Kent Goldman


Kent joined First Round Capital in 2008. He is based in the firm's San Francisco office.

Kent has led investments in companies such as Hotel Tonight, Liftopia, Artillery and Threadflip. Additionally, he created & led First Round's Office Hours concept. He is an active mentor at technology incubators and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and round tables.

Kent has worked with technology companies for over twelve years. He came to First Round Capital from Yahoo! Inc., where he was most recently a member of their Corporate Development team, where he led the mergers & acquisitions effort for the company’s user facing properties. Earlier in his tenure at Yahoo!, he led business strategy efforts for products generating $1 billion in annual revenue including the Yahoo! Front Page and Yahoo! Mail.

Prior to joining Yahoo! in 2004, Kent was an institutional investor focusing on early-stage consumer technology. Among the investments with which he worked most closely was Oddpost, one of the first web-based services to demonstrate the functionality of a desktop application. In 2004, Yahoo acquired the company. Oddpost’s technology now serves as the basis for the Yahoo Mail interface.

Previously, Kent was an early member of the Mergers & Acquisitions practice at Thomas Weisel Partners, where he executed transactions totaling more than $20 billion. Kent has also held roles with Fidelity Investments in Boston and London.

Kent is a graduate of Cornell University.


  • The problems solved by the best consumer apps are anthropological. The starting point is understanding the things that people have always done and why. Then you study how technology can be used to enable people to do it with much less friction. That's the start of a great consumer experience. And if it's done well - really well - the resulting product will feel deceptively simple.

  • "Why does this matter to you?"

    This is one of my favorite questions to ask Founders. The answer to "Why does this matter to you?" is telling. It's tough to hide behind a question which betrays so much about motivation. There is a difference between starting a company to solve a problem and starting a company to seize an opportunity. It reveals whether someone is intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. It can tell whether someone will tough it out through the turbulence every startup is bound to face. It shines a light on the vision that a Founder has for his or her company.

  • When you build a moat, you put yourself on an island.

    A week or so ago, MessageMe launched their product. I wrote a brief blog post about why First Round loved their product and team. A lot has happened since then. MessageMe has signed up more than a million users who have sent tens of millions of messages, videos and doodles. And the product has been featured in the Apple App Store, Google Play, and *shut off* by Facebook.

    One of these things is not like the others.