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  • Writer's pictureAarzoo Jena

FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Jelena Hoffart, Investor at 9Yards Capital

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

Jelena Hoffart is an investor at 9Yards Capital, a global growth-stage investment firm focused on fintech and supply chain tech. Jelena focuses on growth-stage investments across compliance, fraud, identity, and cybersecurity. Additionally, Jelena also draws form her past experiences to write on all things compliance, regtech and identity on Medium.

Jelena started her career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Within Goldman, Jelena transitioned into an investing role in the asset management division, where she supported early stage investments into Remitly and other technology companies.

Prior to joining 9Yards Capital, Jelena worked at the venture-backed consumer fintech Stash. Stash's mission of making investing easy and affordable resonated with Jelena. Across the finance and strategy functions at Stash, Jelena was responsible for managing the financial health of the company. She also steered the long-range product roadmap, led the acquisition of a financial literacy platform, managed the fundraising processes, and supported product launches such as crypto trading. After her experience understanding how startups work from the inside, Jelena joined 9Yards Capital to invest in other fintechs, making the financial system work for everyone, just like Stash.

Despite her work in finance, Jelena has always been passionate about writing, and used it to her advantage in the early phases of her career. When Jelena first joined venture capital, she didn't have an extensive network in the fintech ecosystem, so she decided to publish articles on compliance processes within fintech that she saw at Stash, which gave her the opportunity to connect with founders, operators and other investors focused on compliance and identity. Now, Jelena finds investing as her perfect career fit since she gets to exercise both parts of her brain, quantitative and qualitative.

Jelena is excited about the upcoming growth in the fintech industry. As an investor in 9Yards Capital, she gets a front row seat to see the innovation across two foundational industries - fintech and supply chain tech and is excited to invest in one challenge uniting both: the need for better identification of consumers, counter-parties, and supply chains. Both industries are focused on improving operational resiliency and mitigating fraud & risk in an increasingly digital and interconnected world. Additionally, each need to comply with an ever-growing amount of regulation, which is one of 9Yards Capital core strategic value-adds.

More on Jelena

Where you currently live: NYC

Living arrangement: With my awesome partner, Isaac

Hometown: Portland, Oregon (Go Ducks!)

Favorite hobby: Hiking (when I’m in the Pacific Northwest) and eating (when I’m in NYC)

Favorite show to binge: Succession

Do you have any productivity hacks? What keeps you motivated? How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Early in my career I was obsessed with being hyper-productive in my work life: answering emails during commute times, listening to podcasts and YouTube videos to prep for meetings during my workouts, using Sunday to prep for the week ahead—and the list goes on! I’ve learned that some days, I can fire on all cylinders for all hours of the day, but other days I just do not have the energy. And I’m learning to be okay with that! My guiding principle now is that if I only have 80% energy and capacity to give that day, if I give all 80% of it than I’m still giving 100% of myself. Sometimes the most productive use of time is resting and starting fresh the next day.

Daily Diary

6:30 am – Try to wake up while regretting watching that extra episode last night. I check emails and texts to make sure there is nothing urgent I missed!

7:00 am – Head to the gym in my building and run a few miles and finish with a strength exercise using the Peloton app (HIGHLY recommend, it’s no joke). I typically listen to either the news or a podcast episode, non-work related! The current podcast I’m obsessed with is Cup of Justice which is about the Murdaugh family crimes and how the justice system in small town America protects the rich and wealthy.

8:30 am – After getting ready for the day, I head into the office. I eat breakfast while catching up on emails and messages. My fatal flaw is that I fully subscribe to inbox-zero mentality.

9:30 am – Today is an exciting day as I’m joined at the office by the former CIO of Okta, Mark Settle. We have spent the last few weeks ideating on an article at the intersection of our two focus areas, consumer authentication and enterprise employee authentication. Today will be one of four in-person working sessions to finalize the outline and paper. One of my favorite parts of venture is getting to collaborate with and learn from former operators like Mark!

11:30 am – I have several back-to-back meetings with growth-stage fintech companies looking to raise in the near future.

1:00 pm – Spend time in our CRM system to game plan the best path to get introduced to companies I have flagged as exciting.

2:00 pm – Conduct a customer call to learn more about a company we are considering for a potential investment.

2:30 pm – Our entire team catches up to sync on deals in the funnel. We update the team on the latest progress on our diligence on a company ahead of the scheduled investment committee next week.

4:00 pm – Spend time finalizing an investment memo and building a model for the investment committee.

6:00 pm – Head home and my boyfriend and I make HelloFresh for dinner. We both started out as horrible cooks, but have learned a lot and enjoy the time set aside to catch up about our days!

7:00 pm – I host a stellar group of Women in VC for wine night on my rooftop. Each month, this group of female fintech investors gets together to catch up about what we are seeing in the market, deal flow, and to support each other! Most of us are the only female investors at our respective firms, so we rely on each other for candid advice and support.

10:00 pm – Clean up from wine night and a bit of R&R before bed. I try to go to sleep as early as possible on the weekdays!

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