Silicon Valley investors welcome Indian talent for next big idea


Anywhere between 10% and 20% of technology startups in the Bay Area have Indian founders, according to Silicon Valley observers.Anywhere between 10% and 20% of technology startups in the Bay Area have Indian founders, according to Silicon Valley observers.

SAN FRANCISCO: When Ajay Royan founded Mithril Capital Management, a growth-stage venture firm co-founded by Facebook’s first professional investor Peter Thiel, he was tasked with “building the Berkshire Hathaway of the tech industry”. Increasingly that task involves looking at opportunities in India, said Royan — the managing general partner, born in Tanjore, raised in Abu Dhabi and educated in the United States — and other Silicon Valley venture funders. 

“I am actively looking at India,” says Royan in a recent interview at a spacious, glasswalled conference room on the third floor of Mithril’s office in San Francisco. Outside, from the other end of the office, one can make out the Golden Gate bridge. Mithril has a billion-dollar fund, which has raised $537 million (Rs 3300 crore) so far.

The 34-year-old is among a growing group of investors searching for the next big innovation from India, a country whose talent has contributed immensely to the growth of Silicon Valley as the ultimate destination for technology and entrepreneurship. Over the years, Indians who migrated to the Valley have built large immigrant networks, worked at top technology corporations, created jobs and invested in startups.

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