Introducing "Pour Over" - A New Coffee Chat Style Podcast I Listen Here →

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.

Arteen Arabshahi


Arteen's career path has been untraditional. The son of Iranian immigrants, he grew up in Arizona planning to be a surgeon and stumbled through medicine and finance before finding his passion in entrepreneurship and technology. He got his first job in the tech industry at Techstars Chicago by cold emailing 150 people, then moved to LA to launch, and spent nearly a decade as a venture capitalist (including as a founding member of Fika) before returning to the operating side when he joined as SVP of Strategy just after their Series A.

After 3+ years on the executive team at Route and helping grow the business to $100M+ annual revenue, raise over $200M, and navigate a market correction, Arteen decided to return to investing and is now a Partner with Fika Ventures as well as an advisor to Route. He focuses on marketplaces and commerce enablement investments.

Arteen has been selected for Forbes 30 Under 30, Business Insider 30 and Under, and CSQ NextGen 10. His TEDx talk has nearly 100k views. He sits as a regional board member for Accion Opportunity Fund, the nation’s largest SMB non-profit lender, and cares deeply about mental health awareness, equal access to opportunity, performing arts, and the natural world.

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


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.

James Shecter

Vice President

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 two young kids, 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.



Why We Invested in Payabli

At Fika, when building our thesis and conviction around an investment, we constantly refer back to the four “T’s”: (1) TAM, (2) Tech, (3) Traction, and (4) Team. Usually, a company spikes on two of the “T’s”, maybe three, but it is rare to find a company that knocks it out of the park on all four, especially at the seed stage. Enter Payabli — led by Founders Jo Elias Phillips and Will Corbera who recently closed a $20M Series A to scale operations and drive innovation for its payments infrastructure and monetization platform.

Turning Payments into a Profitable Revenue Stream for Vertical SaaS

TX Zhuo shares with Fintech Nexus on the increasing significance of payments in the rapidly expanding vertical SaaS market. The article explores the challenges faced by vertical SaaS companies, the impact of payment processing and analytics, and the opportunities for monetization through payments. Payments are increasingly at the heart of vertical SaaS success, with end customers demanding consolidated solutions. Businesses are seeking payment transparency and control, and vertical SaaS companies that leverage payments for differentiation will thrive.

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.

Why We Invested in Sift

When we first partnered with Sift for their pre-seed round in 2022, we saw a glimpse of the future. With their recent $17.5M Series A, that future is rapidly materializing. Sift isn’t just building better software for space exploration; they’re revolutionizing how we develop and operate complex machines across industries. Sift’s unified observability platform is the missing piece that leading machine builders have been waiting for. By bringing data ingestion, storage, visualization, and analysis into a single, intelligent system, Sift empowers engineers to turn mountains of sensor data into actionable insights.


  • Time and again they've been accretive and trusted partners from finding us new hires and advisors to introducing us to prospects and providing strategic guidance in all facets of scaling a hyper-growth startup.
    JoElias Phillips Payabli
  • The Fika team has introduced us to several key hires and customers. Their proactive approach has helped us navigate difficult challenges and capitalize on pivotal market opportunities.
    AlokChanani BuildOps
  • The team at Fika have shown, time over time, their willingness to help during the good and the bad times. They are truly founder friendly and will jump over hoops to help us. They are always my first call.
    JessicaChang Upwards
  • Fika is the best place to accelerate your business from zero to one. My company has leaned most on its advisor network consisting of the best of the best operators who constantly keep me thinking a few steps ahead.
    KarthikGollapudi Sift
  • Being a founder is less lonely with Fika. They have our backs any time of day, any day of the week.
    JakeCronin Siro
  • The Fika team understands 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 is the investor we turn to when the chips are down. They’ve been our most important partner for every big decision and major challenge we’ve faced — and they’re truly wonderful people.
    SamByker Atticus