We bring extensive experience as both
early stage investors and scale up executives.
Dave Richards is an experienced entrepreneur, executive, and global early-stage investor. In 2012, he co-founded Unitus Seed Fund, now the leading venture seed fund investing in startups innovating for the masses in India. In 2015, Dave co-founded Capria, a fund, accelerator and network to advance the next generation of impact fund managers in emerging markets. Unitus Seed Fund is an affiliate of Unitus Group, a premier financial services group operating in India and other emerging markets since 2000.
Dave has been an early investor in microfinance and other businesses serving low-income populations. Since 2005, he has been involved with the Unitus Group, helping to lead efforts to select and invest in entrepreneurs in many developing countries. Dave led the Unitus Labs incubator for 2 years including the successful research and spinout of two venture firms: Unitus Impact and Unitus Seed Fund. He also led Unitus Investment Management, the General Partner of Unitus Equity Fund, a pioneering microfinance venture fund, was a board member of Unitus Capital, a leading Bangalore-based investment bank, and was on the investment committee for Unitus Impact.
Previously, Dave developed and led multiple high-growth technology businesses at RealNetworks, Sybase and Symantec from startup to multiple hundred million dollar global enterprises. He is currently a partner with Social Venture Partners Seattle is the co-founder of the SVP Fast Pitch startup angel fund. Dave received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia.
Will Poole is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor, focused on investing in profitable businesses that bring social and economic opportunity to low-income populations. In 2012, he co-founded Unitus Seed Fund, now India’s leading venture seed fund supporting startups innovating for the masses. In 2015, Will co-founded Capria, a global investment firm advancing the next generation of local impact fund managers in emerging markets, specializing in the “missing middle” finance opportunity. Capria and Unitus Seed Fund are affiliates of Unitus Group, a premier financial services group operating in SE Asia and Latin America since 2000.
In 2010 Will co-founded Bangalore-based Vidyanext, whose mission is to change the way India learns. He is active in Social Venture Partners Seattle’s initiatives around social entrepreneurship including founding SVP Fast Pitch, and he co-founded SVP Bangalore. He serves on the investment committee of the W-Fund and on the board of Village Reach. Will was previously Chairman of NComputing, a leader in low-cost, low-energy computing, and was a corporate vice president at Microsoft where he led several global organizations, including the $13B Windows Client business. His career started by founding two startups at the dawn of the PC era, working in the early days at Sun Microsystems, and pioneering e-commerce at eShop which was acquired by Microsoft in 1996. Will is passionate about education from early learning to higher ed, where he advises Western Governors University and Brown University on technology. Will received a degree in Computer Science from Brown University.
Srikrishna brings both entrepreneurial and investing perspectives with extensive experience in impact investing, consulting and implementation. Srikrishna joined Unitus Seed Fund as a Partner to setup and lead India operations in 2012. Unitus Seed Fund is now the leading venture seed fund supporting startups innovating for the masses in India.
Previously, Srikrishna was with Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, a leading impact investor in India, where he led initiatives in urban livelihoods and managed a portfolio of investments in urban microfinance and low-income housing. He was also a member of the founding team at Ujjivan, the leading urban-focused microfinance organization in India, where he setup and managed microfinance branches. Earlier, Srikrishna was a program manager at Unitus India, where he led microfinance innovation initiatives including micro insurance, savings and training. Srikrishna received his Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from the University of Bangalore.
Lead partner on: Caravan
K. L. Mukesh
K. L. Mukesh is a Venture Partner with Unitus Seed Fund and a senior business leader with extensive experience in operations management across global geographies and setting up and scaling of television and healthcare businesses. Most recently Mukesh was CEO of Biosense, a medical engineering and design firm developing revolutionary diagnostics prior to which he founded, scaled and exited Akeso Healthcare, a provider of medical consultation and diagnostic services. Mukesh has been in senior management positions with TATA Sky and DIRECTV, in roles involving customer operations and systems and managing bankruptcy turnaround. He has worked in India, South America, Japan and the United States. Early in his career, Mukesh worked with the Ministry of Planning, Govt. of India as a part of the Indian Statistical Services cadre.
Mukesh has also been a hands-on mentor for social impact organizations in healthcare, education and livelihood solutions space helping them setting up structures, systems and processes to scale. He is an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and holds an M. Stat degree from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
Lead Partner on: Awign
Srikanth Iyer joined Unitus Seed Fund as a Venture Partner in 2014. Srikanth leads our national efforts to invest in the best education companies that have potential to serve low-income populations at scale. He was previously the CEO of Pearson India. He had been part of the core leadership team for several years now and was mandated to grow the mind-share for Pearson in the K-12 domain across the country. As a seasoned information technology entrepreneur with over 21 years of experience, Srikanth brings superior prowess in sales, operations and strategic depth to the table.
