Archive for February, 2008

What’s a great team?

Well, this came out of a comment on our fund announcement post. Someone asked, what do we mean by a great team. While it is almost impossible to provide a precise definition of the same, I would like to offer some things that we look for. Every team might not have all of them, but these matter (in no particular order):

  • Hunger and passion, sense of purpose driving the specific business
  • Relevant experience and execution capability
  • Alignment of objectives – focus on scale, profitability and value creation/realization
  • Team dynamics and ability to work together
  • Leadership qualities such as driving change, hiring and developing top talent
  • Value system match – Integrity, Intelligence and Intellectual honesty

I could elaborate on each of these, and that would make up a book. I do realize that I might have walked into a minefield with this, but feel free 🙂

Canaan closes $650M fund

Happy to report that we have announced closure of our eighth fund at $650M. The fund will continue to focus on early stage technology businesses in US, India and Israel. India could account for upto 25% of the fund commitments.

For our India operations, this is a significant increase in commitment. We started investing in India in 2000, and opened our office here in Mar 2006 – one of the very early VCs to do so. Over past couple of years, we have made four investments. More importantly, we have been able to establish a finer understanding of the Indian venture opportunity amongst the entire partnership. Going into our next fund, we feel more and more convinced about the potential that India offers, and more educated about the kind of opportunities we would involve ourselves in. The broad areas of investment will continue to be Internet, Mobile applications, Managed services, Software products, Transaction platforms and the like.

Over past couple of years, we have also grown our team to respond to the increasing set of opportunities we see in India. Recently, we brought Harish Gandhi on board, and he has been a great addition to the team.

Look forward to more exciting times ahead, and an opportunity to partner with great teams in building great businesses.