A New York VC Spotlight: Roger Ehrenberg



Roger Ehrenberg was an active angel investor before becoming founder and managing partner at IA Ventures.  Prior to the formation of the IA Ventures, he had invested in 40 companies through IA Capital Partners, a firm focused on digital media and finance technology, from 2004-2009.

His career launched while working at Deutsche Bank’s internal hedge fund trading platform, first as the global co-head of the Strategic Equity Transactions Group, then as the president and CEO of DB Advisors.  While working with DB Advisors, Ehrenberg and his 130-person team managed $6 billion across multiple strategies in the New York, London and Hong Kong offices.  His team won Institutional Investor magazine’s “Derivatives Deal of the Year” award in 2000.

In 2005, Ehrenberg co-founded Monitor 110, a company that helped institutional investors access, analyze and monetize Internet information.  He also served as a managing director and investment banker at Citibank from 1987 to 1999, holding roles in global derivatives, capital markets, capital structuring groups and mergers and acquisitions.

Boasting around $155 million in investments, Ehrenberg works with early-stage startups from beginning to end.  He helps build their businesses and then follows through with a hands-on approach to develop each company.

A consistent blogger in addition to his investments and positions, Ehrenberg earned a BBA in Finance, Economics and Organization Psychology from the University of Michigan, before gaining an MBA in Finance, Accounting and Management from Columbia Business School.

VC Firm:

Founder and Managing Partner at IA Ventures (Founded in 2010)


Government, Healthcare, Technology, Financial Services, Quantitative Trading, Advertising, E-Commerce.

Selected Investments:


Buddy Media sold to Salesforce for $689 million
Clickable sold to Syncapse for undisclosed amount
Invite Media sold to Google for $81 million
TweetDeck sold to Twitter for $40 million


Recorded Future
The Trade Desk
Red School
HouseMemSQL (board observer)
SavingStar (board observer)

Expertise Areas:

Data-Intensive Businesses, Predictive Analytics, Mentoring and Advising Early-Stage Companies, Financial Markets, Real-Time Data, Startups, Venture Capital, Investments, Hedge Funds, Entrepreneurship, Big Data, Trading, Derivatives, Financial Markets, Market Data.

Blogs, Twitter & Websites:


Memorable Quotes:

On choosing companies to invest in:  “It’s how you feel you would work with them because as a company, especially at that stage, you’re partners.  When I don’t have that visceral connection with the team — not that they’re not qualified, but something’s just not right in the gut — you just have to follow it.”

On attracting VC funding:  “As early as you can, engage with real customers, even if your product totally sucks.”

On competition:  “We will not get in those pissing contests with other firms.  We are firm in our resolve that a team needs to want us as much as we want them.”

On raising money:  “I was one of the very earliest to identify [big data] as an investable theme.  It’s not like I cracked the atom — every firm has invested in these kinds of companies for a long time.  But for me to say, ‘I’m going to build a firm with this unifying principle and I’m building a team uniquely suited to prosecute this mission and give hands-on support to our founders,’ really resounded with investors.”

On big-data trends:  “Cyber [security] is scorching hot right now, especially with the infiltration of mobile.  There are some great companies in that space, but a lot more innovation to happen.”

On privacy for the average consumer:  “I believe consumer privacy is largely dead, and that there is an implicit pact between the consumer, retail providers and the government.  It goes like this: ‘Give me the best experience possible on whatever device I’m using, where I only see contextually relevant recommendations and receive appropriate offers.  Also, please keep me safe by hunting down the bad guys who are hacking into my service providers’ databases that hold my confidential data.’  There is no easy answer, but I do believe that the privacy horse left the barn a long time ago.”

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About the author: Emily Roland

Emily is a recent graduate from The University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. While at Ole Miss, Emily worked at The Daily Mississippian newspaper, most recently as editor-in-chief. She is currently focused on copy-editing at AlleyWatch.

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