Lerer Hippeau Acquisition Corp.
- Technology, Health, Wellness, Ecommerce, Logistics, Software, Industrial
Kenneth Lerer, our Chairman since January 2021, is a Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau, a position he has held since 2010. He co-founded The Huffington Post (acquired by AOL) in 2005 and was formerly the Chairman of BuzzFeed and Betaworks. Mr. Lerer sits on the board of Group Nine Media, which has an affiliated SPAC (NASDAQ: GNAC), and is Chairman of BLADE Urban Air Mobility, which has announced a merger with a SPAC (NASDAQ: EXPC). Previously, he served as Executive Vice President of AOL Time Warner. Mr. Lerer also previously served on the board of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAC) from August 2016 to March 2018. Mr. Lerer is the father of Ben Lerer, our President and one of our directors. Our board of directors has determined that Mr. Lerer’s extensive senior leadership, venture capital investing experience and substantial network of contacts and relationships makes him a qualified member of our board of directors.
Eric Hippeau, our Chief Executive Officer and one of our directors since January 2021, is a Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau, a position he has held since 2010. Previously, Mr. Hippeau was the Chief Executive Officer of The Huffington Post, in which he had invested as a Managing Partner at Softbank Capital. Mr. Hippeau co-led SoftBank’s investing activities for nearly a decade, investing in leading companies including Buddy Media, Geocities, and Yahoo!. Mr. Hippeau has also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ziff-Davis, former top publisher of computer magazines. Mr. Hippeau sits on the boards of BuzzFeed and, since September 2016, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), and he served on the board of Yahoo! (formerly NASDAQ: YHOO) from 1996-2011. Our board of directors has determined that Mr. Hippeau’s substantial operational experience and history of identifying and backing successful companies in enterprise software, digital health and advanced technology makes him a qualified member of our board of directors.
Ben Lerer, our President and one of our directors since January 2021, is a Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau, a position he has held since 2010. He has served since December 2016 as Chief Executive Officer of portfolio company Group Nine Media, parent to digital publishers NowThis, The Dodo, Thrillist (which he founded), Seeker, and PopSugar. Prior to Group Nine Media, Mr. Lerer served as Chief Executive Officer of Thrillist from 2005 to December 2016. Mr. Lerer is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Group Nine Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: GNAC), a SPAC organized in November 2020 to pursue business combination opportunities with companies operating in the digital media and adjacent industries. Mr. Lerer has served on the board of Casper Sleep (NYSE: CSPR) since July 2014. Mr. Lerer is the son of Kenneth Lerer, our Chairman. Mr. Lerer holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Our board of directors has determined that Mr. Lerer’s knowledge of digital-first businesses and extensive leadership experience in operating and advising companies makes him a qualified member of our board of directors.
Joe Medved, our Chief Operating Officer since January 2021, is a Partner at Lerer Hippeau and leads the firm’s secondary portfolio management practice, which includes the SB Capital and BN Capital funds for which Lerer Hippeau serves as replacement general partner, a position he has held since July 2015. Mr. Medved has spent over 20 years investing in and advising technology-enabled businesses. Prior to joining Lerer Hippeau, Mr. Medved co-led early stage investing at SoftBank Capital. Previously, he was an early and growth stage investor with Constellation Ventures, and an investment banker with JPMorgan’s Tech, Media & Telecom group. Mr. Medved holds a BS in Finance from Boston College.
