LeadersHIP team

Our team has over 100 years of experience as advisors, investors, corporate executives and board directors.

Matthew C. Le Merle

Matthew Le Merle is co-founder and Managing Partner of Fifth Era and of Keiretsu Capital - the most active US venture investors backing more than 175 companies a year.

Matthew is an expert on corporate growth, innovation and business transformations having advised leading companies including Amazon, Cisco, eBay, Google, HP, Microsoft, PayPal and many others on growth and innovation-related issues. Matthew is also an expert in economic value creation including revenue, cost and capital productivity programs – for example he drove annual savings of over $2 billion at a leading retailer and $1 billion at a leading bank.

Matthew’s career has spanned being a global strategy advisor, professional services firm leader, corporate operating executive, private equity and venture capital investor, and board director. His board work has included Chairman or Non-Executive Director roles in 14 companies and active Advisory Board roles in a further 9. Matthew’s board experience includes a broad range of industries including Business Services, Consumer and Retail, Digital Content, eCommerce, and Fintech.

Matthew has advised sovereign and regional economic entities on issues of innovation, entrepreneurialism and cluster growth. Clients have covered the globe from China, the EU, and the UK to the US including in his home state of California and the Bay Area/Silicon Valley.

Earlier in his career, Matthew spent 21 years as a strategy, operations and corporate finance advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs, boards and executive teams with McKinsey & Company, and as a practice leader with A.T. Kearney and Monitor Group where he led both firms’ West Coast practices and at Booz & Company. He was also a corporate executive at Gap Inc. where he was SVP strategy and corporate development and SVP global marketing.

Matthew is an adjunct professor at Singularity University, bestselling author and keynote speaker. He received a B.A. (Double First) and Master’s from Christ Church, Oxford, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He was born in London, UK, and is now a dual US/UK citizen and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and London, UK with his wife, Alison Davis, and their five children.

Alison Davis

Alison Davis is co-founder of Fifth Era (www.fifthera.com). She is a global strategist, finance professional, public company board director and active investor in growth companies. For more information go to www.alisondavis.com.

Alison is currently a director of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Fiserv (FISV), Unisys (UIS) and Ooma (OOMA), and is chair of the advisory board for BlockChain Capital. She is a former director of, City National Bank (CYC), Diamond Foods (DMND), First Data Corporation (FDC), Xoom (XOOM), and many private companies and was the Chairman of LECG (XPRT) until its sale in 2011.  She has chaired audit, compensation, and governance committees and is a frequent speaker on corporate governance.

Alison was previously the managing partner of Belvedere Capital, a private equity firm focused on investing in US banks and financial services firms. Prior to this, Alison was the Chief Financial Officer of Barclays Global Investors (now BlackRock), the world’s largest institutional investment firm with more than $1.5 trillion of assets under management. Earlier in her career, Alison spent 14 years as a strategy consultant and advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs, boards and executive teams with McKinsey & Company, and as a practice leader with A.T. Kearney where she built and led the global Financial Services Practice.

Alison is active in the community supporting non-profits and social enterprises as a board director, fundraiser and volunteer. She has been frequently named a “Most Influential Women in Business” by the San Francisco Business Times.  She received a B.A. Honors and a Master’s in Economics from Cambridge University in England, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business after completing the first-year at Harvard. She was born in Sheffield, UK, is now a dual US/UK citizen and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and five children.

James zhang

James is a leader in the global digital entertainment industry.  With more than 20 years experience as a concept artist, art director, and studio executive, he began his career as a concept artist at LucasArts Entertainment Company, helping set vision for bestselling video games, including Star Wars and other original properties. He was then an industry art director, outsourcing executive and game developer until the founding of Concept Art House and Spellgun, where he is currently CEO.

James is an experienced executive in North America and China and has been a public company executive leader.

Felix O. Le Merle

Felix is an associate with Fifth Era based in Berkeley, USA.  Felix works on Fifth Era project teams focused on regional economic development, regulation, technology, and innovation and is responsible for assisting in data gathering and analysis; industry research; interviewing key stakeholders including clients, customers, and suppliers; and working to structure and deliver recommendations and reports. 

Felix is studying at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Geography and International Development

louis A. Le Merle

Louis is an associate with Fifth Era based in Berkeley, USA. Louis works on Fifth Era project teams focused on Investment Management, Technology, and Innovation oriented issues and is responsible for assisting in data gathering and analysis; industry research; interviewing key stakeholders including clients, customers, and suppliers; and working to structure and deliver recommendations and reports.

