David founded CapitalG in 2013, drawing on his experience both at Google and as a serial entrepreneur to inform the strategy for the growth fund. Since then, he has helped transform high-potential startups into some of the most highly valued businesses of our generation, including Airbnb, Lyft, Snap, Robinhood, Credit Karma, Oscar, Lending Club and Thumbtack.
Prior to CapitalG, David played a pivotal role in Google’s growth story--first as Google’s Chief Marketing Officer and then as the instrumental VP of corporate development where his group spearheaded over 100 acquisitions for the company.
Before joining Google, David successfully founded a number of start-up ventures including Xfire, a leading online gaming community acquired by Viacom, and Mosaic Venture Partners, a Toronto-based venture capital firm.
David holds degrees in law and philosophy from McGill University and the University of Western Ontario respectively, as well as an MBA from the University of Chicago. He is an avid skier and lives in Los Gatos, CA with his wife and kids.
What do you look for in an investment?
I like to invest in ideas that move me personally. Lyft’s aspirations for the future of transportation and Oscar’s vision for the future of healthcare are two great examples. I want to partner with companies that are trying to create real change.
More than that, I look for the right people- the kind you’d want to work with for the rest of your life. Great people are just as important as the idea itself. If we’re going to collaborate with a team for five to ten years, our values must be aligned; we should feel that it’s something we want to spend time bringing to life and being a part of.
What compelled you to join Google after years starting and building companies as an entrepreneur? Was this a tough transition?
Google was a chance to experience growth at a different scale. The opportunity to lead the marketing of so many products and services globally was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Amazingly, the transition to Google was pretty easy. When I joined Google in 2005, the company had a few thousand employees but was operating with the pace and mentality of a much smaller company. There were many entrepreneurs working at Google in leadership roles and so the culture was more tuned to how we were used to operating than a traditional big company.
What about your upbringing has shaped how you view the world?
Both of my grandfathers were phenomenal entrepreneurs. Thanks to their examples, I always felt comfortable in the business world and with the notion of starting things. I did not expect anyone to “give” me a job. I did not worry as much about building a resume and a more linear career path. Rather, I have made career decisions based on what has excited me in the moment, keeping me open to new ideas.