rocketship.vc

Smart Investing Through Data Science

We love data. We even wrote the book on loving data. And we run our business, just the way you do yours — with data. We have data on over ten million companies and identify and invest in the exceptional — the outliers.


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Portfolio

Prior Investments

The Team

portrait of Rocketship team

From Left to Right:

Venky Harinarayan bio linkedin
Wang Lam bio linkedin
Jill Efting linkedin
Anand Rajaraman bio linkedin
Sailesh Ramakrishnan bio linkedin
Yichen Jin linkedin
Greg Lahann bio linkedin
Katelin Moore bio linkedin

Rocketship News


11 Jul 2017 In Whole Foods, Bezos Gets a Sustainably Sourced Guinea Pig

By purchasing the upscale chain, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief, has a chance to tinker with how people buy groceries — and map the future of the physical store.

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28 Apr 2017 Rocketship.vc Takes Data Science Approach to Venture Capital

Venture capitalists are increasingly using advances in data science and machine learning to make investments. A new Silicon Valley firm, Rocketship.vc, with a $40 million first fund, is using data and analytics to make its early-stage bets....

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07 Sep 2016 IIT-Madras alumni donate $1 million for setting up of computer science chair

Silicon Valley-based Alumni of IIT Madras, Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan, have donated $1 million to create a corpus that will fund Visiting Chairs in Computer Science and Engineering to lead research on data-driven approaches to solve important problems...

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06 May 2016 Quora session with Venky Harinarayan

Venky Harinarayan on entrepreneurship, ecommerce, being a start-up investor, and more..

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14 Oct 2015 Venky Harinarayan On E-Commerce And Focus

Venky Harinarayan, is an e-commerce veteran who co-founded comparison shopping engine Junglee (acquired by Amazon in 1998), worked closely with Jeff Bezos to create Amazon Marketplace, created topical guide to the Web Kosmix (now known as Walmart Labs), and served as angel investor in companies such as Facebook and Lyft...

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24 Sep 2015 Silicon Valley venture capitalists talk about bond with India

Silicon Valley venture capitalists, including Menlo Ventures MD Venky Ganeshan, Milliways Ventures founder Anand Rajaraman, among others, talk about its bond with India as they see a demographical advantage in the country. Watch the full video...

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Portfolio News


09 Aug 2017 Moglix raises $12M Series B to digitize India’s manufacturing industry

Moglix launched in 2015 as an online store for tools and construction supplies, but now it’s venturing into enterprise software with the launch of GreenGST to help Indian manufacturers become compliant with the country’s new tax codes. The Noida-headquartered startup announced today that it has raised a $12 million Series B, which it will use to develop its supply chain management technology and expand into more manufacturing hubs.

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03 Aug 2017 Savings app Qapital now offers a checking account and debit card

Savings app Qapital wants people to make more conscious decisions around their money. While to date that meant helping its users build up savings, now Qapital will help manage their day-to-day spending through a new checking account and debit card.

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15 May 2017 Fynd raises $500k from Silicon Valley based rocketship.vc, Series A funding totals $1M

Fashion discovery and ecommerce portal Fynd has raised $500k from Silicon Valley-based Rocketship.vc. The capital is an extension of its Series A round which saw Venture Catalysts invest $500,000 in March, taking the entire amount of the round a little over $1 million. 

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06 Mar 2017 Qapital Helps Millennials Save by Triggering New Behavior

Startup aims to make saving easier through tweets, Fitbit steps or check-ins...

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22 Dec 2016 Stocard brings Silicon Valley investor on board to actively shape the future of the mobile wallet

Stocard, the world’s leading mobile loyalty wallet, just announced the closing of this year’s second financing round. While the size of the round has not been disclosed, it was reveiled by the Mannheim-based startup that the new investor is the Silicon Valley based venture capital fund Rocketship.vc...

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30 Sep 2016 Trocafone unlocks Latin America’s smartphone market selling certified, pre-owned phones

Sometimes it’s a startup business, and not political power, that grows out of the barrel of a gun.At least, that’s the story behind Trocafone, a Brazilian startup that just raised $7 million for its services buying, refurbishing, and re-selling smartphones across Latin America. The company’s journey began with an armed robbery in Argentina.

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01 Mar 2016 Checkbook lets you email anyone a digital check and deposit it free

If you’re sick of running out of paper checks and stamps or hassling with routing numbers to send zero-fee payments, you can bank on Checkbook...

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Venky Harinarayan

Venky Harinarayan is an entrepreneur and investor. He is also a founding partner at Milliways Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm.

He was a founder of Junglee — a pioneering shopping search engine that was acquired by Amazon.com, a founder of Kosmix — an innovative search and categorization company that was acquired by Walmart Stores, Inc., and a founding investor in Efficient Frontier — a leading search and social media marketing company that was acquired by Adobe. Together, these start-ups were valued at $1 billion at the time of their acquisition.

Venky has also played the role of entrepreneur in two of the most successful retailers of our times — Walmart and Amazon.com. Most recently, at Walmart, Venky created and was head of @WalmartLabs, the innovation arm for the world's largest company. At Amazon.com, Venky helped create the Marketplace business, that today accounts for around 40% of all the units sold. He also invented the concept underlying Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

Venky is also an active investor. He created Cambrian Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm in 2000 whose investments include Neoteris (Juniper), Aster Data (Teradata), and Yousendit. Venky was one of the earliest investors in Facebook, investing in 2005. Other angel investments include Lyft and TutorVista (Pearson).