Louis is studying at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Economics, Real Estate and Development.

The title “Partner” is used in accordance with customary business practice in the venture capital industry and does not indicate a legal status in a partnership.

Advisory board

Fifth Era Capital has formed an outstanding Board of Advisors with deep expertise in our areas of focus.


Jenny Chen

Jenny graduated in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999. While studying, she developed a B2B e-marketing platform, influencing her future direction. In 2003, Jenny began work in the emerging media industry at Everest Media. She then moved into computer games art outsourcing at Massive Black to build the initial Shanghai operations, attracting blue chip clients and more than 40 staff. From here she moved to Electronic Arts, Shanghai, as an operations director of an in-house art outsourcing group. Jenny returned to media as the head of the Shanghai office of Walk-On Advertising before co-founding and becoming CEO of advertising agency iMedia China Holdings in Beijing.

Alex Fedosseev

Alex Fedosseev has expertise in combining great technology with great content and is an expert in big data, artificial intelligence, real-time research and insights gathering. He is currently CEO of 1world Online, a partner of Fifth Era, enabling the collection of real-time insights from any where in the world.

Alex holds a Masters degree in Computer Science with a specialty in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence from Lomonosov Moscow State University

Philip Goodeve

Philip is a proven strategic finance leader in the financial services industry.  With 25 years experience in financial services, globally, he has been a president of a public company, a five time CFO, a Bain strategy consultant, a Global co- head of FIG investment banking at CIBC, and co-head of Canada’s 2nd largest private equity fund.

Philip has completed more than 100 acquisitions, 10 IPOs, 15 turnarounds, and has raised more than $30 billion.

Philip is a Harvard MBA and accounting undergraduate. 


LInda Jenkinson

Linda is a seasoned entrepreneur who has built two multimillion-dollar companies as a professional focused on chaos-based service businesses. She built her first global company, Dispatch Management Services, from ground up to $250m with 6,500 employees and 80 call centers around the world, before being the first woman from New Zealand to take a company public on the NASDAQ.  Since then Linda was co-founder, chairman and CEO of LesConcierges which she successfully sold in 2016.  She is currently a board director of Air New Zealand.

Arthur Kaneko

Arthur is currently at RealScout where he is focused on developing the next breakthrough in real estate technology.  Prior to RealScout, Arthur was an Investment VP at DCM responsible for analyzing and sourcing investment opportunities, driving fundraising for new and existing portfolio companies, and advising portfolio companies on M&A and strategic matters. Arthur focused on start-ups with a consumer-facing component (C2C, B2C, B2B2C), and had an added interest in mobile-first services. He also played an integral role in the mobile ecosystem focused DCM A-Fund. Working on deals such as: RealScout, CMUNE, Loki Studios (Acquired by Yahoo!), Slice, Zenbanx, SigFig, SoFi, CrowdTilt, PlayStudios, Tonchidot, Happy Elements, and KakaoTalk.

Denise Thomas

Denise founded ApplePie Capital to create a new, more efficient source of capital for franchise businesses. As CEO and chairman, she oversees all aspects of the company.  Denise has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience in business and market strategy development. Her public and private company expertise spans the financial services, technology, healthcare, hospitality and online services industries, and she has led companies backed by leading venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins, Mohr Davidow and Sequoia Capital.  Denise has founded three other companies, and held executive and management positions with SharesPost, Healthiest You, Navigenics, LesConcierges, OffRoad Capital, Onyx Microcomputer, Post Communications, Kao Infosystems, and National Semiconductor.  She has been a guest lecturer at both the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

Michael Witz

Michael Witz is successful technology founder and investor focused on innovative consumer products and platforms.  He was the founder and CEO of Mob Science which was acquired by Jam City, where he led the development of Cookie Jam, a $100M mobile game.   As an investor, Michael has made private investments in Facebook (100x Return), Cruise, OpenDoor, Shyp, Postmates, Tradesy, Teachable and several others.

Michael is a Y Combinator Alumni and holds a BA in History from UC Santa Barbara.  


Fifth Era partners with incubators, accelerators and investors as well as world wide research firms that have the capabilities to provide real time information and perspective on the issues that concern our clients and portfolio companies.  For research purposes we also maintain an international panel of internet investors and founders.