Meet Aunkur Arya: Menlo’s Newest Venture Partner
Today, we are excited to welcome Aunkur Arya as Menlo’s newest venture partner and key leader in our fintech practice. You may already know Aunkur. He’s a veteran executive and angel investor, with early-stage and public company operator experience at companies like Braintree, PayPal, Admob, and Google. At Menlo, Aunkur will focus on the fintech ecosystem, backing early teams that have the potential and vision to build industry-leading businesses, as he did with his previous companies. With a portfolio that includes Bluevine, Carta, and Chime, Menlo has had a strong track record in fintech for many years. With Aunkur on the team, we can double down, expanding our capacity and expertise.
As a startup builder and public company exec, he’s worked in the trenches
Aunkur believes we’re at the beginning of a fintech revolution that will change everything from how financial services are delivered (and by who) to how businesses and consumers transact and even how we define money. He drove the early part of this transformation through his work at Braintree, PayPal, and Google but is more excited about the evolution ahead. While in the trenches, Aunkur built some of the most important new services and gained a unique understanding of the entire ecosystem of traditional players, customers, and upstart fintech companies. As an executive at PayPal and Braintree, Aunkur led the company’s growth and market launch of new products across both merchant and peer-to-peer payments, including what eventually became PayPal One Touch, a reincarnation of Venmo’s merchant checkout product. Aunkur also spent a few years at Google working on its early digital wallet products and blazing a trail for mobile payments. He landed at Google via the acquisition of AdMob, the pioneer in mobile advertising and in-app monetization, where he led the buildout of AdMob’s app developer business.
He has earned his stripes as a GTM expert and early investor
One of Aunkur’s superpowers is his ability to connect with people, just like he did with all of us. Through his network, he was a sought-after advisor for startups seeking guidance on fundraising, products, and particularly early GTM strategy. Those conversations with founders often led to personal investments in the companies he advised—an impressive list of names we’d all recognize: Modern Treasury, MidDesk, Parafin, Canopy Servicing, and many others. We’re confident his business and people instincts will help him discover the next promising ventures that will become household names in the fintech space.
He knows what he’s looking for as an investor
When meeting entrepreneurs, Aunkur gravitates towards founders who have “lived the problem” and have a unique perspective on what is needed to solve it. He recognizes the passion, big vision, and execution capabilities that will enable teams to get to product-market fit quickly and have the endurance to see things through good and challenging times. In terms of specific areas, Aunkur sees the potential in API-first and infrastructure businesses that enable an entirely new class of business applications and companies that want to create new consumer experiences. If you’re a leader or entrepreneur in the fintech space, reach out to Aunkur, connect with him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter at @aunkurarya. We’re sure whether it’s advice you are looking for, a brainstorming session, or a great board member to roll up his sleeves alongside you, the choice doesn’t get better than Aunkur.
We’ve partnered with a number of leading fintech companies (Airbase, Betterment, Bluevine, Bread, Carta, Chime, Credit Sesame, Indio, Polly, Prodigal, Qualia, and Rivet to name a few). By adding Aunkur, we’re expanding our capacity and upping our industry expertise to take us to the next level.
Welcome to the VC world, Aunkur! We’re thrilled to have you on our team and know that any entrepreneur will be fortunate to have you lead their funding round and partner on the board with them!