Dan Rochkind, our Chief Financial Officer , Treasurer and Secretary since January 2021, is also Chief Financial Officer of Lerer Hippeau, overseeing the firm’s finances, operations and infrastructure, a position he has held since July 2019. Previously, Mr. Rochkind was the Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer of Marker LLC, a New York-based venture capital firm, from October 2012. Mr. Rochkind was also a Principal at the private equity firm Siguler Guff and a Vice President in the private equity groups at Fortress Investment Group and Goldman Sachs. Mr. Rochkind was the Business Area Controller of Private Equity for Fortress Investment Group (NYSE: FIG) during its IPO. Mr. Rochkind holds a BS in Accounting and a BA in Journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Stuart Freedman, one of our director nominees , is Of Counsel to Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, a New York based law firm. Mr. Freedman was a partner at Schulte Roth for 32 years through December 2020. Mr. Freedman served as Co-Head of Schulte Roth’s Mergers and Acquisitions and Securities Practice, representing private equity firms and other financial institutions in numerous U.S. and cross border acquisitions, divestitures, debt and equity financings and IPOs, covering a wide range of industry sectors. Mr. Freedman served as principal outside counsel to Albertsons Companies Inc. and its predecessors from 2006 through 2020. Mr. Freedman holds a BA in History from Yale University and a JD from the University of Michigan. Our board of directors has determined that Mr. Freedman’s comprehensive mergers and acquisitions and securities law experience makes him a qualified member of our board of directors.
Arianna Huffington, one of our director nominees , is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Thrive Global, the founder of The Huffington Post, and the author of 15 books, including, most recently, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. In 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a leading behavior change tech company with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. She has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in Economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on numerous boards, including Onex Corporation (TSE: ONEX), and previously served on the board of Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: UBER) from August 2016 to September 2019. Our board of directors has determined that Ms. Huffington’s entrepreneurial and board experience, as well as a broad network gained from working in media, make her a qualified member of our board of directors.
Greg Parsons, one of our director nominees , is the Chief Executive Officer of Semper Capital Management, an independent investment advisor specializing in structured products with a focus on mortgage-backed securities. The firm manages over $2 billion in assets. In addition to leading the business of Semper Capital, Mr. Parsons serves as Chairman of the Investment and Risk Management Committees and is also a member of the Compliance Committee. Prior to joining the firm in 2008, Mr. Parsons served as an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company in the Financial Services Group. Mr. Parsons began his career over 22 years ago and served as a Captain and Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Parsons holds a BA in Political Science from Princeton University. Our board of directors has determined that Mr. Parsons’s financial services and advisory experience makes him a qualified member of our board of directors. We expect Mr. Parsons will serve as Chairman of the Audit Committee.
Michael Walrath, one of our director nominees , is a serial investor, advisor and founder of startup and expansion stage companies. Mr. Walrath served as Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Right Media, a leading online advertising exchange, from January 2003 until its acquisition by Yahoo!. In 2007. After Right Media, Mr. Walrath co-founded the WGI Group with Jonah and Noah Goodhart, which has invested in over 75 companies since 2007, primarily in the technology space. Mr. Walrath served as Chairman of Moat, a New York–based analytics company focused on driving success for brand marketers and premium publishers, from 2009 to 2017, and he has served as a Director since November 2009 and as Chairman since March 2011 of Yext (NYSE: YEXT), a location software company. Mr. Walrath was a recipient of the highly prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2007. He and his wife Michelle created The Walrath Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization focused on social, environmental and environmental health issues. Mr. Walrath holds a BA in English from the University of Richmond. Our board of directors has determined that Mr. Walrath’s extensive experience as an entrepreneur in the technology and advertising industries, as well as his experience leading and advising high-growth companies, makes him a qualified member of our board of directors.
Our management team will be supported by advisors as follows:
Jonah Goodhart, one of our advisors , was the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Moat, a New York–based analytics company focused on driving success for brand marketers and premium publishers. Moat was acquired by Oracle in 2017. Jonah was one of the founding investors and board members of Right Media, a leading online advertising exchange, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2007. He co-founded WGI Group, which has invested in over 75 companies, primarily in the technology space. Mr. Goodhart was a recipient of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year New York Award in 2017.
Noah Goodhart, one of our advisors , along with his brother and partner Jonah, co-founded and operated Moat, which was acquired by Oracle in 2017. Mr. Goodhart was also a founding investor and board member of Right Media and co-founded WGI Group. Mr. Goodhart was a recipient of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year New York Award in 2017. Mr. Goodhart has also published his academic research on the role of technology in the political process.