March and April are the most exciting months of the NFL offseason. Free agency begins in March and the NFL draft takes place in April. As a fan, you get to watch your favorite team add new players as they take aim at the coveted Lombardi Trophy. This time of the year also reminds us that the perennial playoff teams — the Patriots, Steelers, and Packers — were all crafted using the same formula: build a strong core team through the draft and complement them with up and coming players in free agency.
At Lightspeed, we have taken a similar approach to building our organization over the years. With the announcement of our latest fund, our regular season is now approaching. In preparation for the new fund, we have enhanced our enterprise team by adding two new partners through the draft and free agency.
We are thrilled to welcome Ajay Sudan, who brings with him 15 years of operating experience including six years at Palantir where he was responsible for launching several new businesses, including their healthcare business, which he grew to $100M+ in sales. Prior to that, he worked at Microsoft in product management and marketing. He holds an MBA from Harvard and a master’s degree in computer engineering from MIT. While at MIT, Ajay co-authored papers related to distributed systems, storage and secure processing. We are very happy to have Ajay signed on to the Lightspeed team.
We also added Sudip Chakrabarti. Sudip joins us from Andreessen Horowitz where he focused on emerging companies in the datacenter, analytics, security, and cloud sectors, including significant experience working with open source business models and university spinouts. Sudip brings five years of investing experience and holds an ECE from IIT, an MBA from Wharton, and a PhD in Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech. He had also cofounded two software companies — one of which commercialized his PhD research. We’re excited to have Sudip bring his deep sector knowledge and business model expertise to our existing enterprise platform that includes early investments in companies such as AppDynamics, Datastax, ExtremIO, FusionIO, MapR, Mulesoft, Nimble Storage, Nutanix, Riverbed, and Tintri.
We are building a strong organization with amazing talent that we believe leaves us well positioned to battle for the playoffs year in and year out. Please join us in welcoming Ajay and Sudip to the Lightspeed team.