Quincy Smith and Michael Marquez, who cofounded Code Advisors along with Fred Davis, a San Francisco-based startup-focused boutique technology investment bank at a time when tech-banking a pariah just received $25 million in financing from JPMorganChase. First, it couldn’t have happened to nicer guys. Second, it happened despite Smith’s poor taste in shoes. Congratulations, guys!
Taking the entire ecosystem into picture, it is safe to say JPMorgan is a bit of a non-starter in technology. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are still the big dogs in technology, especially technology IPOs. JPMorgan is yet another bank on IPOs like Facebook and LinkedIn. No entrepreneur even remotely thinks of them as someone do do business. And now that technology sector is making such a strong comeback, old firms like JPMorgan are scrambling. With the Code investment, I bet JPMorganChase is trying to buy a bit of cool.
Quincy, Mike & I have been friends forever. When we did our inaugural NewTeeVee Live conference, Q-dawg (as I like to call him) flew out from New York just to speak for 30 minutes and flew right back. Yup, he is that kinda guy. Mike and I got to know each other at Yahoo and I have developed an admiration for his cool and calm.
If “Q” is the more ebullient of the duo, Marquez is the quiet workhorse who works mad-hours. Together (along with rest of the team at Code) they are a pretty awesome duo. It is this yin-yang quality that has helped them raise funds for the likes of Twitter and turn their startup bank into something someone as old as JPMorgan wants a piece of.
As an aside, there is a certain circle of life story here. Quincy, who is well now for his rat-a-rat-a-rat style of talking and his love for hip-hop, once worked at Hambrecht & Quist (and later at Netscape.) H&Q (where I worked for a disastrous few months before joining Red Herring) was acquired by Chase Manhattan which in turn was acquired by JPMorgan and became JPMorganChase. And now JPMorganChase is investing in Code Advisors.