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Guru Chahal

"The entrepreneurial journey is hard, which I know from experience. The journey to building a long-lasting company starts with tremendous drive, a learning mindset, and the grit to power through the dips."

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers – the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently…”.

Guru loves these lines from that classic Apple Ad because he believes few things better describe those with the singular goal to create market-leading platforms with outsized impact.

After his last startup was acquired (Nuova Systems acquired by Cisco), Guru joined Lightspeed as an investor in 2012 working with the partnership on investments in Zscaler (IPO), Avere Systems (acquired by Microsoft) and finally Avi Networks (industry leading application network services platform).

Guru believed the core idea behind Avi Networks was so powerful that he joined the founding team as the 4th co-founder. In just a few years, they built out the business from an idea to a platform that serves over 20% of Fortune 50 businesses today, among hundreds of other customers.

After a few years at Avi Networks, Guru decided to focus his time and energy back on venture – using the lessons from his own entrepreneurial journey to help early-stage founders – and returned to his Lightspeed roots in early 2019.

“I’ve been in startups through most of my career. My operational experience spans sitting in a room with my co-founders and not much else, to building billion dollar run rate products,” said Guru. “During this journey, I’ve run product management, marketing, strategy, and have even been the early stage sales rep cold calling customers. I bring this experience to every interaction I have with founding teams – a deep understanding of technology and how to monetize it.”

Guru primarily’ invests in Enterprise sectors such as security, DevOps, Open Source technologies, cloud infrastructure, and application development. “These areas are seeing extremely rapid innovation and offer significant value creation opportunities for both entrepreneurs and investors,” said Guru.  

A self-proclaimed geek at heart, Guru often spends weekends tinkering with an open source project, or just grabbing coffee with a founding team and “making plans for world domination!”

 

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