Tue, 26 January 2021
In this episode, Hall welcomes Ashu Garg, General Partner at Foundation Capital.
Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Foundation Capital was founded in 1995. As an early-stage venture capital firm, they have lived through the emergence of the World Wide Web, the IT war of the 90s, the dot-com bubble, Web 2.0, the mobile revolution, the Great Recession, the rise of Big Data, software’s ascension to the cloud, and the birth of blockchain. The wisdom of those experiences remains with them, transmitted to each successive generation of partners. Foundation Capital is 25 years and nine funds strong, with over $3B in committed capital, 28 IPOs, and 80+ acquisitions to their name. Their fintech, enterprise, and consumer investments have reinvented industries and defined new markets, with companies that include Lending Club, Sunrun, TubeMogul, Chegg, and Netflix. For a quarter of a century—through boom and bust, prosperity or calamity—Foundation Capital has endured, evolved, and thrived. Building companies is in their bones.
The Rubik’s Cube has 43 quintillion 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, TubeMogul, soon became the leading video-advertising platform for brand advertisers, went public in 2014, and was acquired by Adobe in 2016.
Ashu serves on the boards of Anvilogic, Arize, Coefficient, Cohesity, Conviva, Eightfold, Fortanix, Layer9, OpsMx, Stacklet, Skyflow, and Turing. In addition, Ashu was responsible for our investments in Aggregate Knowledge (acquired by Neustar), Custora (acquired by Amperity), FreeWheel (acquired by Comcast), TubeMogul (acquired by Adobe), and Tubi.tv (acquired by Fox). He has led seed investments in HipDot, Next Force Technology, Oliv.ai, Radiance Labs, Robin Systems, Testim, and has personally invested in Databricks, Falcon Computing, G2 Esports, and VPS.
Ashu is passionate about helping technical founders scale as CEOs. His podcast B2B a CEO has featured Eric Yuan, Jennifer Tejada, Aaron Levie, and Tien Tzuo.
Before joining Foundation Capital in 2008, Ashu was the general manager for Microsoft’s online-advertising business and led field marketing for the software businesses. Previously, Ashu worked at McKinsey & Company, helping technology companies scale their go-to-market efforts. Earlier in his career, Ashu founded 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.
Ashu has a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management at Bangalore, where he received the President’s Gold Medal.
Ashu has lived in India, Nigeria and Sudan, and today makes his home in California with his wife, Pooja (an entrepreneur as well), and their two sons.
Ashu advises investors and entrepreneurs in the space. He also discusses how he sees the industry evolving and the investment thesis of Foundation Capital.