Spark Capital just announced the promotion of principal Mo Koyfman, the golden-haired Wharton alum who joined the firm in the summer of 2008 after more than six years sourcing deals and incubating startups at IAC.
It won’t be much of a change, as far as the young investor’s duties go. “I’ve already been functioning in the capacity as a general partner so to speak,” he told Betabeat this afternoon, noting that he sits on six or seven boards now including Skillshare, Workmarket, Svpply, gdgt and Aviary. “It’s a bit of a rubber stamp and certainly an acknowledgment of the efforts I’ve made to date, which I appreciate tremendously.”
The title gives him “another tool in my arsenal” on the VC battleground. Mr. Koyfman is Spark’s official partner in New York, with junior Sparkie David Haber. Although he travels a lot, the firm has “at least two Sparkies in New York a couple days a week,” Mr. Koyfman said. Spark is putting the finishing touches on an office now, he said.
Mr. Koyfman is one of the younger investors on the core team at Spark, which he says has a range of personalities and backgrounds. “We have at least two nerds, maybe three, but I’m not going to say who they are,” he said.
We asked about his role in the intra-Spark dynamic. “I’m definitely one of the yonger guys, and I’ve been living in New York for years… I’m a pretty straightforward and honest person,” he said, mulling his place in the Spark family. “I do speak my mind. And also I consider myself, and I just was raised to be, a person of high integrity, so that’s something thats very important to me…. I bring my sense of humor and I think we all do,” he said.
So which of Mr. Koyfman’s companies should we most be afraid of?
This was a tough question for Mr. Koyfman.
“I think what the Aviary team has been able to accomplish in the last six months is nothing short of remarkable, and I would say watch out for those guys in the coming quarters,” he said carefully. The company that has “the most potential yet to be realized” is Svpply, he added, before rounding out the trio with Matt Brezina of Sincerely. “I think we have a ton of great companies in the portfolio but just sharing a few that may not be on people’s radar,” he amended.
He’s bullish on New York’s venture scene—go figure—and hopeful that the current crop of Foursquares and Tumblrs will produce mentors for the next generation. “What I think we definitely have in the long term in New York is, that entrepreneurs and startups are cool,” he said. “That wasn’t the case when I was in school. Graduating and going to work on Wall Street or at an investment bank or consulting firm was cool.” Now, of course, everyone wants to do a startup.
How about investments that got away? “Warby Parker is a company that I would have loved to have been invested with early on,” he said. “Kickstarter is certainly another one that I would have loved to get the chance to be invested with as well.”