Elston

Sandeep Murthy

Partner, Lightbox India Advisors

As an early investor in InMobi, InfoEdge and Shopclues, three of India's billion dollar technology companies, Sandeep Murthy is one of the builders of India's Internet economy. And he hasn't just seen the highs and lows play out as an investor, but actually roughed it out in operational roles including one as the CEO ofCleartrip in 2006 for three years.

A dreamer from the start, who doesn’t believe in choosing between “this or that” he did his undergrad in both business and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Like all good Penn grads he dove into investment banking. However, since it was the height of the dot.com boom, he did it a little differently by moving out to Palo Alto, California to join CSFB Technology Group.

After teaming up with a friend to build a digital music company that was incubated by Sony Music – 10 years too early. He ended up selling the company to Sony after the Internet bubble burst. After a few years of living the Bay Area dream, he moved to New York to join InterActive Corp (IAC) the owners of Expedia, TicketMaster, Home Shopping Network where he helped launch Gifts.com. He started to explore the India technology opportunity and ultimately moved to Mumbai to manage investments for Sherpalo Ventures, a fund based out of Menlo Park in California.

Today he's a co-founder and partner at Lightbox, aMumbai-based venture capital firm investing in Indian consumer technology companies. He has raised over $350M from leading investors. His most recent investments include Droom, Faasos, Furlenco and AI-platform Embibe, which got a $185MM investment commitment from Reliance, India's internet super power. This is the largest AI investment in edtech any where in the world.

Most of his time is spent figuring how to make something unprecedented happen. With an all-in, nothing-held-back style, he loves diving in, getting to the heart of a matter, trying new things and getting as many people as possible involved. This approach helps to find multiple solutions: some surprising, others straightforward.

In a somewhat unpredictable market, Sandeep’s investment success stems from a combination of deep product instinct and unconventional thinking, that has been the basis of all his investments — from pre-revenue startups to multi-billion-dollar businesses.

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