iSPIRIT’s Sanat Rao joins IDG Ventures as venture partner

IDG Ventures India, part of global venture capital network IDG Ventures, has appointed Sanat Rao as a venture partner.

Rao will be based out of Bangalore and work with the IDG portfolio companies on business development, investments and M&A, and evaluate new investment opportunities, his LinkedIn profile shows.

IDG Ventures invests in India through a separate local team and focuses on early-stage investments in the tech sector.

In his most recent role, he was working with iSPIRIT, a think tank focused on India's software product industry, as partner for corporate development and mergers and acquisitions. At iSPIRIT, Rao was managing the M&A Connect programme linking Indian startups to US companies for investments and M&A.

An alumnus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Rao had previously held roles on the investment and corporate development teams at venture capital firm Intel Capital where he was involved with several companies including PCCW, OPlus and Infineon.

He managed Intel's $100 million Embedded and Retail group for emerging markets including India, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Rao has also held several senior positions in engineering and marketing at Intel in the US.

Rao is also an advisor to the Saha Fund, an Indian venture fund for women entrepreneurs, and is a mentor at Microsoft Ventures India. Besides, he is a visiting faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

IDG Ventures India typically invests $5-10 million and counts companies such as Myntra, Manthan Software Services, iProf Learning Solutions,, and Lenskart among its past and present portfolio companies.

IDG Ventures India was floated by Manik Arora, Sudhir Sethi and TC Meenakshisundaram nine years ago. Arora quit the firm last year.

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