Back to All News
Back to All News

My Next Chapter: Jennifer Richard

September 14, 2020

Life has a funny way of connecting the dots.

I remember being in CAA’s prestigious Agent Trainee program back in 2013, grinding from 7am to 10pm, trying to build an entertainment business for myself. In the background of rolling calls, attending events and drafting contracts, however, I was desperately trying to find my way into tech. I ended up landing a job scaling customer support at a YC company, which kicked off what feels like a 7 year whirlwind. Since then, I’ve been on the ground floor of 3 venture-backed companies, seen 2 acquisitions, gone to business school and moved into venture. It’s been a wild ride and I’m beyond excited about where it’s going.

Since transitioning into venture capital a few years ago, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my place in this ecosystem. I’ll keep it brief since I hate unnecessarily long blog posts, but supporting my hometown ecosystem and working with values-aligned investors are my two non-negotiables. And as I move on to announce my next move, I’ll share a few other things that make me excited to wake up for work in the morning.

I’m excited to share that I’ve officially joined Bonfire Ventures as a Principal. While LA has been known for its consumer microfunds in the past, we have evolved to raising bigger funds and writing bigger checks. Joining a $100M LA-based B2B software fund would’ve been a pipe dream not too long ago. Now, I’m excited to claim it as my reality. As many reading this article already know, making the decision to switch VC funds is no easy task. It requires stepping away from investments you’ve already made to join another small team for what should be a long tenure. This puts a lot of pressure on making the right decision. Here’s why I’m confident this is the best place for me.


I’ve known Bonfire for a little while now. In fact, one of my CAA comrades, Tyler Churchill, is also a Principal on the team. So, when he mentioned the position to me over coffee one fateful Friday morning, I knew that working together again was something I had to explore.

Upon spending more time with Tyler, and many more hours with Mark, Jim & Brett, I knew there was something there. Their enthusiasm for Bonfire is infectious and instantly drew me in. We’re aligned on our investment stage, focus, approach, values, and most of all what we want this industry to look like in the next several decades. We have a founders-first mentality. Their founders love them. The rest of the industry loves them. I made countless calls to references waiting for a bad review — never happened.

They support my love for SMB solutions, future of work, e-commerce, supply chain. They care about diversity in the ecosystem and want me to continue using my platform to drive change. We all have dogs and love sports. Mark went to middle school an hour away from my parents’ hometown of Lake Charles, LA. It’s not only the big things that fit, but also the intangibles.


LA is my home; but more than that, I believe that it’s perfectly poised to rival Silicon Valley. I believe that LA has all the attributes necessary to become HQ for tech’s next unicorns (lifestyle, talent, cost of living, access to capital, etc). And for this reason, my focus has always been on SoCal tech. It feels serendipitous to join a fund that’s so perfectly aligned with this thesis. In fact, 65% of the companies in Bonfire’s most recent fund are SoCal-based. And the thesis proves itself — 2 out of 3 of their most recent funds perform in the top 5%. All of them perform in the top 10%.


Lastly, there are several intrinsic reasons as to why I chose Bonfire. Though I’ve had a productive career in the industry so far, I know that I need to learn from the best to be the best. I have to take bigger shots, which means writing bigger checks and getting more involved with our companies. I have to lean into the responsibility that comes with being the lead investor.

Mark, Jim & Brett have achieved incredible success throughout their careers — and they’ve achieved it with integrity. They see me for everything I bring to the table, and for what I have yet to learn. They’re invested in Tyler and myself as the future leaders of Bonfire. A question that came up several times in the interview process was, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” And, after much reflection, I’m confident that everything I want to achieve in this next decade can be done at Bonfire.

So, with that said, I look forward to continuing this journey with all of whom I know already as well as those I’ve yet to meet. If you’re a founder, investor, or anyone else with whom this resonates please reach out to me. And for those who are just getting the news: I’ll be emailing you with my new contact shortly!

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
This is an external post.
read post