Alok Mittal, managing director of Canaan Partners, is turning an entrepreneur, according to a blog post. Mittal will disassociate himself from fresh investment activity of the Silicon Valley VC firm in the country, while he will continue to manage the firm's existing investments in India.
Mittal is planning to launch a startup while at the same time continuing to support Canaan’s existing portfolio firms, he confirmed to VCCircle.
Earlier on Thursday, he said in the blog post he is on a lookout for a co-founder and an opportunity which provides him with an uncompromising mix of fun and challenge over the next many years.
“At Canaan, we have built partnerships with entrepreneurs who we feel are very proud to be associated with. We will continue to back and support those relationships, both institutionally and personally,” he mentioned in the blog.
As first reported by VCCircle in May, Canaan Partners is looking to review its investment strategy in India amid rumours of cessation of its operations in the country. The firm is currently in discussions with its global partners across the US, Israel and India to take a re-look at its strategy to remain relevant to the Indian market.
Mittal had told us then, “We want to consider as to how we can continue being relevant to the market.” He had added one of the options is an India-focused fund backed by Canaan.
Mittal joined Canaan in 2006. Prior to joining Canaan, he co-founded JobsAhead.com, a web-based recruitment business, which was acquired by Monster.com. He is also co-founder of Indian Angel Network.
Mittal is currently on the boards of BharatMatrimony (Matrimony.com), IndiaProperty, iYogi, mCarbon, UnitedLex, CarTrade and Happiest Minds, as representative of Canaan.
The 42-year-old holds a BE degree in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Delhi and an MS degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in the US. Mittal had previously worked at Hughes Software Systems.
Canaan, which has a three-member team in India, invests in India out of its global funds. In the last eight years, the fund has invested about $150 million from across three funds in over a dozen startups. The fund has allocated about $50-60 million from each fund for India investments, which may be sub-optimal considering Indian venture space has matured over the years.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)