Former Facebook India MD Kirthiga Reddy is joining the team that manages SoftBank’s Vision Fund - yes, the same one that many say disrupted the venture capital business.
Former Facebook executive Kirthiga Reddy just became the first female venture partner at SoftBank and will work as part of SoftBank Investment Advisors, the team that manages the massive Vision Fund.
In a LinkedIn post, she wrote,
“After over seven incredible years at Facebook -- starting as first employee and Managing Director for Facebook India and the last two years at HQ as Managing Global Client Partner and Emerging Markets Lead -- I'm thrilled to join SoftBank Investment Advisers as their first Venture Partner.”
Reddy will now be based out of Silicon Valley and will 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”.
Prior to this, Reddy was with Facebook for eight years, and is also the Chairperson of Stanford Business School Management Board. According to her LinkedIn profile, she is also a mentor at Sequoia Ascent Programme.
SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund has been touted as one of the biggest disruptors of the venture capital business, and has committed to invest close to $65 billion in companies like Uber, WeWork and Didi.
Earlier this year, when SoftBank Founder Masayoshi Son was asked about all Vision Fund partners being men, he responded that he had “no prejudice of any kind”.
Media reports also suggest that Rajeev Misra, who heads the Vision Fund, had been working towards hiring more women into his crew, including at the level of managing partners.
Reddy will be joining as the fund’s first venture partner, and the company said that she may be an ‘investing partner’ if she chooses to focus 100 percent of her time on it. SoftBank also said it is actively recruiting, especially for female investors even at more senior levels.
Worldwide, women are a small minority in the venture capital business. According to the Crunchbase Women in Venture report for 2017, the percentage of women partners at the top 100 VC firms in the US edged up to 8 percent, and eight firms had added a female partner for the first time.