Making Gaming More Social: Operate Podcast ft. SMERF Founder Zack DeFord

November 23, 2022

Carey Ransom

Carey Ransom is an SaaS entrepreneur, executive, investor and advisor, and has started, grown and/or led 8 B2B and consumer SaaS companies during startup and growth phases. He is currently the Managing Director of BankTech Ventures, a venture fund focused on compelling technologies for community banks, and founded and funded by leaders in the community bank ecosystem. Carey's 25-year career spans executive roles in product, marketing, business development, strategy and corporate development.

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Zack DeFord joined me to discuss his experiences as a lifelong gamer, and how his younger brother was bullied while playing online games. Zack's desire to make gaming safer and more fun for his brother led him to start Smerf, and that authenticity has served him well as he's built the company.

Zack and his co-founder, Ben, have developed Smerf to be a critical identity and social layer across gaming platforms, and they're being noticed by some of the largest gaming companies in the world. We talked about his experience engaging with the CEO of one of them early in Smerf's life.

I've also seen Zack mature so rapidly as a founder becoming the CEO of a company with incredible potential to impact millions of gamers in a positive way. It's such a pleasure to get to work with him through Operate. Enjoy this conversation!

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