Bharati Jacob is a Founder-Partner of Seedfund, an early stage fund that invests in innovative Indian start-ups. She has extensive experience in venture investing, marketing and financial services.
She co-founded Seedfund in 2006 and invested in 35 companies thus far. The diverse investments include Redbus (on-line bus ticketing), Edusports (sports in schools), Jeeves (post sales service for appliances), Axisrooms (organizing hotel inventory) among others. Seedfund’s exit from Redbus – a company which she identified as an early investment and served on the board - to a strategic investor, was among the top three venture capital deals of the last decade for return on capital invested.
Prior to Seedfund, she was a partner at Infinity Ventures, a pioneer in Indian early stage investing whose exits include Indiagames and India Bulls (listing in India). She has also worked at Lazard India and Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis. Her early experience prior to business school was in consumer market research in India.
She has Masters degrees from The Wharton School of University Pennsylvania and XLRI Jamshedpur and is an alumni of the Shriram College of Commerce, University of Delhi.
After dropping out of college, Mahesh�s first job was as a door salesman, selling vacuum cleaners. He worked his way into the ad world: Grey, India and Ogilvy, Hong Kong. As a creative director, Mahesh won many awards for HP, The Economist, Pepsi, MTV etcetera. From Asia, he moved to Silicon Valley, with CKS Partners (IUSWeb/CKS), where he helped launch the first commercial version of Yahoo in 1995 and the Earth�s Biggest Bookstore campaign for Amazon.com in 1997. After a successful NASDAQ IPO, Mahesh moved to head marketing at iCat, an e-commerce firm, subsequently acquired by Intel. Mahesh returned to India, with Channel V. He started his career in active investing, in 2000, when he founded Passionfund, focused on early stage startups.
Mahesh made successful investments in companies like, Geodesic, EBS Direct, Compassbox, and WebDunia. Mahesh then set up Pinstorm, a pay-for-performance digital brand management firm. Pinstorm is today among the world�s leading digital marketing firms. Mahesh has contributed significantly to print and television media and he continues to write a column in The Wall Street Journal. He is also an active speaker at global investment and marketing conferences.
An alumnus of Stanford University, Paula brings over 20-years of entrepreneurial and operational experience with technology companies in the USA and in India. In her role as Executive Director since inception of Seedfund, Paula has been actively involved with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India to source, evaluate and mentor early stage companies. Her primary focus is on education, healthcare and technology sectors and she works closely with portfolio companies to take them to their next stage of growth.
Paula is a Promoter Director on the Board of The Hinditron Group, one of India’s pioneering technology companies, where she has been responsible for starting and managing the Telecommunication and Instrumentation businesses of the Group. In the past, Paula has worked with companies like Photon Kinetics, Tektronix, and Optivideo, in the USA. She has several publications and patents to her credit in the fields of Astrophysics and Optical Communication. Paula is actively engaged with the entrepreneurial ecosystem through her association with professional bodies like TiE (Charter Member), TiE Stree Shakti (Core Team), Dell Women Entrepreneurs Network, Indian Merchants Chamber, IEEE (Life Member), Computer Society of India, Stanford University Alumni Association.
Paula holds an MS in Applied Physics from Stanford University, USA and BSc in Physics from St. Xavier’s college, Mumbai. She is on the Board of Advisors of St. Xaviers College, K.J.Somaiya College of Engineering and is involved in various capacities with academic institutions and business incubators.
Pravin has over 35-years of operational and entrepreneurial experience in Indian IT and he has been an active private equity investor in the technology sector for more than 10-years. In 1972 Pravin co-founded Hinditron Computers, India’s first IT company, which subsequently merged with Digital Equipment Corporation in 1988. This JV then had an IPO in india. He exited that company with a significant multiple. He was also the Key Sponsor and General Partner of Infinity Venture Fund, a highly successful early stage fund out of India. Prior to formation of infinity He has funded and exited three technology companies in Singapore and India as an angel and his record in investment exits exceeds 10X.
Pravin serves on the board of several public and private corporations in India, including Avendus, Microland, and My Dentist. He has been President of the Manufacturers Association of Information Technology, India, and was a former member of the NASSCOM Executive Council. He was the President, and is currently the Trustee of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), Mumbai.as well a trustee on the global tie board Pravin is also on the board of SINE, the incubator at IIT Bombay. Pravin holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, USA.
Sanjay has spent over two decades as an IT industry executive, an entrepreneur, a start-up mentor, and a VC and investment advisor. He brings significant experience in creating new businesses and in business development in India, USA, Asia, Middle-East, and Africa. Earlier, Sanjay was a founding partner at JumpStartUp an early stage VC fund set up in 2000 that invested in early-stage technology and technology enabled businesses in India and the US. Prior to JumpStartUp, Sanjay founded Neta Inc., acquired by Infoseek (Disney), and VentureKatalyst, India�s first online publication aimed at entrepreneurs. Before Neta, Sanjay was at Wipro in Global R&D, where he headed several new business development initiatives in India and USA.
Sanjay is a Charter Member at TiE, Bangalore, where he co-chairs the Entrepreneur Acceleration Programme. He is also involved with Nasscom�s Product and Innovation group, and IIM Bangalore�s NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning. Sanjay writes and lectures frequently on entrepreneurship, innovation and venture capital. has been Adjunct Faculty at At INSEAD, Singapore, and on the Expert Panel of the Technology Development Board at Government of India�s Department of Science and Technology, Sanjay is an Electrical Engineer from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, with an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
Shailesh Vikram Singh is an Investor / Entrepreneur presently working as an Executive Director with Seedfund (leading Venture Capital fund in India) and heads its New Delhi operations. Shailesh has over 18 years of experience in Investing / Business Operations and strategy.
Prior to Seedfund, Shailesh was MD of a mid-sized private equity fund in Bangalore and managed a USD 170 mn fund. In the year 2000, Shailesh co-founded an internet technology startup in digital media space and was instrumental in setting another in commodities trading space.
Shailesh is a regular speaker at various Industry forums & B-schools. He takes active interest in grooming future entrepreneurs and business students.
Shailesh is very passionate about environment, technology, governance & rural development. Shailesh did his B.Tech (Production engineering) followed by an MBA from IIM, Lucknow and is a charter member of TiE.
Tarana Lalwani has 16-years of experience in finance, corporate advisory, and business development. She started her career in New York with Morgan Stanley, followed by joining Radian, a financial services firm, in their structured finance group. After moving to Mumbai, India in 2006, Tarana managed fund raising activities at Webaroo (SMS Gupshup), a mobile internet start-up at IIT Mumbai, and worked as a senior adviser with Sky Advance, a boutique private equity firm, where she acquired a better understanding of the investing and deal management environment in India and Asia. She also consulted at an education start-up, and was Vice President, Investment Banking, at Anand Rathi, a boutique financial services firm in Mumbai.
Tarana is actively involved in the angel and early stage space and was actively involved at Mumbai Angels, screening and closing transactions for the forum. At Seedfund, Tarana evaluates and mentors early stage companies. She also works closely with the portfolio companies to help them get to the next level. She holds an undergraduate degree in accounting from LaSalle University, and an MBA from Columbia Business School, USA.