Srikanth’s critical expertise lies in exhibiting the vision to identify the future prospects of a business and also owning the key requisites to scale it to its extractable potential. Prior to Pearson, Srikanth worked with Wipro for a brief period, from where he ventured on to follow his entrepreneurial instincts. This then led him to co-found Edurite Technologies (2000), a leading e-content provider in the education space. Srikanth’s incandescent leadership bears testimony to the phenomenal growth story of Edurite, which he lead to acquisition by TutorVista (2007); a global online tutoring company, and further acquisition by Pearson (2011). Srikanth holds a Post Graduate Diploma is Software Engineering from Harvard University (DCE) and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science Engineering from Bangalore University, India. He has been a state level Table Tennis player for 4 years and is an avid sports fan who dabbles in squash, tennis and cricket.
Ravi Venkatesan is an experienced business leader who is currently Chairman of Bank of Baroda. Ravi joined Unitus Seed Fund as a Venture Partner in 2013. Formerly, he was the Chairman of both Microsoft India and Cummins India. He is a director on the boards of Infosys Ltd., Rockefeller Foundation, Strand Lifesciences and is an advisor to several companies including Kalaari Capital. He is also the founder-chairperson of Social Venture Partners India, a network of philanthropists addressing social problems through venture philanthropy.
Ravi is the author of a bestselling book “Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere”. Between 2004 and 2011, Ravi helped build India into Microsoft’s second-largest presence in the world, one of its fastest growing markets, and one of the country’s most respected companies and best employers. Prior to Microsoft, as the Chairman of Cummins India, Ravi led its transformation into the country’s leading provider of power solutions and automotive engines. Ravi has a BS in engineering from IIT Bombay, an MS from Purdue University, and a MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar. He is a recipient of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and Purdue University’s Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award.
Milind Shah is a senior executive with over 30 years’ experience in multinational companies in diverse industries such as healthcare (Medtronic), specialty chemicals & adhesives (Henkel), telecommunications (3M) and petrochemicals (Shell). This includes 18 years of country/regional leadership roles, in the Indian Sub-Continent and Thailand, with strong competencies in growth strategy, market development, business model innovation and building organizations with strong culture & talent pipeline.
Milind’s last assignment was with Medtronic plc, a global leader in the medical technology industry, where he was the Managing Director (MD) and Vice President (VP), Indian Sub-Continent from October 2004 till January 2016. Reporting directly to the CEO, Milind was also a member of Medtronic’s global executive committee during the period 2012-15. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Wallin award that recognises Medtronic leaders who deliver consistent & strong business growth through talent development. As the MD, Milind had the complete responsibility for developing and executing operational & strategic plans for the Indian Sub-Continent.
Having led the Indian Sub Continent’s business for Medtronic for more than a decade, Milind brings a good understanding of the healthcare eco-system, a strong network of relationships amongst upper echelons of medical technology companies & hospital chains as well as hands on experience in developing & executing strategic plans, business model innovations and M&A. An acknowledged industry leader, Milind has chaired healthcare industry associations and led advocacy discussions with the government. As the Managing Director of Henkel Loctite India for 7 years, Milind has also been adequately exposed to different segments of the industrial economy.
An alumnus of IIT Delhi (B.Tech Chemical) and IIM Calcutta (PGDM), Milind is also an active member of the World Presidents’ Organization. He left the corporate life to pursue his passion of developing leaders and to help organisations evolve strategically. His consulting firm, StratLead Advisors LLP, advises clients in developing & executing growth strategies and business models. The firm also provides executive coaching for development & evolution of business leaders.
Atul Bindal joined Unitus Seed Fund as a Venture Partner in 2016 and has been a member of the firm’s GP Advisory Board since 2013. Atul works with the investment team on investment decision and then with portfolio companies as they seek to establish a strong foundation and realize their growth potential.
Atul Bindal has over three decades of experience in senior leadership roles in India and Asia, and has built a strong reputation in industries such as telecom, Internet, energy, and consumer goods.
Previously, Atul was Managing Director Asia of Khosla Ventures Advisory Services, responsible for providing venture-assistance, operational expertise and leadership inputs for the region. Previously, Atul was with Bharti Airtel for over eight years as a key member of the top-team that scripted and delivered the Airtel success-story. Atul was President Mobile Services for India & South Asia where he ran the $8 billion, 160 million customers business. Earlier as President Telemedia, he turned around the loss-making landline & broadband business into a vibrant $800 million operation.
