Japan’s SoftBank Group, the largest technology investor in India, has hired former Facebook executive Kirthiga Reddy as a venture partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, which advises the $100 billion Vision Fund.
Reddy, who started as the first employee of Facebook India and eventually became its managing director, is the first woman to join the team of nearly a dozen people who manage the world’s largest technology-focused investment fund. Rajeev Misra is the chief executive of SoftBank Investment Advisers and leads the team that runs the company's Vision Fund.
In a Facebook post, a SoftBank spokesperson said Reddy will work closely with SoftBank Investment Advisers’ senior managing partner Deep Nishar “on global investments and portfolio management in frontier tech and enterprise technology”. She will be based out of San Carlos, Silicon Valley.
“We are very excited to welcome Kirthiga Reddy to the SoftBank family. She joins us from Facebook where she built many of their critical operations around the world, including her work in India and her focus on emerging and high-growth markets like Brazil and South Africa. She serves as Chair, Stanford Business School Management Board. With her deep business and technical experience, Kirthiga will bring a set of new perspectives and geographical insights to SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA).”
SoftBank has invested over $8 billion into Indian start-ups such as Ola, PolicyBazaar, Grofers, OYO and Paytm. Globally, it has backed firms such as Uber Technologies Inc., Didi Chuxing and WeWork.
In a LinkedIn post which was also shared on Facebook, Reddy said she will focus on artificial intelligence, robotics and IoT (Internet of Things), among others, and is looking forward to bringing her technical and business expertise to the Vision Fund team.
“I look forward to contributing to their mission, to positively shape the future by seeking to back the boldest, most transformative, optimistic ideas of today. Like in other investment firms, the venture partner role enables quick integration of new talent from non-investing backgrounds, which is a perfect fit for me. I look forward to bringing my technical and business expertise—from both enterprise and consumer technology, in developed and emerging markets—to the Vision Fund team. I’m excited to be working closely with Deep Nishar on frontier technologies—AI, robotics, health tech, bio engineering, semis, IoT, quantum computing, and more—that will enable the next stage of the information revolution.”
Last month, SoftBank named Sumer Juneja as the head of its India operations. Juneja was earlier a partner with Norwest Venture Partners, a venture capital firm.