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  • Fiat Ventures

Team Spotlight Series: Marcos Fernandez, Managing Partner at Fiat Ventures



Welcome back to our Team Spotlight Series, where we continue to introduce the remarkable individuals who make Fiat Ventures thrive. This month, we are excited to feature Marcos Fernandez, one of our Co-Founders and active Managing Partner. Marcos embodies resilience, leadership, and a deep commitment to fostering innovation in the Fintech space.  He also models our mission that financial innovation is one of the greatest enablers of financial inclusion and mobility.


The Roots of Resilience


Marcos Fernandez's story is one of perseverance and dedication, deeply rooted in his family's history of hard work and sacrifice. Both of Marcos's parents grew up in Mexico before migrating to the US, coming from families that prioritized education and caring for others. His grandfather, who dropped out of school in the second grade to support his family, raised seven children in a two-bedroom home, instilling the values of hard work and family-first mentality.


"My father and his siblings all graduated from university and built their own paths to success," Marcos shares. "When I get tired, or start feeling sorry for myself after some tough days, I think about my grandparents, about my father, my mother, who all sacrificed so much in their own lives. That sacrifice has led to my own opportunity to pursue my dreams and at a stage I never imagined I’d be in. 


I have no excuses, and the opportunity to build a venture capital firm doesn’t come around often. I can’t control 95% of the world around me, but I can control my attitude and work ethic.”


A Journey Through Fintech


Marcos's professional journey into fintech began with an internship at SoFi in late 2014, where he witnessed the evolution of financial services and their positive impact on end consumers. At SoFi Marcos was able to help build and launch several products as the company expanded into a variety of product offerings.


After a few years he continued his fintech journey leading him to join Ripple, a company focused on using digital assets to improve cross-border payments. There launched the company's flagship product globally, and led BD and Partnerships efforts across the Americas.


"At Ripple, we helped families send remittances back home more efficiently," Marcos explains. "This work reinforced my belief in the power of emerging technologies to make a real difference".


In the meantime, Marcos was always advising angel investing in emerging fintechs and he was fortunate enough to see many success stories over time.


After spending over a decade as an operator, Marcos's extensive experience in fintech eventually led him to reach out to two close friends, Drew Glover and Alex Harris. 

“I was lucky to have known them both for a long time, and had been a long time advisor of the market leading consultancy they built, Fiat Growth.”  He goes on to share that “when I had my son and was thinking about what’s next, they were my first call."


“We realized that we had this incredibly unique access to information and founders across a quickly growing fintech sector.  That access provides us with the ability to make derisk investments and provide valuable support outside of a check."


He goes on to share that “while Drew and Alex are great partners professionally, the greatest attribute is that we are grounded in the same values.  We believe that it’s possible to do good and do well.  We have young families, and give each other space to be fathers and husbands outside of just VCs."


The team closed and announced their first $25m fund in late 2022, and has deployed capital into 30+ fintech companies.  While there is no mandate in how they invest, just under half of the founders they’ve backed are of underrepresented backgrounds.


Marcos shares “My journey is driven by a passion for pioneering change and fostering growth that not only scales businesses but also advances financial inclusivity and efficiency on a global scale. I’m incredibly grateful to spend all my time working with world class founders helping bring their visions to life. It’s a role I don’t take lightly, and one that I’m incredibly proud of."


Lessons Learned


Reflecting on his journey, Marcos emphasizes three qualities that have shaped his career: not being afraid to fail, seeking imposter syndrome, and always being kind and generous to others.


"Failure means you get to learn and push yourself in new ways," Marcos says. "Embrace imposter syndrome; it means you're growing. And always be kind and generous with your time. Build deep, meaningful relationships because you never know when those relationships will lead to future opportunities."


Outside of Fiat Ventures


Did you have a hero growing up? My dad was definitely my hero growing up. He was able to build out the American dream through hard work and a deep passion for helping others. Now that I have kids of my own it gives me a lot of appreciation for the example he set in how to be a father, husband and successful in business.


Favorite sports teams? The University of Arizona men’s basketball team has always been my favorite team. I have 25+ immediate family members who have attended and graduated from the U of A, including my parents who met there. I still remember what I was wearing and where we were when they won the national championship in 1997.


Other hobbies? I love to spend time with my son Benny (3.5 years old) and Sofia (1.5 years old). There’s nothing more fun to me then to take them on adventures or just hang out in the backyard.


Marcos' kids, Benny and Sofia
Benny and Sofia

Outside of family I’ve picked up the hobby of mountain biking through the pandemic.  I’m fortunate to live close to a lot of amazing trails and to the Tahoe area. There’s nothing better than taking a quick ride to get your mind off of work and blow off some steam.


Favorite local restaurants? Kibatsu Sushi in the Lower Haight, especially followed by a pint of Pliney at Toronado down the street.


Three things that are always in your fridge or kitchen? Some West Coast IPAs, chips and salsa (Casa Sanchez), and lots of fruit.


Dream dinner guest? Scott Kupor. He’s one of the Co-Founders of a16z and the Managing Partner of the firm. His book “Secrets of Sandhill Road” sits right next to me and was the first guide that made me decide to go all in on starting my own VC.  My role as Managing Partner is to be a blocker and tackler… he’s my favorite executor in venture.


What was your first car? A hand-me-down white T-100 pickup truck.  I grew up in El Paso, TX where there’s a lot of places to offroad in the desert, and it’s safe to say that truck got put to good use.  Fun fact is that my dad still owns the truck which I love to drive whenever I visit my parents in AZ.


His wife Jessica, and children Sofia and Benny

Marcos Fernandez's journey is a testament to resilience, the power of meaningful relationships, and the impact of innovative thinking. We are proud to have him as a driving force behind Fiat Ventures, guiding us towards a future of financial inclusivity and growth.


Sincerely,

The Fiat Ventures Team

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