Venky was named to the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by FastCompany in 2012 and to the "Venture Capital 100" by AlwaysOn in 2012 and is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT Madras. Venky earned his bachelor's degree from IIT Madras; master's from UCLA and PhD from Stanford University, all in computer science.

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Anand Rajaraman

Anand is a Founding Partner of two Silicon Valley venture capital funds focused on early-stage technology companies: Milliways Ventures and rocketship.vc. Prior to starting Milliways and rocketship.vc, he was Senior Vice President at Walmart Global eCommerce, where he co-headed @WalmartLabs, focused at the intersection of social, mobile, and commerce. Anand came to Walmart when Walmart acquired Kosmix, the startup he co-founded, in 2011. The purchase price was reported in the media to be over $300 million. Kosmix pioneered semantic search technology and semantic analysis of social media.

Anand also was a Founding Partner of Cambrian Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. His Silicon Valley investments include Facebook (one of the earliest angel investors in 2005), Lyft, Aster Data Systems (acquired by Teradata), Efficient Frontier (acquired by Adobe), Neoteris (acquired by Juniper), Transformic (acquired by Google), Kaltix (acquired by Google), AppNexus, HighTail, and several other innovative and successful companies.

Anand has also backed many companies in India. His India investments include Snapdeal, UrbanLadder, Jugnoo, Tracxn, DocsApp, India Infoline (IPO 2005), and Chaupaati (acquired by Future Group). He helped create and fund the IIT Madras Entrepreneurship Fund to boost entrepreneurship at his alma mater, IIT Madras.

In 1996, Anand co-founded Junglee, an e-commerce pioneer. As Chief Technology Officer, Anand played a key role in developing Junglee's award-winning Virtual Database technology. In 1998, Amazon.com acquired Junglee for over $250 million.

Anand helped launch the transformation of Amazon.com from a retailer into a retail platform, enabling third-party retailers to sell on Amazon.com's website. Third-party sales now constitute a significant proportion of all transactions, representing Amazon's most profitable business segment. Anand also is a co-inventor of Amazon Mechanical Turk, which pioneered the concepts of crowdsourcing and hybrid Human-Machine computation.

As an academic, Anand’s research has focused at the intersection of database systems, the World-Wide Web, and social media. His research publications have won several awards at prestigious academic conferences, including three retrospective 10-year Best Paper awards at ACM SIGMOD, VLDB, and ICDT (these awards measure the impact of research, both on academia and industry, over a 10-year period).

Anand co-teaches a popular course on Data Mining at Stanford University. His textbook “Mining of Massive Datasets,” co-authored with Jeff Ullman, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011 (second edition 2014). It has been downloaded over 100,000 times and has been translated into several languages.

Anand obtained his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, where he won the President of India Gold Medal for graduating at the top of his class, and his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University. His work has been featured in hundreds of articles in leading national and international publications such as Business Week (cover) and the New York Times. In 2012, Fast Company magazine named Anand to its list of “100 Most Creative People in Business.” In 2013, Anand was named a Distinguished Alumnus by his alma mater, IIT Madras.

He shares his musings on Big Data, search, and social media on his influential blog Datawocky, whose motto is “More data (usually) beats better algorithms.”

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Sailesh Ramakrishnan

Prior to rocketship.vc, Sailesh was CTO and co-founder of LocBox (acquired by Square), a startup focussed on marketing for local businesses. Sailesh worked with Anand and Venky at their previous startup Kosmix, and continued on to Walmart as a Director of Engineering at @WalmartLabs. Before jumping into the startup world, Sailesh worked as a Computer Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center.

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Wang Lam

Wang joined rocketship.vc from @WalmartLabs, where he was a director following Walmart's acquisition of Kosmix, the startup he joined as it was being formed. Before that, Wang's dissertation work included contributions to the Stanford WebBase project and time exploring data systems at IBM Almaden.

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Greg Lahann

Greg Lahann’s career includes over 25 years of entrepreneurial and venture capital experience. In addition to his CFO role at rocketship.vc, Greg is also CFO Claremont Creek Ventures, a $300M early stage venture capital firm specializing in digital life sciences and energy. He is also the CFO for early stage companies Lumenetix, producer of color tunable LED light engines and Alta Energy, a marketplace for commercial renewable energy projects. Previously Greg was Managing Director at Novus Ventures and MK Global Ventures, both early stage venture capital firms with a total of $320 million under management, managing all financial and administrative elements of the funds and their management companies. At Novus and MK, Greg was actively involved in the operations of many of the portfolio companies, serving as their CFO and member of the boards of directors.

Greg began his career as a CPA with Price Waterhouse, directing audits for start-up to publicly traded companies. He holds a BS Degree in Accounting and Management from San Jose State University.

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Katelin Moore

Katelin Moore comes to Milliways from being the executive assistant to the CEO of several start-up companies which include: Efficient Frontier (acquired by Adobe Systems), Transpera (acquired by Tremor Media) and Linden Lab. Katelin earned her bachelor's degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

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