching Dorm Room Fund and assisting with venture operations. Since then, Aaron has been an active angel investor and advisor, with a community of over 20 early stage companies, including Memora Health, Level, Resolve, Apella Technologies, Zest and Byteboard.

Aaron holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an undergraduate degree with High Honors from Brandeis University, and a certificate from the London School of Economics.


Maneesh Goyal

COO, Mayo Clinic Platform

Sarah Sirajuddin

Engineering Director, Google

Dave Travers

President, ZipRecruiter



Clinical Pathways are the Currency of Health Tech

Clinical pathways are increasingly becoming the standard operating system for healthcare, providing a currency for patients, providers, payers, and technology companies to prove ROI. Access to data and standardization of data rights will continue to improve compliance and create a more democratized system of analysis for personalized pathways. The team at Fika believes that value-based pathways will create an underlying fintech ecosystem where financial tools intersect, take on risk, and build new pathways.

Unlocking the Potential of Instant Payments: The Federal Reserve’s New Infrastructure

The future of payments is here. FedNow, a new initiative from the Federal Reserve, is set to revolutionize the way businesses and consumers make payments. Through instant payments and advanced fraud detection software, this new infrastructure has the potential to reduce fraud and increase security while also providing cost savings to customers and financial institutions.

Playing Offense in a FinTech Downturn

There is a massive shift happening in the fintech market due to rising interest rates, both in the types of products consumers want and those that VCs will invest in. This has implications across on lending and underwriting dynamics, consumer risk appetite and “reaching for yield”, the importance of sound unit economics for fintechs coming to raise near-term, and more.

Why We Invested in DevZero

At Fika, we typically see two types of markets that startups pursue. There are those that are secret — they appear small or sleepy on the surface, but end up being surprisingly big when the right founder cracks it open. And then there are others, where the opportunity is clearly obvious and enormous on day one, but the problem appears so difficult and hairy that only the bravest of souls would attempt to solve it. DevZero is the latter.


  • Our relationship with Fika has been nothing short of perfect. They have been supportive on product, sales, and human resources without being intrusive. They have the humility that enables them to learn with the entrepreneurs they back.
    PatrickKann Papaya
  • The Fika team has been an invaluable partner to Noyo. They understand what it takes to make a company work at the earliest stages, and are always ready to dig in where needed – from high-level strategy to nitty-gritty enterprise contract details.
    ShannonGoggin Noyo
  • Fika has been instrumental in both the evolution of our business and our personal growth as founders. From always making themselves available as a support system, to providing vital insights, the entire Fika family has been a guiding force and rock for our founding team.
    JesseForrest WeeCare
  • Fika has been and continues to be our most helpful investor. TX is literally an additional A+ player on my management team.
    JenniferFitzgerald Policygenius
  • They never keep us waiting and are constantly hustling for us in any way they can. We can confidently say we would not be here without them.
    JohnMeadows Bowery Valuation
  • Fika has been an invaluable resource to us in the most vital areas of a startup: people, funding and company roadmap. They have truly over delivered on this commitment. It’s apparent they have a great culture that cares about you and your company.
    MatthewWright Specright
  • I start and end every workday with a Slack message to or from the Fika team. They've been there every step of the way and genuinely seek to help their portfolio companies.
    LyalAvery PullRequest