Unique South Asian Women Led Neythri Futures Fund Addresses Diversity Gap in Venture
The Neythri Futures Fund (NFF) today announced the close of Fund I, oversubscribed at $10M and supported by trailblazing South Asian women and male allies. NFF's mission is to address the diversity gap in venture by harnessing the investing power of South Asian women and fostering diverse entrepreneurial teams. Neythri Futures Fund is founded and led by Mythili Sankaran, tech entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Neythri.org, a global community of South Asian professional women. The fund brings together an enviable roster of over 200 Limited Partners (LPs), with 90% South Asian women and 70% first-time investors. The fund invests in enterprise B2B startups led by diverse teams building innovative solutions for the global market and has already made its first 9 investments.
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(Graphic: Business Wire)
Only 4.9% of U.S.-based VC partners are women and while there is a substantial pipeline of South Asian women engineers and operators, a dismal 0.4% of VC partners are South Asian women. A recent study released by Crunchbase shows disheartening data on how investing in female founders has declined to 2.2% in 201, despite the robust VC climate. Industry data confirms that an effective way to close the funding gap is to create more diverse funds for a "both sides of the table" change - funds that are managed by diverse teams with the mission of supporting diverse founders.
"Neythri Futures Fund is specifically designed for South Asian women to strengthen their investing journey and effect top-down change," said Mythili Sankaran, Founding Managing Partner of the Neythri Futures Fund. "NFF provides a powerful vehicle to unleash the potential of South Asian women as funders and founders of game changing companies and break down barriers and stereotypes. We will build on the reputation of the community as trailblazing CEOs of public companies, founders of breakout startups, and leaders in venture to increase representation at the highest levels."
A New Wave Of Startup Investing
The fund is proud to count several South Asian women CXOs, board members, operating executives and investors such as Leela Srinivasan (Checkout.com), Rupal Hollenbeck (Cerebras Systems), Shobhana Ahluwalia (Peloton), Shalini Govil-Pai (Google (News - Alert)), Rohini Chakravarthy (NGP Capital), Kirthiga Reddy (formerly Softbank), Sundari Mitra (Intel), Bhawna Singh (Auth0) and others as Limited Partners. Several South Asian male tech CEOs, executives and prominent venture capitalists also serve as limited partners including Raghu Raghuram (VMWare), Nick Mehta (Gainsight), Navin Chaddha (Mayfield Fund), Somesh Dash (IVP) among others.
"As a long time tech executive and operator, I had been watching startups and venture investments from the sidelines," said Monica Kumar, Senior Vice President at Nutanix and a Founding Limited Partner at Neythri Futures Fund. "I'm thrilled to be part of NFF and have a voice in shaping the investment community and support and build diverse founding teams and leaders. As a first time investor, I can say that I am finally putting my money where my mouth is."
A detailed list of NFF's investors can be found here.
A Value Proposition That Goes Beyond Capital
"If you start with diverse investors who have access to a diverse talent pool to both invest in and hire from, the equation changes dramatically. It allows for a system that goes beyond intent and supports the founders to execute their diversity goals. This thesis is what got me involved in the Neythri Futures Fund," said Roli Saxena, President, AdRoll and Partner on the Investment Committee at Neythri Futures Fund.
Since its inception, NFF has been flooded with prospective LPs and deals, as high growth startups seek a valuable layer of validation through endorsement by female investors. Beyond capital, NFF's portfolio companies benefit from access to the fund's network of influential operators and investors who are committed to supporting founding teams as mentors, advisors and connectors. Through its affiliation with sister organization, Neythri.org, the fund also brings an extended network of South Asian women leaders representing board directors, C-suite and senior executives.
NFF's early investments include groundbreaking startups such as Alchemy.io, Apollo GraphQL, Cacheflow, Neeva, Orum.io, Setsail, Synctera, Vendia and Webscale.
To learn more about Neythri Futures Fund, visit https://www.neythrifuturesfund.com.
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