Gaurav GuptaPartner. Menlo Park. Enterprise.
Trust is critical to a successful VC - Founder partnership, and honesty and transparency is the key.
Gaurav’s interest in technology began when he was in the 2nd grade and his father brought home their family’s first computer, an Apple IIc. “The pursuit of understanding the magic that makes computers work,” said Gaurav, eventually led him to major in Electrical Engineering at Princeton, where he also ended up falling in love with philosophy and the study of human nature. He realized he wanted to not only understand how technology is built but also how it can transform peoples’ lives.
After graduating, Gaurav spent time working at the McKenna Group, a strategy consulting firm focused on high-tech companies and startups, and then later at Gateway, a PC company where he was part of a turnaround team, before getting his MBA at Harvard. Eventually, Gaurav’s lifelong interest in technology led him to Silicon Valley and a 10+ year career in product at Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK), one of the first big data companies (before ‘big data’ was even a term), and then Elastic (NYSE: ESTC). As VP of Product at both companies, he helped them grow from early-stage startups to IPOs, now worth a combined $25B+.
Over the years, Gaurav has successfully shipped, marketed, and sold almost every variant of software ranging from commercial, open source, cloud, and across domains that span log analytics, metrics, security, APM, business analytics, machine learning, IoT and search. More recently, he’s been an advisor and angel investor to over a dozen startups.
“I saw many founders were struggling with existential questions around product-market fit,” said Gaurav. “As a product person, I am deeply passionate about solving these challenges and found my experience at both Splunk and Elastic gave me a unique perspective on how to build enduring technology platforms that serve many use-cases.”
After knowing the Lightspeed family for several years, Gaurav joined the firm as an Enterprise Partner in 2019. “I love being a VC and helping entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of hiring great people, building products that users love, and growing and scaling their companies.”
As the son of two doctors and Indian immigrants, Gaurav learned at an early age the importance of compassion, empathy, and taking care of people. “My parents taught me how to put myself in other people’s shoes and that human beings can always find common ground.” He cherishes time with his family, especially in the outdoors and exploring nature. He also loves to cook, a passion he inherited from his mother. “Cooking has taught me to be open to new ideas, value diversity, and realize that almost anything, no matter how sacred it seems, can be reinvented.”