I’ve been building and investing in startups for the last 15 years. After growing up in the SF Bay Area born to an American mother of German, Irish, Scottish descent and immigrant Indian father, I went to Columbia undergrad where I studied Mathematics. After undergrad I started out doing investment banking, and after a quick year in early 2007 left to start my first company. I built mostly consumer products for 10 years aspiring to “connect the world” first with an anonymous social network called
(founded in 2006 while still in school) aimed at college students where we invented the “status update.” BoredAt was neck and neck with Facebook at college campuses in early 2006, and we eventually rolled out the anonymous platform to
as well. It became difficult to moderate the anonymous often risqué content and we ultimately shut the service down. Afterwards, I launched a daily deal site focused on events, local recommendation engine to discover new experiences, and location sharing apps
to stay connected better with close friends and family. We got influencers onboard and featured them as “Tastemakers” to uncover great local happenings, using a media / sports network given family ownership of the Sacramento Kings. My co-founder kept iterating in the space and the product ultimately evolved in to super successful influencer texting app
I also forged close relationships to Y Combinator along the way, iterating on product ideas alongside some of my far more successful peers in early 2006 who built the likes of Scribd, Justin TV, Dropbox, Box Reddit, Twitch, Weebly among others.
In 2015, after 10 years of iterating on consumer products (and one video analytics company where I got to flex my math background skills), I launched Soma Cap as a “fund built by founders for founders.” The idea was to combine 10 yrs of startup hustle lessons, unique insights learning from some of my legendary peers who went through YC in the first few batches, and my father’s enterprise experience and connections from building Tibco Software.
The mission with Soma Cap is investing in software automating the economy, and automating aspects within companies themselves as well. We aim to use unique connections to get the right resource to the right founder at the right time. We strive to back brilliant, passionate, mission-driven teams that are building products that can reach hundreds of millions of people and help push civilization forward.
Taking a step back, technology and entrepreneurship is sort of all I’ve ever known. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area fully immersed in the Silicon Valley, watching legendary technology companies built all around me starting from childhood. My father Vivek Ranadive built Tibco Software, which digitized Wall Street in the 90’s and scaled the company to over a billion in yearly revenue, profitability, powering many Fortune 500 co’s from banks to airlines, retailers, hotels, casino’s, other technology companies, health care providers, logistics companies (for ex powered Fedex), and even city and government services - for example Vivek traveled multiple times
to Vista Equity. Tibco was influential software which gave the Ranadive family decades of top exec / CEO level relationship building with many of the biggest companies in the world.
Vivek was also involved seed stage investing and mentoring several all time greats from Google to Yahoo, Salesforce, eBay among others - for example Larry and Sergey famously met some of their first angel investors at Vivek’s legendary annual holiday party. Vivek even mentored Steve Jobs as Steve built Next operating system, before Steve ultimately sold Next back to Apple and took over rule again and the rest is history.
Our mission with Soma Cap is to invest early stage (often first check) and roll out mentorship and connections to pour fuel on the fire along the full path to growth stage. We’re focused on consumer and enterprise software, and have been industry and geography agnostic building a diverse portfolio. We’ve seeded self driving car companies like
, to name a few. As children of immigrants, we have a global perspective and we’re not limited to investing in US companies. We’re excited to back teams building software in emerging markets - for example we were one of the first checks in the likes of
(payments in Southeast Asia), among others. Overall, Soma Cap portfolio companies have combined value over $30 billion (all were seed when we met).
Soma Cap’s secret sauce for helping founders:
Our diverse portfolio of over 200 startups, combined value over $30 billion that we can tap in to to help new startups with their first customer acquisition and mentorship from leaders in our portfolio
Tibco network - we can help close Tibco customers, the company Vivek Ranadive built (4.3b exit to Vista) and can also reach Vista portfolio companies for larger enterprise acquisition. Vista has over 60 multi billion dollar tech companies in their portfolio to help with customer acquisition
Influencer connections - we own the Sacramento Kings NBA team which gives vast contacts in media, sports and entertainment. Many of the top artists in the world play at our newly built Golden 1 arena, the
. We can reach any top artists or athletes globally. We’re also building over 200 acres of land in downtown Sacramento in addition to the arena, aiming to create a “smart city,” which also provides deep connections in construction, real estate, and farming as Sacramento is the “breadbasket of the country”
5. High integrity - good heart, good character, will always try to do the right thing
About this Doc
We strive to back brilliant, driven, thoughtful, high integrity teams and get the right resource to the right founder at the right time. Within Soma Cap we seek to build a family, working with people we love doing meaningful work and creating meaningful relationships with high transparency and honesty. We aim to collaborate with LP’s and co-investors with similar ideologies as ourselves but from diverse backgrounds so we can always be learning, stretch human imagination together, create value for decades to come and play a small part in pushing civilization forward. You can follow my colleague Jessica Li