Tony Florence


Tony joined NEA in 2008 and currently is Co-CEO of the firm. He previously served as Co-President and prior to that as Managing General Partner, Technology, where he led and oversaw NEA’s global technology investing practices across enterprise and consumer for both early and growth-stage investing. Tony’s investing practice focuses on software and internet companies, with an emphasis on growth-stage investments. Prior to joining NEA, Tony spent over a decade at Morgan Stanley, where he ran the tech investment banking group in New York and focused on the software and internet sectors.

How would you describe your approach to partnerships?

I have a “people-first” mindset in life and investing. It’s what grounds my intuition and acts as my inspiration. I take a lot of pride in the fact that we’ve worked with many of the same founders across several of their entrepreneurial endeavors. I’m still working with the founder from my very first investment at NEA 15 years ago, who’s now on his third company. The same is true for our LPs, we have a very long-term approach to our LP relationships.  We have a lot of those repeat relationships at NEA, and I think it’s a testament to the way we treat long-term partnerships.

What’s something you’re proud of as Co-President of NEA?

I’m very proud of the fact that there are a lot of people that we have hired early in their careers who are now Partners at NEA. We take a lot of pride in our team and team development, so it’s rewarding to see the growth of those who have been here for a long time.

What are you most excited about for the firm as you look toward the future?

Technology is driving change and growth for all industries in the global economy, which is accelerating more than ever with AI. We are seeing more interaction between technology and healthcare, more convergence between consumer and enterprise, and more interplay between early and growth stages. These trends play to NEA’s strengths. Given our deep domain experience and company building expertise built over five decades, we’ve never been better positioned as a firm.

What personal qualities of yours have best served you as an investor?

My curiosity, my open-mindedness and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s the reason I got into venture capital in the first place, and it’s what’s guided my journey since. Throughout my career I’ve been an advocate for pushing us into new territories—from venture growth equity, the consumer space, new fundraising avenues and our presence in New York. I believe that in order to truly be in service of your LPs and founders, you have to keep innovating and finding new ways to drive progress.

How do you think about cultivating the next generation of great investors at NEA?

I think it’s important for the next generation of the firm to have an even bigger opportunity than we have today. To make sure that happens, we have to create the ability for people to have an impact and maintain a culture where the best ideas win, and to work collaboratively as a team. We want people to be ambitious when it comes to innovation and pushing the firm into new areas and opportunities. I also think it’s important for us to maintain a healthy dose of paranoia—you have to be obsessed with the competition in order to stay fresh and innovative and maintain leadership.

How has your family influenced your investing career?

My family grounds me in the art of the possible and the importance of being engaged and patient. I’ve come to realize there’s great serendipity in having influence on something while concurrently providing the space for people to develop into their own unique individuals. I take a very similar approach in my investment style.

“I have a ‘people-first’ mindset in life and investing. It’s what grounds my intuition and acts as my inspiration. I take a lot of pride in the fact that we’ve worked with many of the same founders and LPs over very long periods of time.”

Tony Florence, Co-CEO