The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Srinivas Gattamneni, Axiata
Five 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 dozens of investments and hundreds of millions of dollars invested.
Overall, these deals cover commerce, payments, entertainment and advertising. For last year’s GCV Powerlist, Gattamneni, who has also become CEO of advertising company Ada in March, said: “Our direct investments have progressed well.”
Last year Axiata led a $16.8m round for Swedish insurtech group Bima, which provides micro-insurance to underserved families in emerging markets and has 320 million customers across 10 countries, and a $23m series B round for Australian mobile advertising company Unlockd, with Alium Capital as co-investor.
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. It also set-up of a $15m Sri Lanka-focused fund, which would operate similarly to the $5m micro-VC fund set up in Cambodia in March 2017. The fund would invest in digital startups and local service providers.
Last year, Gattamneni said: “On the success of the Malaysia fund, we have launched two additional funds 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.