Philippe Suchet

Venture Partner

Philippe is a serial entrepreneur turned investor.  He co-founded two companies in the marketing automation and mobile commerce spaces, which were respectively acquired by Acxiom (NASD: ACXM) and Shopzilla.  He is an active angel investor in startups such as WePay (acquired by JP Morgan), Forter, FundBox and Le Tote and served as a mentor for 500 Startups and Alchemist Accelerator.  He has also been a real estate investor and developer for over 20 years.

Most recently, Philippe was the Chief Strategy Officer at Shopzilla, which acquired his latest start-up, Zappli.  Prior to that, he was the CEO and Co-Founder of Zappli, one of the 1st players in the mobile shopping and payment space.  Prior to Zappli, he was the CEO and Co-Founder of Kefta, a leading online marketing SaaS player, acquired by Acxiom.  Previously, Philippe worked for the Boston Consulting Group, Goldman Sachs, Abuzz (acquired by NYT), and Keeboo, and has lived in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S.

Philippe received Masters degree in Entrepreneurship from HEC School of Management, MSc in Statistics from ENSAE, and MBA from Harvard Business School.


How was working through several downturns informed your view as an operator, advisor, and investor?
I have been involved with technology startups since the late 90s, first by co-founding and leading several companies, and later by investing in many high-growth startups.  Over my 25 year career, I experienced quite a few downturns.  Through these downturns, I was able to see how the ability to face and respond to such adverse and unforeseen events was a key long-term success factor required for the best startups.

In downturns, I have learned first-hand that many of the following elements could have a life or death impact on the business: the presence of strong and positive company culture; the alignment of all the founders; the flexibility, persistence, and resilience of the management team: the underlying strength of the unit economics, and the level of satisfaction of the company’s partners and customers.

Do you miss being a founder/operator? What are some highs and lows of being a founder?
I tremendously miss my experience of starting and running companies.  The thrills include the “aha moment” of figuring out the market dynamics; defining a vision for the company and reaching alignment on the path forward; going outside of your comfort zone and adjusting to all kind of complexities; the motivation and learning that comes from working with such great employees, investors and partners; closing the first large six-figure deals and framing the check or invoice; listening to delighted customers; and seeing team members fulfill their tremendous potential.  All of this was so incredibly exciting, but I don’t miss the lonely periods I sometimes felt as a CEO, and the times when I would wake up in the middle of the night being worried about (often-insignificant) issues.