When Zeynep left Turkey to study economics at the University of Chicago, she knew that her native country lacked the venture investing ecosystem that could have helped her entrepreneur parents build their technology company. She decided to help that change by becoming an investor, focusing on underserved regions and countries.
She began her career in tech investment banking at Merrill Lynch in New York, later moving to the investing side with the global growth fund TA Associates in London. There, she learned how to build trust with entrepreneurs from varied backgrounds and nationalities, many of whom had not previously considered venture capital or private equity to support their growth. While obtaining her MBA at Harvard, she recognized the importance of operating experience to support entrepreneurs. She joined the product team at the cross-border payments company WorldRemit, where she experienced how fintech was enabling emerging economies in Africa to leapfrog conventional banking systems.
Zeynep’s focus areas include fintech and crypto. While Europe is her base, she works with early-stage companies globally, particularly in emerging markets.
Away from work, Zeynep is involved with CISV International, a UNESCO organization that brings together children from different nationalities to develop cultural understanding. She is also a big lover of open water swimming and kitesurfing.