Bejul SomaiaPartner. Global.
Bejul is a senior leader at Lightspeed with more than twenty five years of experience as a builder and early stage investor, and has helped expand the firm’s canvas by spearheading several of Lightspeed’s global offices and strategic initiatives.
He joined Lightspeed in 2008, sensing “a rare opportunity to help build the firm’s practice in India from the ground up, while supporting Founders in doing the same in their startups. To have the privilege of being able to influence incredibly talented people,” he says, “is a remarkable responsibility and a remarkable gift.”
Bejul is passionate about serving exceptional founders from their earliest stages, leading the firm’s early investments in a number of pioneering companies that have emerged as market-leaders, including India Energy Exchange (NSE:IEX), OYO, Udaan and MagicPin, and returning over $1 billion to investors. In addition to earning recognition for his work as an investor by winning the Midas Touch award for best venture capital investor in India in 2019, Bejul helped build one of the deepest teams and strongest venture franchises in India. In 2020, he helped open the firm’s Southeast Asia practice and supported the launch of Lightspeed’s European practice shortly thereafter.
Along the way, Bejul says he learned how to embrace ambiguity, think differently about risk, and encourage Founders and investors to be bold and visionary in their work.
“To realize your potential, you have to be willing to break with convention,” Bejul says. After receiving his BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and later an MBA from Harvard Business School, he joined a venture-backed startup in the U.S. as an early employee, which changed the arc of his career, and his learning journey. When the company was acquired in 2001, he joined the investment team at General Catalyst, where he learned to “stay focused on the size of the prize, and whether it was worth winning, rather than the details of what can get in the way.” He soon started craving more experience as an operator, so in 2003 he started a company focused on local search.
Moving from operating to venture twice has given Bejul perspective and empathy that he shares with Founders–especially those who have cultivated their own insights and demonstrate a strong sense of purpose, as well as deep clarity about their market and opportunity. One of the first questions he’ll ask of a Founder is “Why are you doing this?” If the answer is superficial, it’s not a great fit.
Bejul builds deep partnerships with Founders based on a high degree of alignment and a foundation of trust. “The relationships I’ve been able to grow are really the most precious part of this business,” he says.