The Fintech Finance 40: Cristóbal Conde
Entrepreneur in Residence, Accel
Currently ranked: 19
Previously ranked: PNR
There are fully staffed venture capital firms that have not made as many financial technology investments as Cristóbal Conde has on his own: He has a portfolio of 27 and has exited from two others. These companies get a lot more than his money: Since retiring in 2011 as president and CEO of SunGard Data Systems, Conde has hardly eased his business pace as both an investor in and a mentor to the burgeoning fintech sector. “If you add up everything that I am doing, it’s 120 percent of my time,” he says. “There has never been a more exciting time to be in this business.”
He has lived the dream of many a start-up. Conde joined SunGard in 1987 when the technology conglomerate acquired a company he had founded, the then–$300 million Devon Systems, which made software to keep records of derivatives transactions. Conde rose through the ranks and left when SunGard (now part of Fidelity National Information Services) had $5.8 billion in revenue and 26,000 employees. That’s a lot of experience to share, which Conde does principally but not exclusively as a London-based entrepreneur in residence with Accel, a firm renowned for early investments in the likes of Dropbox, Facebook, and Slack. He also advises Credit Suisse’s NEXT Investors, Nyca Partners, and TPG Capital and participates in several accelerator programs, including as FinTech Innovation Lab executive in residence.
“Astronomers are curious people,” says Conde, a native of Chile who earned a BS in astronomy and physics at Yale University, adding that “unfulfilled curiosity” keeps him going in the world of fintech. “The future has never been brighter for start-ups in this space.”