The Neythri Futures Fund (NFF) recently announced the close of Fund I, oversubscribed at $10M and supported by trailblazing South Asian women and male allies. NFF’s mission is to address the diversity gap in venture by harnessing the investing power of South Asian women. The fund aims to foster diverse entrepreneurial teams. Mythili Sankaran, tech entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Neythri.org, founded Neythri Futures Fund. Neythri.org is a global community of South Asian professional women. The fund brings together an enviable roster of over 200 Limited Partners (LPs). Ninety percent are South Asian women and 70 percent first-time investors. The fund invests in enterprise B2B startups led by diverse teams building innovative solutions for the global market. It has already made its first nine investments.
Addressing a persistent diversity gap
Only 4.9 percent of U.S.-based VC partners are women. There is a substantial pipeline of South Asian women engineers and operators. However, a dismal 0.4 percent of VC partners are South Asian women. A recent study released by Crunchbase shows disheartening data on how investing in female founders has declined to 2.2 percent in 2021. This is the case despite the robust VC climate. Industry data confirms that an effective way to close the funding gap is to create more diverse funds. This allows for a “both sides of the table” change. Diverse teams should manage these funds with the mission of supporting diverse founders.
“Neythri Futures Fund is specifically designed for South Asian women to strengthen their investing journey and effect top-down change,” said Mythili Sankaran, Founding Managing Partner of the Neythri Futures Fund. “NFF provides a powerful vehicle to unleash the potential of South Asian women as funders and founders of game changing companies and break down barriers and stereotypes. We will build on the reputation of the community as trailblazing CEOs of public companies, founders of breakout startups and leaders in venture to increase representation at the highest levels.”
Women on a mission to close the diversity gap
South Asian women CXOs, board members, operating executives and investors serve as Limited Partners, including:
- Leela Srinivasan, CMO of Checkout.com
- Rupal Hollenbeck, CMO of Cerebras Systems
- Shobhana Ahluwalia, CIO of Peloton
- Shalini Govil-Pai, VP and GM, TV @Google, at Google
- Rohini Chakravarthy, Partner at NGP Capital
- Kirthiga Reddy, Investment Partner at Softbank Investment Advisors
- Sundari Mitra, Chief Incubation Officer at Intel
- Bhawna Singh, Senior VP of Engineering at Auth0
Several South Asian male tech CEOs, executives and prominent venture capitalists also serve as limited partners:
- Raghu Raghuram, CEO at VMware
- Nick Mehta, CEO at Gainsight
- Navin Chaddha, Managing Director at Mayfield Fund
- Somesh Dash, General Partner at IVP
“As a long time tech executive and operator, I had been watching startups and venture investments from the sidelines,” said Monica Kumar, Senior Vice President at Nutanix and a Founding Limited Partner at Neythri Futures Fund. “I’m thrilled to be part of NFF and have a voice in shaping the investment community and support and build diverse founding teams and leaders. As a first time investor, I can say that I am finally putting my money where my mouth is.”
See here for a detailed list of NFF’s investors.
“If you start with diverse investors who have access to a diverse talent pool to both invest in and hire from, the equation changes dramatically. It allows for a system that goes beyond intent and supports the founders to execute their diversity goals. This thesis is what got me involved in the Neythri Futures Fund,” said Roli Saxena, President, AdRoll and Partner on the Investment Committee at Neythri Futures Fund.
Since its inception, NFF has been flooded with prospective LPs and deals, as high growth startups seek a valuable layer of validation through endorsement by female investors. Beyond capital, NFF’s portfolio companies benefit from access to the fund’s network of influential operators and investors who aim to support founding teams as mentors, advisors and connectors. Through its affiliation with sister organization, Neythri.org, the fund also brings an extended network of South Asian women leaders representing board directors, C-suite and senior executives.
NFF’s early investments include groundbreaking startups such as Alchemy.io, Apollo GraphQL, Cacheflow, Neeva, Orum.io, Setsail, Synctera, Vendia and Webscale.
To learn more about Neythri Futures Fund, visit https://www.neythrifuturesfund.com.
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