The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Srinivas Gattamneni, Axiata

Four years ago, Srinivas Gattamneni, formerly managing director of consultancy Venture Pursuit and once a corporate venturer at UK-based chipmaker ARM, joined Asian telecoms company Axiata in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In this role, Gattamneni looks after corporate venturing activities for Axiata, whose operations including Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Singapore and India. It has quietly been the most active corporate venture capitalist across Malaysia and probably within Southeast Asia, with 12 direct investments in its first three years and another 10 last year.

Axiata also closed direct investments in two international companies last year – StoreKing in India and Bima, an emerging markets insurance business headquartered in Sweden. Axiata Digital invested $16.8m in strategic partner Bima, adding to a series C round that already included telecoms companies Millicom and Digicel.

Overall, these deals cover commerce, payments, entertainment and advertising. Gattamneni said: “Our direct investments have progressed well, with three of our investments having received follow-on funding [or acquisition] from other strategic investors and CVCs – Adknowledge Asia, the largest adtech firm in Southeast Asia, FreedomPop, which had a [$50m] follow-on round from LetterOne, and Twig, which exited to Australian business Unlockd [an undisclosed deal].”

Axiata had set up the Rg70m ($17.5m) Axiata Digital Innovation Fund – in collaboration with state-backed Malaysia Venture Capital Management and managed by Intres Capital Partners – to find deals for Axiata.

Gattamneni said: “On the success of the Malaysia fund, we have launched two additional funds this [past] year in Cambodia and Sri Lanka – Smart Axiata Digital Fund and Dialog Axiata Digital Fund. They are the largest VC funds in these respective markets to create and bolster a digital ecosystem.

“We will be working towards consolidating our position and investments across two major verticals, digital financial services and digital media and advertising.”

Before joining Axiata, Gattamneni was a founding director of PayZazz in 2011 after leaving ARM. He worked at the chip maker for three years, having previously been head of China development for Motorola, and in software for TTPCom.