Top 20 Indian Venture Capitalists in U.S.

The Catalyst for Entrepreneurial Revolution

Recognized by The New York Times and CB Insights in 2019 as one of the top 100 venture capitalists, Somesh Dash is an expert industry professional who specializes in later-stage industry growth. Currently, he serves as the managing director and general partner at IVP. Somesh has actively participated in IVP's investments in AddThis, Akamai, Amplitude, AppDynamics, At Road, Ayasdi, Brex, Business Insider, CafePress, Care. com, ComScore, Datalogix, Danger, Digital River, Discord, Dropbox, FleetMatics, Gaia Online, Hipmunk, Humu, Klout, Lime, Loopnet, MotoSport, MySQL, Netflix, Personal Capital, Pindrop, Pure Storage, Expanse, Qubole, Quigo, Rubrik, Shazam, SoundCloud, Tanium, Thrive Global, TuneIn, Uber, Uproxx, Walker & Company and Zynga.Somesh has earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and then an M.B.A. from Stanford University. Somesh was an Analyst in the Corporate Finance Division of Credit Suisse's Technology Investment Banking Group, where his area of expertise included strategic financing initiatives for several public and private technology companies. Additionally, he worked for the Corporate Development Division of Sony Entertainment Television (SET) in Mumbai, India. He joined IVP in March 2005 and quickly gained prominence thanks to his unparalleled persistence, vision, and agility to solve crises related to later-stage industries, which he is known and respected for. As an inherent humanitarian and philanthropist, he is currently a member of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a nonprofit initiative focused on skilled immigration reform and the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society. Therefore the qualities and characteristics of such an individual must guarantee success in his ventures.

Early Investments for Promising Businesses

Most kids in middle schools would like to spend their vacations away from anything academic. But Manu Kumar was an exception. A child prodigy, he enrolled for computing lessons in a summer camp and completed the two-week program within a few days. He then proceeded to learn many more programming languages, and by age sixteen, he had dived deep into the world of technology.

Manu holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering with Honors and a Masters in Software Engineering, both from Carnegie Mellon University. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University with a distinction in teaching in 2007. With a concrete background in business and computer science, Manu started his first company—SneakerLabs, Inc. This company that he built with a fund of $5000 ended up being worth over a hundred million dollars when it was acquired in 2000 by Octane/E.piphany. Manu co-founded CardMunch that was acquired by LinkedIn, Carta — the leading provider of equity management solutions for companies, employees, and investors, and more recently HiHello — a company building tools to help users grow their network.

Dr. Kumar founded K9 Ventures in 2009 as a solo-GP fund. He invests in technology-focused “Pre-Seed” stage companies that are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unlike other funds at this stage, K9’s approach is to take a concentrated approach to investing in companies at their earliest stages of formation, often engaging with to-be founders even before the companies are incorporated. K9 Ventures operates out of a non-descript industrial building called The Kennel that is located at the edge of Palo Alto. The Kennel serves as the home for K9 Ventures and for several of the K9 portfolio companies in their formative stages.

Manu is often described as “The O.G. for Pre-Seed.” Pre-Seed is used to describe the first institutional capital invested in a company, typically less than $1M, to focus on building the team and the product. Manu/K9 does not follow a sector strategy. Instead he focuses on companies that are either creating some kind of radically new technology/ platform or creating a new market. Manu sees himself more as a company-builder than a company-picker. As such he chooses to align himself with founders early in the life-cycle of the company and then work with the founders to help grow the companies.

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