TheNFAPost Podcast

Chennai, NFAPost: Global talent investor Entrepreneur First (EF) has appointed Venkat Raju as Venture Partner in India and Benedict Evans as a global Venture Partner. These appointments further strengthen the global team, giving its cohorts, portfolio, and investors access to world-class expertise in tech and company building.

Venkat Raju is an active Angel Investor and Advisor with a portfolio of over 45 startups that he advises. These startups span multiple deep tech fields including AI, Blockchain, AR/VR, IoT, SaaS, Cyber & Data Security, EV & Mobility, Big Data & Analytics and verticals such as FinTech, HealthTech and Retail, among others. He has more than three decades of experience in strong business, technology and general management.

Most recently he served as the CEO of Kyron Global, the largest Corporate Accelerator that supported startup-led Digital Transformation and Innovation programs for multinational corporations. Venkat has worked in corporates such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank in Wall St and British Telecom in London.

Venkat will work closely with the Entrepreneur First startups in India across areas such as technology, business model and go to market strategies. His expertise will help the Entrepreneur First startup ecosystem build on its foundation in India.

Benedict has over 15 years experience in the tech and media industries. He comes on board as an advisor to EF’s global portfolio and will be supporting the current and upcoming cohorts at the Investment Committee. Additionally, he will be working with the Executive Committee on strategy and portfolio composition direction. Evans will be providing game changing analysis, insight and recommendations for new technologies and markets that offer opportunities for the EF model and future cohorts, the company said.

Entrepreneur First General Manager, India, Esha Tiwary said, “We are delighted to have Venkat and Benedict join EF as Venture Partners. Venkat has been a part of the startup ecosystem in India and abroad and is recognised as an expert in the industry. His close mentorship of the EF India companies will be invaluable in helping them rapidly build their businesses. Benedict is a well-respected influencer in the global tech ecosystem, and in his role as a global advisor at EF, he has already been a part of the investment committee meetings of our recent cohort of Indian companies.”

Entrepreneur First CEO and co-founder Matt Clifford said, “The expertise we have brought on the team in the last 12 months marks another key milestone for us as a company, and will enable us to continue attracting the world’s top talent both onto our cohorts and in the wider team.”

Entrepreneur First Venture Partner, India, Venkat Raju  said, “EF is a great platform to nourish founders focused on deep tech innovation. I am delighted to join the EF family to mentor such talent and equally learn from them.”

Venkat Raju added, “Everyone in the startup/innovation ecosystem knows Benedict, his newsletter on technology trends and relevance to the market is a must-read for entrepreneurs and investors. Benedict coming on board EF in this Covid-19 climate, is a huge affirmation for EF’s unique business model. It is also a very positive signal to the global innovation community and funding ecosystem.”

Alongside Evans, the global talent investor has recently welcomed Sam Barnett as President, Bernadette Cho as General Manager of EF Singapore, Philipp Herkelmann as General Manager of EF Berlin, and Andy Young as Vice President of Growth.


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