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Brad Svrluga


Brad focuses his investing activities on B2B application businesses.

Brad is a co-founder and General Partner at Primary. He has been a venture investor since the waning moments of the Internet bubble in 2000, when he joined one of the dozens of micro-firms that popped up at the time, but likely never should have. He was previously a strategy consultant with Monitor Group, leading projects out of the firm’s Cambridge, South Africa and Brazil offices.

Brad focuses his investing activities on B2B application businesses. At Primary, he has led the firm’s successfully exited investments in Ticketfly (sold to Pandora), TxVia (sold to Google), Divide (sold to Google), Pump Audio (sold to Getty Images), Threadsmith (sold to Vistaprint) and Allworx (sold to PAETEC). At BCI, amongst the investments he was responsible for were HealthShare (sold to WebMD) and Profile Systems (sold to AT&T).

Brad co-founded Primary predecessor fund High Peaks Venture Partners, and in 2015 launched Primary with General Partner Ben Sun. He is an active participant in the NYC venture community, and writes not frequently enough on his blog, Can I Buy a Vowel?. Brad is a graduate of Williams College, where he captained the rugby team and majored in economics.

The Rest of the Story

Beyond my life as a venture capitalist/internet investor/entrepreneur, I am a social liberal, fiscal moderate, sports fan, outdoors lover, food and wine enthusiast, proud father of two young boys, and happy husband. I live a logistically complicated but extremely satisfying life, splitting time between my family's home in the Berkshires and my professional home in New York City's Flatiron District.

I am intensely committed to education, and especially to access for the less fortunate. I pursue that passion through my support of BART Charter School, where my wife Julia was the founding Executive Director, and my decade-plus involvement as a board member at Summer Search, an amazing inner city youth development program that is based in the Bay Area and with additional operations in Boston, NYC, Philadelphia and Seattle. I’m also a theater fan, and board member of the Tony Award-winning Williamstown Theatre Festival.

I am a long-suffering Red Sox fan, passionate cyclist, semi-retired golfer, avid free-heel skier, and really wish I could still knock you down on a rugby pitch or throw a fastball you couldn’t catch up to. I’m dead certain that being a dad is way harder than being a VC, but I’ve been doing the latter for over 15 years, and the former only 10.

Stuff You Wouldn't Know

  • First Job: I grew up in a fishing and beach town on the coast of Massachusetts. My first job was working at a small outfit that built and repaired wooden lobster traps for the local fleet. Lots of pounding nails and bruised thumbs. These guys weren’t innovators, though, so the switch to wire traps caught them flat-footed and they’re long gone. My first lesson in disruptive technology innovation.
  • Greatest Life Experience: I took a three-month sabbatical after working for a year in South Africa and hitchhiked solo around southern and eastern Africa with a backpack and no particular agenda. It’s an unbelievably liberating feeling to wake up thousands of miles from home and realize that nobody knows where you are, you are accountable to no one, and responsible for nothing but getting yourself fed.
  • Most Humbling Life Experience: Touring England with my Williams College rugby team, a scheduling miscommunication had us misrepresented as the American Collegiate All Star team, and thus we had a game scheduled against a London Suburban All Star side. We lost 93-0, only because they were polite enough not to run it up past 100. (Note: We trounced them in the post-game drinking!)
  • Random Fact: My small immediate family is the only group of Svrlugas in the world – there are seven of us who were born with the name. When my great-grandfather came to the US, it was spelled Svrljuga (silent J, and not a terribly uncommon name in Croatia), but the folks at Ellis Island made him drop the J. Some have suggested they didn’t go far enough in their efforts to make the name easier.