Rex has a deep pulse on how people use technology. His expertise, thoughtfulness, and grit make him the partner and champion you want in your corner.Phillip Wang,
CEO and Co-founder of Gather
Rex focuses on early-stage and growth investments in consumer technology businesses. He’s particularly interested in online communication, Gen Z, commerce, marketplaces, and the future of work.
Prior to Index, Rex worked at Airtable, a no-code platform letting anyone create with software. Previously, Rex was an investor at TPG Growth and The Rise Fund, TPG’s global growth equity and social impact funds, where he oversaw the launch of TPG’s impact measurement tool at the World Economic Forum. He has run creator marketing for Calm and worked on social innovation policy for the California Governor’s Office.
Rex was a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University, where he received a graduate degree in business, and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Economics. Rex writes Digital Native, a weekly blog about consumer technology.
Index Creator Economy: The Creator Perspective
How did your love of film lead to a passion for consumer technology?
REX – As a kid, I was lucky enough to star in a movie that my dad made. While I'm sorry to say that my film career never took off (let's just say, I wasn't exactly an Oscar contender), I fell in love with media, content, and storytelling. I grew up memorizing box office numbers and Billboard charts, which morphed into a fascination with internet culture. I approach investing through the lens of how people and technology intersect. People are spending time in new ways: they're creating content, gaming, livestreaming, buying and selling things online, socializing in virtual worlds. The pandemic compressed decades of behavior change into months. The companies created today will define the next generation of culture.
How does your experience as an online creator influence how you invest in the creator economy?
REX – In a past life, I earned income on Instagram and TikTok. In the future, more people will be creators. The internet removed gatekeepers, which has unlocked an incredible amount of talent and self-expression. New platforms and tools let people monetize their individuality and creativity. We’ve seen this in the Index portfolio with game developers building in Roblox, with fans supporting creators on Patreon, with creator communities connecting in Discord. This isn’t just the future of entertainment, but also the future of work, the future of education, and the future of social interaction. I’m excited by how both cultural shifts, like the rise of Gen Z, and technological shifts, like blockchain, will change how we interact and earn online. We’re on the cusp of a digital Renaissance.
Why did you choose to be based in New York?
REX – I fell in love with New York for the same reasons that I fell in love with the internet. New York is chaotic, wild, and unruly. The internet is chaotic, wild, and unruly. In many ways, New York is a metaphor for the internet: both are comprised of a million little niches—a million lives and cultures and subcultures and communities, all overlapping and intersecting and bleeding into one another. What I love about New York and about the internet is that they each embody a collision of humanity. We’re seeing an influx of young talent to New York, as entrepreneurs and operators are drawn to the city’s dynamism, pulsing with frenzied electricity. New York is a great place to build a business. I’m long New York.