Ravi Mhatre is the founder and managing director of Lightspeed Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that focuses on early stage investments in the consumer, enterprise, technology and cleantech sectors. About a third of the fund’s portfolio companies have been acquired or went public, such as AppDynamics, MuleSoft Nimble Storage and Snap. As the company believes that women drive consumer technology, over a third of the firm’s consumer portfolio consists of female-led companies.
When asked why Lightspeed focuses on early stage investments, Ravi explained the importance of the company’s foundation to ensure longstanding success.
“We do have a philosophy, that success isn’t just about product design but also business design,” he told TechCrunch. “When you’re designing your architecture and technology stack early, you want it to have a really strong foundation, so when you bring a product to market it’ll have some sustainable underlying value that allows you to improve it for years to come so you can improve your business. Well, you also want to design your business so it can be durable and set up to grow really fast without becoming destabilized. So when we get involved early, we think a lot about business and company design. That’s where, as a venture firm, we can bring in institutional knowledge and our network and people on the business side who have experience and know what the patterns of success look like, rather than [having founders] reinvent the wheel.”
Ravi has also served on the board of various organisations, such as The Indus Entrepreneurs Forum in Silicon Valley, DeVenCI, which is the Department of Defense’s start-up technology acquisition forum, and as a judge for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
Before his career in venture capital, he ran a product management group and worked in management consulting and software engineering.
As a thought leader, he writes about investing on Medium.Tags: Investment and Funding, VC