Michael brings a unique combination of impact investment, fundraising, business communications, investor relations and financial expertise across a wide range of global industries. He is leading our investor relations and global fundraising efforts that reach out to major corporate and private foundations, institutional and individual impact investors, wealth management firms and government agencies.
Michael has over 20 years of experience in communicating to the investment community. Prior to joining Unitus Seed Fund, he served as President of StreetConnect Inc. providing strategic financial communication and investor relations services for private and publicly owned companies in high technology, video infrastructure, wireless communications, enterprise software, medical and bio-technology, IT services and consumer products. Michael received his MBA from the University of Michigan and his BA from Colorado College.
Vikas leverages his 17 years of expertise to cultivate sustainable business practices, developing policy framework and maintain strong financial control. He re-engineered accounting processes, established policies and procedures and implemented systems.
He brings experience in planning, developing processes/procedures which reduces dependencies, ensuring system integrity, treasury management, taxation etc. Previously, he worked for Amba Research, a financial services provider and has worked with other leading Companies like Max New York Life Insurance and WNS Global Services. Vikas received a bachelor’s degree with honors from Delhi University and is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Radha joined Unitus in 2013 and currently leads the Unitus Seed Fund investment team including new investments, portfolio management and exits across healthcare, education, fintech and other sectors. She has significant operating experience building and commercializing technology products for global markets and evaluating early-stage venture investments in India.
Previously, Radha was a member of the Mumbai Angels Screening Committee, where she helped evaluate early-stage technology investments. She also led marketing at GupShup, a cloud messaging startup, managing and supporting key customer accounts for over 20,000 SME customers. Prior to GupShup, Radha led product and engineering efforts at Texas Instruments for signal processing chipsets across multiple markets and verticals. As an expert in the mobile and telecommunications fields, she has also designed, developed and deployed wireless infrastructure systems and applications for Motorola. Radha has a Masters in Computer Science from NITK and an MBA from IIM Bangalore.
Sunitha brings experience of funding to emerging corporates in India. She previously worked with Yes Bank, analyzing and working closely with mid market clients and tracking their performance.
She has also interned with Srinivasan Services Trust (TVS Group Foundation) for development of sustainable business model for their women SHGs. Previously, Sunitha has worked with a technology start up in Bangalore. Sunitha received her Bachelors degree in Electronics & Communication engineering from Bangalore University and Masters degree in Financial Management from S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai. She has also cleared all 3 Levels of the program offered by CFA Institute, USA.
Sneha brings six years of private equity investing experience. She was a part of Apollo Global Management’s India team and has evaluated and invested in companies across power, pharmaceuticals and chemicals sectors.
While at Apollo, Sneha worked across its global fund and its India-focused fund, AION, a strategic partnership with ICICI. Sneha is an MBA (Finance) and received her Bachelors and Masters degree in Commerce from Sydenham College, Mumbai. Previously, she also worked at Boston Analytics in the Financial Research department and at Thomas Cook in the Foreign Exchange department.
Saumya has worked in technology and healthcare investment space across Asia, Europe, Africa and US. Prior to investing world, she worked with SAP labs for few years before moving onto working on her own ventures in Healthcare.
Before joining Unitus Seed Fund, Saumya worked with a biomedicine startup focusing on the development of diagnostics tests for early cancer detection, designing market entry and fundraising strategies. Saumya also worked in Africa with a £25 million impact fund, evaluating health and education startups.
In early 2016, Saumya joined Capria Ventures, focusing on evaluating fund managers from emerging markets. She recently transitioned to Unitus Seed Fund’s Bengaluru office bringing together her investing, entrepreneurial and healthcare experience.
Saumya holds an MBA from INSEAD and Bachelors in Engineering from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
Shreyas comes with a strategic, data driven approach to marketing cultivated with experience across India & USA. Proficient in marketing & business practices, process orientation, integrated campaign management across consumer products, consumer services and consumer service products, he plays with keen business acumen in analyzing and understanding business requirements to develop and scale business streams by means of strategic marketing.
Having played defining roles that impacted e-commerce industry – FlipKart, Amazon India – through his tenure with Jeeves, UB Group (liquor portfolio) through his term with Mudra in India and Walmart, EBay, P&G brands with Barefoot Proximity in USA, he is intent to lead brands into ones that audiences connect to, and fall in love with.
