Jared Sleeper is a Partner at Matrix Partners.
ON HOW I GOT HERE
I’m from a small town in Northern Maine where my family has owned and operated a general store since 1914. Growing up, I worked with my father and grandfather doing whatever needed to be done: repairing the roof, cashiering, stocking shelves and (my favorite) demolition. I learned all about the challenges small businesses face against a big world. My dad woke before dawn each morning to open the shop. No excuses.
When I was twelve, I started investing in stocks. My first three were a biotech company, an oil driller and a shipwreck hunting company. I didn’t make much money in the end (see: Black Swan Treasure), but I did become addicted to studying businesses.
At Harvard, I led the college’s largest investment club and refocused it on fundamentals: understanding companies deeply and fostering fiercely open debate. I majored in economics but I thrived on different perspectives and loved arguing late into the night with archaeology students about the ethics of selling sunken treasure.
At Putnam, I started as an associate and over time became responsible for analyzing small and mid-size tech companies for $50bn of mutual funds. My work in ad-tech, consumer internet, cybersecurity and SaaS, led to investments in GrubHub, Delivery Hero, Criteo, Proofpoint, Uber, ServiceNow, Shopify and Wix.
ON WHY I INVEST
I joined Matrix because while I love the intellectual challenge of investing, I’m energized by helping entrepreneurs change the world. My favorite founders have a vision for what the future will look like (even if it requires a little squinting), paired with a plan to make it happen, the drive to see it through and the nimbleness to adapt along the way.
Like so many founders, I saw that working with the team at Matrix is a special opportunity. They are ex-operators and domain experts with empathy and strong opinions in spades, which they use to relentlessly support and invest in promising entrepreneurs.