Revolut founder Nik Storonsky hires CEO for his AI-powered VC firm

Quick Take

  • Revolut founder Nik Storonsky appears to have hired Ilya Kondrashov to head up his AI-powered venture capital firm Quantum Light. 
  • Kondrashov will head up a $200 million fund that will employ AI to find the best startup to invest in globally, with a particular focus on the U.S. 

Revolut founder Nik Storonsky appears to have named the CEO of his AI-powered venture capital firm Quantum Light Capital.

Ilya Kondrashov, most recently the founder and advisor to Dubai-based family office Five8 Foundation, joined Quantum Light Capital as its chief executive this month, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Before Five8, Kondrashov held executive positions and founded small business credit startup MarketFinance, which was backed by banking giant Barclays and venture capital firm Northzone. On his Twitter page, he describes himself as an "entrepreneur and investor", with interests in fintech, SaaS and Web3. 

Kondrashov did not immediately respond to a LinkedIn message seeking comment and a Revolut spokesperson declined to comment. The Block also reached out to Quantum Light but did not hear back. 

Quantum Light hopes to be an alternative to the de-facto relationship-driven venture model by employing an artificial intelligence named Aleph to reduce dependency on human judgment. In a Forbes report, Storonsky said he spent the last year building a team of data scientists and engineers to browse LinkedIn, corporate filings, and other public databases to identify fast-growing startups before announcing the fund in the interview. 

The neobank founder also said that he himself will invest around $200 million into its first fund with other limited partners — the backers of venture funds.

Along with the hiring of Kondrashov, it also lured former Revolut operating principal Ezio Mantegazza for a principal role and former Revolut product owner Pavel Shvetsov to be its head of quantitative investment strategy and research earlier this year. 

How to hire a CEO

Storonsky said in May that the VC firm didn't need to adopt a rigorous process for sourcing diverse candidates like Revolut has done, which hires hundreds of people a month. But it seems he failed to follow through on one part of the process when it came to hiring a CEO. 

“For Quantum Light, it’s a very small team of six people so you can cherry-pick if you want and you don’t really need to have a process, but we want to hire a woman,” he said, adding that they were several female candidates for CEO back in May. 

The fund still appears, however, to be in the hiring stage for several positions, including roles in data and a head of capital role with "a wide network of family offices, capital allocators" to build out its relationships with limited partners.

The fund follows in the footsteps of other billionaire fintech founders who've set up investment vehicles. CEO Guillaume Pousaz founded his family office Zinal Growth in August last year. It backed DeFi platform Alloy in a $3 million pre-seed round in May.

In March this year, The Block interviewed Hanna Wachtmeister who helms Flat Capital, which is Klarna founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski's investment vehicle. 

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