The Top 10: #5 Rashmi Gopinath, managing director, formerly M12 (Microsoft Ventures)

Rashmi Gopinath worked for M12, the corporate venture capital (CVC) subsidiary of software producer Microsoft that was previously called Microsoft Ventures, until December 2019 when she joined venture capital firm B Capital Group. She was the third hire of M12 after it was founded in May 2016 and was instrumental in getting the fund up and running.

After receiving Global Corporate Venturing’s Rising Stars award three years ago, when she was a partner for the unit, she was promoted to managing director to oversee deals in areas including enterprise software, cloud infrastructure and cybersecurity, having closed her 14th deal and achieved two exit events.

The exits in question were Frame, the cloud workspace platform formerly known as Mainframe2, which was bought by cloud computing software provider Nutanix for $165m in August 2018, while cloud cybersecurity software provider Druva acquired her data transfer platform portfolio company CloudLanes in July the year after.

She joined forces with Nagraj Kashyap, corporate vice-president and global head of M12, in January 2019 to start exploring the Indian ecosystem. Gopinath identified and backed US-India, cross-border healthcare data platform operator Innovaccer, investing $35m series B funding on behalf of M12.

Prior to M12, Gopinath had spent two years as an investment director at Intel Capital, chipmaker Intel’s CVC arm, from 2011.

Gopinath said: “At Intel Capital, I worked on seven deals across cloud, infrastructure, security, mobile and analytics. I invested in Maginatics, a distributed software-defined storage startup founded by a highly successful serial entrepreneur, which was acquired by EMC within two years of investment [by Intel in its $6m B round].

“One of my other investments was in a wearables startup called Basis Science, which was acquired by Intel [reportedly for about $100m] within five months of investment. I was also able to source and invest in a number of highly-competitive deals, including an investment in MongoDB.”

The other four deals while at Intel Capital were BlueData, a big data private cloud provider, Apperian, an enterprise mobile application management tool, ForeScout, an automated network access control service, and Arrayent, an internet-of-things software platform.

Between Intel Capital and Microsoft Ventures, she was in global business development for Couchbase, a US-based NoSQL database provider, and BlueData.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of Mumbai and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.