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Forerunner Team
Brian O'Malley
General Partner

Throughout his 20-year career in Silicon Valley, Brian has always solved for one thing: working with high-integrity people. Perhaps this is no surprise? Moving nine times before he was eighteen, Brian learned quickly that the quality people were rarely the loudest people, something that has served him well in the world of venture.

After living through the dot-com crash as a startup employee, Brian’s perspective has been illuminated by the turbulence and challenges that go with startup founder territory, making him highly attuned and empathetic to founders and their employees. He saw firsthand how quickly clever sales & marketing tactics can stop working, leaving him with the epiphany that there is no clearer path to success than an amazing product experience.

This commitment has led him to focus his investment efforts on consumer applications and bottoms-up software, both areas where the user is the decision maker. He brings 15+ years of investment experience to the Forerunner team from two world class firms — Accel and Battery Ventures — where he led each firm’s early stage-consumer efforts, staying focused on his passion, even as each firm grew in size.

Before joining Forerunner, Brian had been a friend of the firm since the earliest days, collaborating on mutual portfolio companies, Away Travel, Dollar Shave Club, Hotel Tonight, Joor and Serena & Lily. Since joining the team in 2018, Brian has partnered with founders solving problems around financial independence, social connection & sustainability, including Dumpling, Homeroom, MakerSights, Narvar, OK Play, and Sunday, among others. 

Brian earned a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he completed a Dual Concentration in Entrepreneurial Finance and Management. While in school, Brian helped launch two startups, both acquired by Fortune 500 businesses. Brian has been named to Forbes’ Midas List VC Draft: Hot Prospects, as well as to AlwaysOn’s Power Players in Mobile and Power Players in The Cloud lists.

Quotes
“Every company faces unique obstacles that require an original solution. Pattern matching is helpful, but, just because something worked at another company before, doesn’t mean it will work given a different time, business or opportunity. We can help identify the parts that rhyme with breakout companies that came before, but each founder story will ultimately be unique.
“We never take the emotion out of it – emotion is what drives consumer behavior. It must be embraced versus ignored. Understanding what motivates people to do what they do is the precursor we acknowledge before looking into any metrics and data.”
Dumpling:
For a more equitable service economy
OK Play:
Fostering our next generation’s social-emotional growth
Meet the rest of the Forerunner team
Our team brings a special combination of EQ and IQ that sets us apart. We view the world through an expanded lens that enables us to have the diversity of perspectives needed to challenge industry norms and spot the unexpected.