Eylul focuses on growth stage investments in fintech and logistics, with a particular desire to back companies that improve the productivity of trade. Prior to joining SoftBank, she was an early stage investor with New Enterprise Associates. Eylul began her career at Morgan Stanley’s investment banking business. She holds a BA from Columbia University in Economics and Mathematics.
Why did you join SBIA? What sets it apart from other VC firms?
It’s a privilege to sit on such a massive platform that backs iconic companies that make a meaningful impact on the everyday lives of millions. Can you even remember life without Uber, DoorDash, or TikTok? Many of our companies are leveraging their reach to drive global change. I’m proud to support Flexport.org as a positive force for social and environmental impact and Chime for offering lower-cost financial services to Americans historically underserved by the traditional banks.
What sectors of the economy do you focus on, and what excites you about them?
I get excited about businesses that leverage software and design thinking to improve indispensable workflows in old-school industries like shipping, construction, and insurance. I want to see that the technology is improving the cost and/or the quality of the service, not just providing a variation on the distribution or user experience. While the transition from offline to online has been ongoing for decades, we are in the early innings of true tech-enabled automation, and that’s where long-lasting enterprise value creation will come from.
While the transition from offline to online has been ongoing for decades, we are in the early innings of true tech-enabled automation, and that’s where long-lasting enterprise value creation will come from.
What do you look for in a founder?
We have a long investment horizon at SoftBank and we want to back category-defining companies. Unfortunately, it’s never a straight line up. So a lot of what I look for is understanding the founder’s grit and resilience. Does the founder have the resolve to make it happen?
What’s something people would be interested to know about you?
I’m a huge history nerd. Growing up in Istanbul, the lessons of the past are all around you. We’re talking about a 3,000-year-old city that served as the capital of multiple agrarian empires built on taxing the land-based trade routes between China and Europe. Of course that’s until the Europeans invented ships that could sail to the ends of the world, machines that could manufacture at high efficiency. and a capitalist infrastructure that could finance it all. Today we live in a more advanced society, but global supply chains remain challenged and our financial systems are still undeveloped. I love that my job is to support the leaders of the next age of exploration.