The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Harshul Sanghi, American Express
US-based credit card company American Express (Amex) made a big splash in corporate venturing when it hired Harshul Sanghi, formerly head of Motorola Mobility’s corporate venturing unit, nearly seven years ago.
It is a splash that continues to ripple outwards as Sanghi, managing partner at Amex Ventures since August 2011, and his team have made investments in more than 30 companies worldwide.
This year, Amex Ventures has seen portfolio company BigCommerce, a US-based e-commerce software provider that counts several corporates as investors, complete a $64m round led by investment banking firm Goldman Sachs’ Private Capital. Amex Ventures made an investment of undisclosed size in fraud detection service EverCompliant, behavioral biometrics developer BioCatch’s $30m round and in fintech firm Even Financial’s $3m round.
Ken Chenault, former chairman and CEO of American Express and now chairman of VC firm General Catalyst, for Sanghi’s previous GCV Powerlist profile said: “At American Express, reinvention is in our DNA. We have never focused in a linear way. We have always been focused on challenging the status quo. However, we cannot innovate fast enough on our own, and that is why partnerships are becoming absolutely essential. The Amex Ventures team highlights how American Express is focused on being a fantastic partner for growth and innovation.”
Sanghi is a veteran venture capitalist with more than 25 years of operating experience and a proven track record in delivering financial returns and strategic value. For his 2014 Powerlist award, Sanghi said he helped establish Motorola Ventures, after the phone equipment provider’s purchase of his previous employer, Ucentric Systems, as the “go-to standard for corporate venturing”.
Motorola Ventures was subsequently divided into Motorola Mobility Ventures and Motorola Solutions Ventures, mirroring the parent company’s split, with Sanghi becoming head of Motorola Mobility Ventures but leaving before search engine Google’s purchase of the parent business in 2014.