SV member

 

Neil Sadaranganey

Managing Director

Neil leads the team responsible for investments and business development. Neil focuses on stage agnostic investments in mobile and e-commerce. Neil led Docomo’s investments in Cenrify, Muzy, Fab, Nextbit, Anfacto, Influitive and Nok Nok Labs. His current investments also include Couchbase.

Prior to Docomo, Neil spent 6 years building Bay Partners Software as a Service and digital media practices. As a General Partner he led the firm’s early investments in Eloqua which was acquired by Oracle after going public in 2012 and Cornerstone onDemand another IPO. Cornerstone (CSOD) is the leader and most valuable company in the talent management space. Neil served as a board director for Cornerstone onDemand, Like.com (acquired by Google), Eventful (acquired by CBS), LiveMedia and Hiplogic (acquired by Zynga).

Before venture capital, Neil spent 10 years as a product executive in technology companies of all sizes. Neil was part of the founding team of Afara Websystems which was acquired by Sun Microsystems. Afara's technology is the foundation of a multi-billion server product line at Oracle. Neil led product teams at Good Technology, RealNetworks and Sun Microsystems where he launched several new products. He began his career as a consultant with Accenture and IBM.

Neil has a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Stanford University.

Christina Ku

Director

Christina Ku is a venture capital professional investing in consumer internet, mobile, big data and cloud startups. She has evaluated, researched and assessed the viability of thousands of consumer internet businesses and new ventures for Intel, Vodafone and institutional capital firms. At her roles in investment research, corporate development and investment analysis, she has tracked public internet and mobile companies which provide her with a well-rounded perspective on emerging technologies (US, Europe), new markets, business models and financial diligence.

She started her career as an investment banker at Hambrecht & Quist, invested in emerging mobile companies such as Mobileway (sold to Sybase for $400 million) for Intel Capital and created new market development for Intel's Consumer Electronics Group. At Triplepoint Capital, she led the debt financing for 50 companies, primarily in the social networking space such as Facebook and Slide (sold to Google for $182 million). She also started one of the first online beauty social ecommerce startup at the Shimmer Group Inc.

Her most recent investments for Docomo were Netpulse, Elemental Technologies (acquired by Amazon) and Cyphort.

Christina received her MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Chicago Booth and BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Christopher Hermanowicz

Principal

Christopher is a venture capital professional focused on investments in B2B, intelligent systems, big data, IoT and other related areas. He brings a mix of banking, venture capital, and operational experience working at several early-stage technology companies. Chris has spent his entire career in the venture capital ecosystem and has experience sourcing and evaluating investments in companies and funds, and in managing transactions and business development initiatives.

Chris started his career managing investments in venture capital and private equity for Limited Partners like CalPERS and Oak Hill, and worked as a placement agent and secondary market advisor at Probitas Partners (closed $340m in secondary transactions and raised several funds for top-tier VCs). Chris was later a Co-founder and CEO of an enterprise communication and intelligent systems startup, and worked for several VC-backed, Y-Combinator and TechStars companies in Business Development, Sales and Product Strategy. He also worked at Morgan Stanley and Xpert Financial, sourcing and evaluating numerous technology companies for investment.

Chris has a BA in Economics and International Relations for from the University of California, Davis and a certificate from the National University of Singapore in East Asian Economic Studies.

Daisuke Kikuchi

Manager

Daisuke “Dice-K”, is responsible for investments and business development in VR/MR, AI/ML, IoT, Robotics, Retail Tech and Mobility Tech. He has 15+ years of experience in developing IoT/AI/Mobile Systems, from PoC to launch which applied 130 patents.

Prior to being an investor in Bay Area, he founded a startup "39Meister" that solved 50+ of the pain of hardware startups struggling with design and production by introducing Lean-Manufacturing methods. He came up with the idea of the business when he was mentor of startups in an acceleration program and discovered that most of hardware startups were facing common problems of prototyping, PoC and manufacturing.

One of the businesses he kick-started was Carrier Billing Service "SP-mode" for smartphone content providers, co-developed with Boku and net-m. His team partnered with thousands of content providers including Google, Facebook and Spotify. Another businesses he initiated was a Point-Earning and Indoor location service "Shoplat" and "Air Stamp" by developing a special Ultra-Sonic Beacon and cloud system with administrative management of team across Docomo and other startup companies. He also has experience of producing 10+ TV Shows/Cinema Movies as an assistant director/producer in Japanese top media company, Nippon Television.

He obtained an MBA in Entrepreneurship from McGill University. He also holds MOT/ M.Tech as valedictorian from Tokyo Institute of Technology, and M.Eng.(E.E). He was selected as "Next Innovator: Japan's leading entrepreneur" by the Japanese Government.

Yurie Iino

Manager

Yurie is responsible for investments and business development in VR/XR, AI, workinnovation and entertainment.
She has nearly 10 years of experience in planning AI/chatbot/IoT/fintech consumer services from PoC to launch.

Prior to becoming an investor in the Bay Area, She was a product leader on a big 100+ person project where She planned and developed AI/chatbot services while collaborating with the planning and development teams. She had over 10 million users and were featured in the media and on television.
She also planned PFM and IoT services, which received media coverage and other attention.
Prior to that, she was a mobile application related to customer support and won a departmental award for increasing the number of users sevenfold.
She has worked as a planning specialist in various areas of services.

Yurie has a master's degree in Informatics from Tokyo Denki University.

Takuya (TK) Shimojo

Manager

TK has a passion for startups leveraging cutting-edge technologies to change industries and society. He focuses on investments in Mobile, IoT, Energy, Drones and Automated vehicles, Agtech and other related areas.

TK started his career as a research engineer at NTT DOCOMO. He initiated and led a project to investigate the world’s first 5G mobile network, including a 1,000-times-higher data rate and 1 millisecond ultra-low latency as a highly knowledgeable cutting-edge technology specialist. He also pioneered an integration trial utilizing 5G with various partners from scratch and enable the use of innovative services planned for expanding new business opportunities.

TK received his MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management (Class of 2020), ME in Electronic and Information Systems from the University of Tokyo, and BE in Information and Communication Systems from Tokyo Metropolitan University.