Co-founder / Partner
Sectors: Crypto and Blockchain, Computational Health, Machine Intelligence, Marketplaces, Next-Gen Finance
My name is Toby Coppel and I am a co-founder and partner at Mosaic Ventures.
I spent my formative years in Belfast, Northern Ireland, growing up in a family of entrepreneurs in a variety of old school businesses including home improvement stores, gifts and greetings cards, wholesale textiles, document storage, and drainage services. I learned about the life of an entrepreneur at the dinner table. It was a tough place to grow up, amidst the sectarian violence, yet the beauty of the country made it difficult to leave at the age of 18 when I headed to England for my undergraduate degree.
A few years on, I was fortunate enough to be in the US for graduate school in the mid ‘90s at the birth of the internet, where I also met my Mosaic partner Simon. I joined Allen & Company and found my true calling investing in and working with early stage internet startups including Spinner (acquired by AOL), Atom Entertainment (acquired by Viacom) and Launch Media (acquired by Yahoo!). I had the privilege to work with some fantastic entrepreneurs and began a 20 year journey in the space.
I started my first investment firm in 2000 with Terry Semel (Yahoo! and Time Warner) and Jeff Weiner (Yahoo! and LinkedIn). But I was soon tempted away by Yahoo! in 2001, when Terry, Jeff and I joined the company to help it rebuild following the dotcom crash and worked with incredibly talented people including Jerry Yang, David Filo, Brian Acton (WhatsApp), Dan Rosensweig (Chegg), Dave Goldberg (SurveyMonkey), Greg Coleman (BuzzFeed), Marco Boerries (enfore), Qi Lu (YC) and many others. From 2001 to 2007, we grew the company from $700 million to $7 billion in revenues and from losses to $2 billion in EBITDA. As Chief Strategy Officer, I was responsible for strategy, investments and M&A, and among other things, I led the team that invested $1 billion in Alibaba in 2005 for a stake which would be worth $80 billion today. In 2007, the company asked me to lead a turnaround and restructuring of their European operations (2,000 people, 20+ countries), which was a challenging learning experience.
Since then I have returned to my investing roots as an active investor in the European and US startup ecosystems, working with Richard Branson and the team at Virgin. During this period, I invested in a number of very exciting companies including Boxed, Pinterest, and Transferwise. I learned about building spaceships as a board member at Virgin Galactic, delivering healthcare services as a board member of Virgin Care, and was lucky to be involved early in the exciting journey of Criteo, as a board member and angel investor.
I co-founded Mosaic with Simon in 2014. In my spare time, I love spending time with my amazing wife and five young kids, reading, drinking wine, practising yoga and meditation and going to Arsenal games.
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