Dave McClure: Engineer Turned Venture Capitalist and Founder of Practical Venture Capital and 500 Startups
Dave McClure is an accomplished engineer, entrepreneur, and investor with over 30 years of experience in Silicon Valley. He holds a BS in Engineering and Applied Mathematics from The Johns Hopkins University, where he honed his skills as a mathematician and computer scientist. Over the years, he founded, led, and invested in multiple startups, making significant contributions to the tech ecosystem. His professional journey includes stints at PayPal, where he served as Director of Marketing, and Founders Fund, where he worked as a venture capitalist, investing in 42 start-ups, four of which reached unicorn status, and one that yielded over 400X returns for his investors.
In 2010, McClure founded 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley VC firm that has raised over $1B in assets under management (AUM), investing in 2,500 companies and 5,000 founders across 75 countries. Over the years, he has helped create 20 VC funds under the 500 brand and invested in 20 other VC funds globally. McClure's investments include 30+ unicorns and IPOs, such as Credit Karma, Twilio, and The RealReal.
In 2019, McClure founded Practical Venture Capital, a VC secondary firm that provides liquidity solutions for limited partners (LPs) and general partners (GPs) in early-stage VC funds. The firm specializes in buying fund interests in micro-VC funds at years 5-10, as well as direct secondary in breakout companies within those portfolios. Its investors include senior executives at Facebook, Credit Karma, and Lyft, several Silicon Valley VCs, and experienced PE investors.
In addition to his work in tech, McClure is a visiting lecturer at Stanford University, where he shares his insights and expertise with students. He is also a conference chair at O'Reilly Media, where he helps shape discussions on the future of tech and entrepreneurship.