[Investors] The Global Unicorn Hunter: Goodwater Capital’s Eric Kim
February 28, 2016
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Goodwater Capital co-founder Eric Kim (middle)

For the past 14 years, Eric Kim has been racking up a lot of global airline miles. Though his day job is a venture capitalist, Eric joked, “if being an airline passenger were a sport, I think I could enter the Olympics…I’ve learned to sleep in some weird positions.” During any given week, Eric might be in San Francisco, Seoul, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, or Vancouver. When asked if all the travel is worth it, Eric replied, “it’s not easy, but being global is what gives us our edge. It helps us differentiate from the crowds.”

And the results are hard to argue with. Prior to co-founding Goodwater Capital, Eric was a Managing Director at Maverick Capital during a time the firm made early bets in several blockbuster deals including Kakao’s Series A, Coupang’s second round and Zenefits’ Seed and Series A rounds (according to Crunchbase). Those three companies have achieved valuations of $8 Billion, $5 Billion and $4.5 Billion respectively. As an observer on Kakao’s board and board member for Coupang, Eric has gained a reputation for a being a close advisor and friend to founders and CEOs. Zenefits’ co-founder Laks Srini commented, "We loved working with Eric at an early stage as he helped with everything from hiring to strategy...his diverse and unique perspective helped push our thinking." Josh Williams, Chairman of Upsight and an entrepreneur Eric has worked closely with, said, “Eric’s different than most ‘Silicon Valley’ investors. I’ve benefited from not only his global connections, but also as someone that I trust completely.”

Since co-founding Goodwater in 2014, the momentum and global theme has seemingly continued. Goodwater has already led deals in companies such as Memebox, a global beauty brand partnering with digital influencers, and Pager, an on-demand healthcare company co-founded by Oscar Salazar, Uber’s founding CTO. Eric’s travel schedule does not look like it will slow down either. “Travel is becoming even more necessary in today’s economy. Technology has essentially globalized the consumer landscape with the advent of universal app stores, cross-border payments, and decreased shipping times. The most important themes for technology are being developed in and out of Silicon Valley. We have to be there.”

Investor Profile: Goodwater’s Eric Kim

Hometown St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Education Yale, B.A. Stanford, M.B.A.
Investment Focus Consumer Technology: Apps and B2C services
Office(s) Silicon Valley
10 Year Prediction “Almost everyone will own a drone”
Investment Style Thesis and Data Driven
#1 Piece of Advice to Entrepreneurs “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed.”
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