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The 2016 Fintech Finance 35: Matthew Harris

< Fintech's Most Powerful Dealmakers of 20162. Matthew HarrisManaging DirectorBain Capital VenturesLast year: 3

Venture capitalist Matthew Harris believes many entrepreneurs would do well to understand military strategy. “There is conflict in entrepreneurship,” says the Bain Capital Ventures managing director. “It ain’t apple pie. It is hard to disrupt with a bouquet of roses.” As head of BCV’s five-person fintech team, Harris has invested more than $250 million in what he calls financial insurgents. With such concepts as flanking (attacking from the side rather than head-on) and resource deployment in mind, the 43-year-old has advised the likes of upstart exchange operator IEX Group and human resources automation platform Justworks on how to compete against much bigger incumbents. “You don’t build a plan against the enemy’s current position; you build a plan against the enemy’s capabilities,” he explains. “That’s a military cliché, but a lot of entrepreneurs miss the point.” Harris’s obsession with military history began during his senior spring at Williams College, when he read The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916, the second book in Alistair Horne’s trilogy on 19th- and 20th-century conflicts between France and Germany. After graduating in 1994 with a BA in political economy, he spent a year at consulting firm Bain & Co. before moving to its private equity business. The first deal he worked on was the acquisition by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Co. of TRW’s credit reporting business, later renamed Experian. In 2000, with backing from Bain, Harris co-founded Village Ventures to do early-stage investing. He rejoined Bain in 2012 to oversee Boston-based Bain Capital Ventures’ nine-person New York office. His biggest investment to date: $105 million in AvidXchange, a Charlotte, North Carolina–based company that he says “basically digitizes the invoice flow” for middle-market businesses, part of a $225 million September 2015 financing round led by BCV. Most recently, he invested $3 million in former World Gold Trust Services CEO William Rhind’s GraniteShares, a New York–based company that is building a platform to issue exchange-traded funds. BCV typically makes follow-up investments over time, generally averaging about $25 million per portfolio company.


 The 2016 Fintech Finance 35 Click below to view profiles
1. Jonathan KorngoldGeneral Atlantic2. Matthew HarrisBain Capital Ventures3. Jane GladstoneEvercore Partners4. James Robinson III & James
Robinson IV
RRE Ventures5. Steven McLaughlinFinancial Technology Partners6. Amy Nauiokas & Sean ParkAnthemis Group
7. Richard Garman &
Brad Bernstein
FTV Capital8. Gerard
von Dohlen
Broadhaven Capital Partners9. Darren CohenGoldman Sachs Group10. Hans MorrisNyca Partners11. Meyer (Micky) MalkaRibbit Capital12. Maria GotschPartnership Fund for New York City
13. Barry SilbertDigital Currency Group14. Jay ReinemannPropel Venture Partners15. Mariano BelinkySantander InnoVentures16. Justin Brownhill & Neil DeSenaSenaHill Partners17. François RobinetAXA Strategic Ventures18. Vanessa ColellaCiti Ventures
19. Michael SchleinAccion International20. Kenneth MarlinMarlin & Associates21. Rumi MoralesCME Ventures22. Alastair (Alex) RampellAndreessen Horowitz23. Steve GibsonEuclid Opportunities24. Fabian VandenreydtSWIFT
25. Vladislav SolodkiyLife.SREDA26. Gardiner Garrard IIITTV Capital27. Nektarios LioliosStartupbootcamp Fintech28. Lawrence WintermeyerInnovate Finance29. Bina KalolaBank of America Merrill Lynch30. Hyder JaffreyFintech Innovation
31. Calvin ChoiAMTD Group32. Janos BarberisFinTech
Hong Kong33. Jalak JobanputraFuture Perfect Ventures34. Sopnendu MohantyMonetary Authority of Singapore35. Oskar Mielczarek
de la Miel
Rakuten
FinTech Fund