Scott Friend

Scott Friend invests in application software companies, leveraging a career working in the commerce and marketing ecosystems. A former seed-to-exit founder of a successful Bain Capital backed commerce-tech analytics business, Scott is a trusted operational partner and advisor to founders at all stages.

New York

Portfolio Highlights

Semantic Machines (Microsoft)

About Scott

What is the first company you invested in? Do you have any anecdotes from when you first began working together?

Rent the Runway, now a public company, was one of my first investments when I started at BCV. There are lots of great stories from the early days there. One of my favorite memories was how after launching the business in late 2009 — in time for the holidays but in the teeth of the Great Financial Crisis — the company exceeded its first year revenue plan in the first few months! They couldn’t dry clean the dresses fast enough to satisfy all the demand. We knew we had a tiger by the tail right from the start on that one.

What do you love about working for Bain Capital Ventures?

Being part of such a high caliber, winning team and culture. This is true across Bain Capital, not just BCV. I’ve never experienced this level of talent, teamwork and humility in combination, and with such powerful results, anywhere else in my career.

What are your interests and passions outside of BCV?
My family. Great literature. Crossword puzzles. Being outdoors all year round.

Do you have an investment ethos?

Founder first.

Great founders make the impossible happen.

They see the future, are unconstrained by the odds, and create success through sheer power of persuasion, vision and brilliance. They are so inspiring to be around!

What is compelling about your domain?

The commerce ecosystem has gone through tremendous disruption thanks to the internet, mobile and Amazon over the past 15 years. And more recently, due to the pandemic and its aftermath, the trends reshaping the commerce world have only accelerated.

The opportunity for founders in commerce and marketing-tech to create new businesses faster and bigger than ever before has never been greater.

What advice would you give your younger self?

As my grandmother used to say, “This too shall pass.”

What is a self-care ritual you practice?

NYT’s crossword puzzle. Daily if possible, though I tend to hold them for flights. Still trying to conquer Friday and Saturday editions without a little help!


4 years
6 years
2 years
Cognitive Arts
2 years
The Parthenon Group
1 year
7 years
1 year
17 years


The “Mirakl” Of Marketplaces For B2B And B2C Commerce

At Bain Capital Ventures, we spend a lot of time thinking about the future of commerce. Over the last decade, billions of venture capital dollars have been invested in companies transitioning from commerce 1.0 (brick-and-mortar retail) to commerce 2.0 (digitally native brands and online marketplaces) and back again (online startups expanding into retail). Rather than…

Scott Friend 5 min read
News Spotlight Commerce

The Age Of AI In Commerce: Have We Achieved One-To-One Customer Engagement At Last?

Ever since online commerce took off in the late 1990s, brands have been deploying technology to better understand their customers. The dream is to provide online customers with the type of truly personal shopping experiences they get at their favorite mom-and-pop shop. I’ve been a student of this space for over 20 years, first as…

Scott Friend 8 min read
News Commerce

Brand New World. Old Rules.

Originally published in The Lead Quarterly in July of 2018. There’s a new world in retail unfolding before our eyes. Today’s newest brands born online that sell their products directly to consumers — dubbed digitally-native vertical brands, or DNVBs — have upended the old rules of e-commerce. This new crop of household names — Away…

Scott Friend 10 min read
Domain Insights Commerce

How Microsoft’s Acquisition Of Semantic Machines Will Enable A New Paradigm For Conversational Computing

Today our portfolio company, Semantic Machines (SM), was acquired by Microsoft. We were fortunate to be early to the trend of conversational AI by betting on this extraordinary team and company. And I’m especially proud and excited that SM will now play an instrumental role in advancing Microsoft’s AI strategy, helping the tech giant strengthen its competitive…

Scott Friend 6 min read

Scott's Selected Portfolio Companies

Investment Stage

Identifying the key levers that shape each customer’s behavior.

Partner Scott Friend
Invested 2010

Providing online display advertising to global brands.

Partner Scott Friend
Invested 2011

Helping mobile businesses retarget their ads.

Partner Scott Friend
Invested 2013

Revolutionizing ecommerce for the masses.

Partner Scott Friend
Invested 2014