Paul Kwan

Investment Team

Managing Director

Palo Alto

My parents came to America from Hong Kong in the late 1960s after the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended de facto discrimination against immigrants from Southern Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia. My father became a professor of astrophysics at UMass-Amherst, which is where I grew up. My mother and her two sisters became computer programmers after college in the 1970s, and my mother worked as a programmer for over 30 years. My mother’s appreciation for tech is what led me to study computer science at Stanford.

I started my career in technology investment banking as the Internet was just taking shape.  A few years later, I had the opportunity to join Morgan Stanley’s Menlo Park team where I spent 22 years, running the bank's global internet and software business and then, the West Coast technology team. That continuity became a great asset, because it took time to learn the craft of advising companies on their most important strategic and financial objectives. That continuity also allowed me to see firsthand what world-class tech companies do to create enduring value whether through strategic, financial, operational or cultural means.  Helping Spotify create the modern day direct listing and selling Livongo for the highest multiple ever paid in public technology M&A were two of my career highlights, as well as taking companies public from all 6 inhabited continents.  

At General Catalyst, I'm passionate about mission-driven software-driven companies that are category-defining in their own unique way.  Whether it's redefining the defense industry like Anduril or enabling a whole new market for connected operations like Samsara or creating a modern way to drive employee recognition and behavior like AwardCo.  We are still in the very early innings of technology transformation for so many industries and there is incredible opportunity ahead.  What will be critical is to drive that transformation with an intentional focus on responsible innovation; accountability, inclusivity, sustainability, respect, diversity, and promotion of healthy society.  

On the personal side, my wife and I are supporters of healthcare research, particularly for understanding and treating neuropsychiatric disease. And I serve on the board of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.