Mario Malave

Venture Associate


Mario Malave

Venture Associate

As an investment associate, Mario helps source and evaluate early-stage investments, seeking out remarkable companies that use intelligence, sensors, or actuators to augment and enhance the physical world. He also works alongside Playground's portfolio companies to help them craft business plans and execute their financial strategies.

Prior to joining Playground, Mario worked in Morgan Stanley's investment banking division as part of the global technology group. There, he helped clients in the internet, software, and infrastructure sectors execute M&A transactions and raise capital. He worked closely with companies such as Snapchat, MarketShare, and Microsemi, among others.

Before moving out to the Bay, Mario was based in New York, and worked in Morgan Stanley’s Latin America group, where he focused on cross border M&A execution across a wide array of industries. During his time at Morgan Stanley, Mario helped execute over $5B of aggregate deal volume, and also served as his division’s co-head of diversity recruiting for NYU.

At Playground, he enjoys getting a sneak-peek at what the future will look like. “Playground is a thriving community of technologists, designers, and builders who are working hard on the ideas and products that will shape the world for many years to come.” he says, “It’s thrilling to get a preview of what those are”.

Mario shares what it’s like to be a part of the venture team and his passion for early stage investing. “We’re constantly meeting founders who aspire to build companies that can make a dent in the universe. We get the chance to hear their stories, think deeply about their ideas, and in some cases, partner with them to go make them happen - that’s my favorite part of the role”.

A native of Venezuela, Mario moved to the states to attend New York University, where he graduated magna cum laude with majors in Economics and Political Science and was also a presidential honors scholar.

When Mario’s not analyzing potential investments or playing with new products at Playground, you can find him scoring goals on a soccer field, snowboarding new mountains, tracking cryptocurrency prices, or traveling somewhere new.

Senior Analyst, Morgan Stanley Global Technology Group

Analyst, Morgan Stanley Latin America Group

Summer Analyst, Goldman Sachs Investment Management

Alma Mater, New York University

Hometown, Caracas, Venezuela