What he does: Partners with startups to solve complex challenges
The Rubik’s Cube was originally advertised as having billions of combinations but only one solution. At age 11, Ashu found that solution in 25 seconds flat. Although Ashu hasn’t picked up a Rubik’s Cube in quite a while, he still takes great pleasure in solving complex business challenges.
To give just one example, in 2010, an early stage Berkeley-based company that specialized in analytics wanted to get into the media buying platform business. Ashu helped their small team reach the growing number of brands that were migrating their television advertising to the web. That company, otherwise known as, TubeMogul soon became the leading video advertising platform for brand advertisers and later went public in 2014.
What he invests in: Ashu works with startups in sectors as varied as marketing technology (MarTech), big data, analytics, online financial services, and education.
Ashu serves on the boards of directors of TubeMogul, Localytics, Conviva, ZeroStack, Yozio, FundsIndia.com, and IndiaHomes.com. In addition, he served on the boards of Aggregate Knowledge, until it was acquired by Neustar in late 2013, Spotzot, until it was acquired by Valassis, and TreeHouse Education, which is now a public company. Ashu was also closely involved with Foundation Capital’s investment in FreeWheel, which was acquired by Comcast in 2014. Ashu has led seed investments in Robin Systems, Shopular, BrightSky Labs, adRise, IntroHQ, Next Force Technology, and Bay Sensors and has personally invested in Reflektion, Databricks, Cohesity, Jhana, Virtual Power Systems, and Vienova.
Before joining Foundation Capital in 2008, Ashu was the General Manager for Microsoft's online advertising business. Previously, Ashu worked at McKinsey & Company with early and growth-stage companies in digital media, software, and consumer services. Earlier in his career, Ashu started TringTring.com, one of the first search engines in Asia, set up Unilever’s Nepal operations, and led the marketing and pre-sales teams at Cadence Design Systems.
Profile: Ashu has lived in India, Nigeria, and the Sudan, and today makes his home in California with his wife, Pooja (an entrepreneur as well), and their two sons.
Training: Ashu has a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management at Bangalore, where he received the President's Gold Medal
Ashu's assistant, Sarah Cook: scook@FoundationCap.com
Read Ashu's recent whitepaper: www.foundationcapital.com/decadeofthecmo