Joe Guzel launches Haven Ventures Crosslink FinTech Fund

After five and a half years at Crosslink, Joe Guzel is launching his own venture capital fund Haven Ventures, a new fintech fund focused on seed and pre-seed startups, cutting checks of up to $ 1 million.

In this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Guzel talks about his journey into the world of adventure and his transformation into a leading investor in fintech.


Guzel got his start at Intuit in San Francisco, where he fell in love with the city’s culture – and embraced the city’s sentiment that “not much is happening technologically” to the. But soon after moving to Santa Monica to join the business of The Cutoff Ventures, Guzel caught “the LA bug.”

“After literally scouring the ocean the first day to the Crosscut office in Venice Beach, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s really, really cool. Like, “what are all these folks up north talking about that LA fears”? ,'” he said.

Guzel returned to the Bay to work for Crosslink Ventures, where he focused on the company’s fintech investments, including startups such as Chime, Personal Capital and Step.

There, Guzel saw the fintech landscape change dramatically, both in terms of technology and consumer interest.

“There has never been a better time to get into fintech,” he said. “And that’s because you have this $ 15 trillion industry that has taken decades and decades to get to the point where both technology infrastructures on the B2B side improve.”

He saw an opportunity to start his own venture capital firm focused on fintech and the transformation that is happening with decentralized finance and the Web3. With his partner McLain Southworth, he built Haven.

In the rest of the episode, Guzel talks about his family’s trip from the Middle East to the United States and what it was like growing up in an immigrant family in the Central Valley.

“We went from type-everything to have in Kuwait, to have nothing,” he said. “There were eight of us living in a four bedroom house that we still own in Bakersfield. I slept on a bunk bed with my mom until I was 12 ”

Commitment dot.LA Intern Joshua Letona contributed to this position.

Listen to the full episode by clicking the playhead above and tune in to LA Venture on Apple podcasts, Stapler, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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