Karan Mehandru Joins Madrona as a Managing Director

Karan Mehandru Joins Madrona as a Managing Director

Experienced venture investor and operating executive joins Madrona as a Managing Director, expanding full-stack venture capacity to partner with founders across all stages; Firm opens office in Silicon Valley

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Madrona Venture Group today announced that Karan Mehandru is joining the firm’s investment team as a Managing Director. With fifteen years of experience as a venture investor and board member for rapidly scaling private businesses, Karan brings a wealth of experience working closely with founders, their teams, and partners to build lasting and exceptional companies. This full-stack approach at all stages of company growth mirrors the Madrona philosophy of venture investing.

“We have worked closely with Karan for over a decade and been consistently impressed with how he earns the trust of founders and takes a hands-on approach in working with early-stage companies,” said Madrona Managing Director Matt McIlwain. “He is a dynamic, creative problem solver who brings a full-stack approach, including company building expertise, long-term capital allocation, exceptional company engagement, and overall good judgment. We are excited to have him join the Madrona team to invest in companies from seed to acceleration stage and support our existing companies.”

“When the team at Madrona approached me, I was immediately intrigued. I had actively worked with several of the team on various boards, lived in the Pacific Northwest for over a decade, and traveled frequently to the area witnessing the growth of the startup community in Seattle and the growing footprint of the firm. And I knew the respect the firm commanded with both founders and investors,” said Karan. “Our goals are aligned to build on the firm’s incredible success while remaining true to the values of bringing curiosity, integrity, and a pursuit of excellence to every interaction.”

Karan will be based in Silicon Valley, opening a Madrona office in Palo Alto to expand the firm’s Bay Area network and team while bringing a deep understanding of Seattle innovation closer to that market.

“Madrona’s ability to help companies grow has extended beyond the PNW for years, including investments in Snowflake, UiPath, Coda, Clari, and CommerceIQ; and especially as the firm has raised specific funds to help companies based anywhere accelerate beyond product-market fit. The presence in the valley will be valuable to existing companies and the entrepreneurs who are building companies at any stage in intelligent applications, enterprise, marketplaces, data infrastructure, and more,” said Madrona Managing Director S. (Soma) Somasegar.

“The Seattle mindset is different. It is as ambitious as the valley and brings with it a focus on long-term, non-fad investing, along with deep expertise in building companies operating in the cloud and with AI/ML. I’m excited to partner with the team in Seattle and looking forward to bringing an empathetic and ambitious mindset to our work in the valley and beyond,” said Karan.

Immediately prior to Madrona, Mehandru led the venture capital practice at STEADFAST Capital, where he focused on AI, enterprise software, future of work, fintech, and related sectors. He led acceleration stage investments in, and partnered with, exceptional companies like Zapier, Klaviyo, Jumpcloud, Algolia, LucidChart, Sendbird, Wealthsimple, Pipefy, and others. Before Steadfast, Mehandru spent more than a decade at Trinity Ventures investing in early and acceleration stage founders and teams, including Auth0 (acquired by OKTA), Outreach, and Cohesity, which together have a current + exit valuation of over $10 Billion. Other companies he invested in at Trinity include Madrona portfolio companies, CommerceIQ and Jama Software. For a complete list of Karan’s investments – (https://www.madrona.com/team-profiles/karan-mehandru/).

Karan started his venture career at Scale Venture Partners, working with mid-stage companies. Prior to that, he worked in operating roles across product development, marketing, and sales for startups and established technology companies.

More here (link to bio)

The Madrona team is currently investing out of Fund 8 and Acceleration Fund 2, announced in early 2020. Fund 8 focuses primarily on Seed and Series A companies based in the Pacific Northwest. The Acceleration Fund focuses on Series B stage companies and beyond anywhere in North America with an emphasis on intelligent applications leveraging applied AI/ML and cloud computing. The firm has invested in companies based in Utah, California, Ohio, and elsewhere over the last several years with the acceleration fund strategy.

Karan joins a growing investment team that has added seven new investors to the group over the last two and a half years. https://www.madrona.com/people/

About Madrona

Madrona (www.madrona.com) is a venture capital firm based in Seattle, WA. With more than 25 years of investing in early-stage technology companies, the firm has worked with founders from day one to help build their company for the long run. Madrona invests predominantly in seed and Series A rounds across the information technology spectrum and in acceleration stage companies building intelligent applications. Madrona manages over $2.4 billion and was an early investor in companies such as Amazon, Smartsheet, Rover, Nautilus, Redfin, and Snowflake.


Erika Shaffer, [email protected], 206-972-5514

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