The founder of a tech company now valued at $14 billion told The Post that navigating the startup world of Silicon Valley is like dealing with a “boys club” full of “mob bosses.”
Ryan Breslow built payments company Bolt from the ground up — and it now competes with the likes of Stripe, Square and Clover.
But the 27-year-old Breslow isn’t your typical tech bro basking in success. He’s now hitting out at just how difficult he says it was to get funding for his firm, which lets people pay for purchases at some 3,500 online retailers with one click.
He told The Post that bigwigs of venture capital in Silicon Valley who had backed one of his biggest competitors, the $95 billion online payments colossus Stripe, acted like “mob bosses” and threw up obstacles when it came to investors interested in his company.
He singled out venture capital heavyweights — and Stripe backers — Sequoia and Y Combinator — in a Twitter post last week that sent tongues wagging. And he told The Post this week that Stripe used its institutional muscle in Silicon Valley to dissuade investors from backing Bolt, which he started in 2014 and which now has 10 million users.
“We were doing something pretty revolutionary and for some reason couldn’t get anybody to invest that was a brand name,” he said. “And so we would literally have investors come to me and say, ‘Hey, we talked to some folks at Stripe and we think we’re going to pass.’”
Bolt founder Ryan Breslow calls Silicon Valley a ‘boys club’Bolt founder Ryan Breslow calls Silicon Valley a ‘boys club’