Shweta has over 5 years of experience across writing, non-profit communications, digital media and public relations. Prior to joining Unitus Seed Fund, Shweta worked with YourStory wherein she wrote extensively on social entrepreneurship and in India. She has also worked with Ashoka – Innovators for the Public leading their overall communications and was part of the team that launched Changemakers Schools in India – a global network of innovative schools that place emphasis on nurturing holistic individuals who can be future changemakers. Shweta started her career in the social sector with The Akshaya Patra Foundation, single-handedly managing communications and strategic initiatives for the Resource Mobilization team which raised INR 40 Cr in FY 2013 – 14 and also played an important role in helping establish the organization’s first Government Relations team.
Shweta has earned a Masters in Media, Communications and Development from London School of Economics and Political Science, Bachelors in Journalism and Communications from School of Communications, Manipal University (formerly known as Manipal Institute of Communications) and has also been a DAAD exchange scholar in Hochschule Bremen, University of Applied Sciences, Bremen, Germany.
Rajiv leads the design, website and branding for Unitus Seed Fund. He puts in play his 6+ years of production and design experience to add value to the company and their investments. Prior to joining Unitus, Rajiv worked with prestigious firms like KGD Architecture and Infosys Technologies in various roles and backgrounds involving design and engineering. Working with cross functional teams gave him opportunities to learn and gain expertise across mediums like web, print and UX design.
Rajiv is an Mechanical Engineer by qualification and a designer by passion. He backs his expertise by learning from multiple schools of thought, hands-on work with startup teams and constant experimentation. He also has an entrepreneurial streak in him, which made him quit his job at Infosys and run an his own business independently for 3 years.
Rajiv loves intelligent conversations, is a big-time movie buff and loves food. When not on his laptop, he is out mentoring aspiring designers, exploring new book stores and doodling on paper napkins.
Brent brings to Unitus a broad base of experience across finance, investing, and social enterprise, and his passion for seeing entrepreneurs reach their potential with social innovations for the masses.
Prior to joining Unitus, Brent advised US companies on acquisitions and strategic investments, and was part of the healthcare investment banking team at Nexus Health Capital. He also served as Vice President at Light Beam Capital, where he sourced and led the analysis of private equity investment opportunities across a range of sectors. Brent has also worked with leading organizations addressing the needs of low income communities in the US and globally. He has served as consultant to microfinance institutions in Latin America through Kiva, researched business models for the BoP in South Asia with the Yunus Centre, and helped build grassroots advocacy organizations in the US with SEIU and the Citizens Campaign.
Brent holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the Universityof Pennsylvania, and his Bachelors degree from Harvard University.
Alex joined Unitus Seed Fund in 2015, and has been working with Speed2Seed, our incubation and acceleration program since its inception. Bringing a strong analytical background in entrepreneurship and economics to Unitus Seed Fund, she has previous experience working for The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, NGOs, public policy think tanks, as well as launching a Bolivian knitting cooperative to benefit rural communities.
She earned her Bachelors degree in Economics, Global Politics with a minor in Poverty and Human Capabilities from Washington and Lee University.
Uma leads Unitus Seed Fund and Capria’s global impact investment assessment strategy, implementation and reporting.
Uma brings a combination of research and analytical skills, and passion to contribute to the social sector. She worked for Dream A Dream, Bangalore, where she managed impact assessment and evaluation of Life Skills programs for children from vulnerable backgrounds.
She also worked with Small Enterprise Finance Centre, Chennai on a behavioral study focusing on women entrepreneurs. She has research experience in design, primary data collection, econometric analyses and project coordination. She has actively volunteered in various capacities with Bhumi, a non-profit in India, and currently volunteers as a mentor with Young Women Empowered in Seattle. She completed her Masters in Financial Economics and Bachelors in Commerce, specializing in Finance.
Amy brings nearly two decades of accounting and consulting experience to Capria. She has worked closely with multiple funds to manage global audit and tax compliance. In addition, Amy is responsible for Capria’s ongoing finance, accounting, and fund administration. Her experience working with high wealth individuals and family offices offers a unique perspective on investor relations, including internal and external reporting. Amy is a Certified Public Accountant who received her Masters of Professional Accounting, Taxation and BA in Accounting from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Washington Society of CPAs and American Institute of CPAs. Previously, Amy was a tax manager in public accounting specializing in start-up companies and the high tech industry.
Anna Nikolova brings experience in public-private partnerships for economic development to the Unitus Seed Fund.
Prior to joining USF, Anna was a member of the Private Sector Engagement team at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, DC. Previously, she worked on Public Policy at Uber Technologies. From 2012 to 2014, she was a research assistant at the AidData Center for Development Policy, a summer associate at the White House, and an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
Anna has a B.A. in International Relations from the College of William & Mary. She is fluent in French, Spanish, and Bulgarian.