team member

Karan Mehandru

Where did you work before Trinity Ventures?

Prior to my venture career, I spent ten years as an operator in various roles in product management, marketing and sales. In many ways the products created by the companies I’ve invested in solve a need that I had as an operator, which gives me a unique lens into understanding the pain points and the solutions.

What is your investment focus and why?

I take a thematic approach to investing and focus on B2B companies that are capitalizing on secular trends like consumerization of the enterprise, Software as a Service, Big Data and mobile. The advents in cloud computing, SaaS as a delivery and consumption model, online customer acquisition techniques and advancements in UX and UI have paved the way for massive disruption in the enterprise, and opened up the mid-market in almost every vertical, which continues to be a core focus area for me.

What unique contributions would you make to a company as a VC?

In the companies I’m involved with, I wear several different hats ranging from CEO counsel to the “SaaS metrics expert.” In most cases I aim to be a resource for the CEO and other executive team members in hiring, product strategy, financing, marketing and sales. I realize that VCs are a service provider to entrepreneurs, and I work hard to earn their trust by inspiring them to go beyond their perceived limits, being collaborative and intellectually honest with them and, most importantly, being available for them – whether it’s 9 AM in the morning on a Monday or 11 PM at night on a Saturday.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a VC?

Among the many things that I enjoy and find motivating in this profession, the vast majority tie back to my relationship with my portfolio CEOs. Figuring out solutions to complex problems in the face of ambiguous information, working with the smartest minds, sharing in their successes (and failures), riding that emotional startup roller coaster, supporting them, fighting for them, inspiring them and celebrating with them when they achieve their professional and personal goals, rank at the very top and inspire me to give my all in helping them achieve their goals.

Education

  • M.Sc., Management Science, Stanford University

  • B.Eng. with Honors, Electrical Engineering, Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada

Past Investments

  • MileIQ (acquired by Microsoft)