Topguest, a loyalty program that relies on social media check-ins, was acquired by Switchfly in December. It took about six months before the two companies were fully integrated, which is when Topguest founder Geoff Lewis waved goodbye. Mr. Lewis, a New Yorker by way of Canada and San Francisco, joined Founders Fund—one of Topguest’s investors—as a principal last month.
“For me it was less a decision to move to the investor side broadly, and more of a decision to join Founders Fund in particular,” Mr. Lewis told Betabeat in an email. “I’m proud of what we built with Topguest, but it’s not the type of product that will dramatically change the world for the better. Coming off of Topguest, the question for me was how can I help to make a much bigger impact in a way that’s well leveraged?”
A much bigger impact in a way that’s well-leveraged. That’s entrepreneur-speak for you. At Founders Fund, Mr. Lewis will focused on consumer Internet startups with the potential to be the next Facebook or Spotify, but he’s looking for world-changing companies in any space, at any stage, with any product, and in any region, he said.
Founders Fund was attractive because the firm’s partners are “deeply committed to backing transformational companies that if successful, will change the world alongside becoming multi-billion dollar businesses,” he said. The fund is invested in SpaceX, for example.
“It’s no secret that being a VC is much, much easier than being an entrepreneur, yet you still get to contribute – albeit in a small way – to the creation of meaningful companies,” he said. He’s wary of the hype cycle that comes with consumer products, though, where good investments are hard to find. “I’m the lucky guy who gets to try,” he said.
“When we were seeking financing for Topguest, I was struck by how few VCs had actually co-founded and led startups themselves. That’s a problem I want to help solve,” he said.