Next Coast Ventures recruits Kaplan as COO

Next Coast Ventures has named Jonathan Kaplan as chief operating officer. Previously, Kaplan served as chief legal officer and general counsel of RetailMeNot.


AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Next Coast Ventures, an Austin-based venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs on the ‘Next Coast’ of innovation, today announced that it is adding Jonathan Kaplan to the team as chief operating officer, a newly-created position for the firm.

“I’ve known Jonathan for nearly a decade here in Austin and have seen how his diligence and focus on operations have been game changing for entrepreneurs and companies,” said Thomas Ball, co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures. “We are building out a firm for the long term and have been very thoughtful about creating an infrastructure that best serves our mission, our investors and our portfolio. We believe that Jonathan will be a highly accretive addition and we look forward to leveraging his extensive scaling expertise from an administrative perspective to grow NCV.”

Kaplan previously served as chief legal officer and general counsel of Austin-based RetailMeNot, guiding the company in the public markets and through its $630 million acquisition by Harland Clarke Holdings. Kaplan also was the founding executive sponsor of RetailMeNot’s diversity & inclusion (D&I) program and will help NCV with its continued implementation of the Diversity Pledge and other D&I programs. Prior to RetailMeNot, Kaplan was an attorney at leading international law firms based in California and Austin including DLA Piper and Latham & Watkins. His practice focused on the emerging growth ecosystem, supporting entrepreneurs and the investors that finance them through the full business life cycle, including equity and debt financings, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and strategic transactions. Jonathan has a JD order of the coif from the University of California, Davis, where he was the editor in chief of the UC Davis Law Review, and a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“I was drawn to the opportunity to join Next Coast Ventures because of its differentiated commitment to supporting entrepreneurs in markets throughout the United States and the quality of the firm’s investments to date,” said Kaplan. “I am delighted to join Next Coast Ventures, and I look forward to working with Michael, Thomas and the talented team to evolve the firm’s operational infrastructure to benefit entrepreneurs, portfolio companies, investors and our communities.”

Kaplan will be responsible for all operations of the firm, including financial planning and reporting, investor relations, legal, HR, compliance and the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts. He will also be integral in the formulation and execution of the firm’s strategy and supporting NCV’s portfolio companies by providing advice regarding operations, corporate development and compliance.

“Since day one, our mission has been to provide our portfolio with the best resources in the industry and Jonathan’s addition to the team is a prime example of that,” said Michael Smerklo, co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures. “As entrepreneurs ourselves, we understand how immensely additive operational and legal expertise are to a company and its leadership as they scale, and we know Jonathan’s experience and hands-on approach are going to be invaluable tool for our portfolio as they ramp up their growth.”

About Next Coast Ventures
Next Coast Ventures is an Austin-based venture capital firm that partners with bold entrepreneurs building innovative companies in big markets. It provides early-stage capital to high-growth startups in ‘Next Coast’ markets, using macro trends and themes to guide their investment strategy. NCV provides hands-on, company building resources to its growing portfolio through its strong industry network, Entrepreneurs Council program and the founders’ own experiences as entrepreneurs. Learn more at