The Top 10: #6 Radhika Malik, senior associate, Samsung Catalyst Fund

Radhika Malik is a senior associate at Samsung Catalyst Fund, a $500m evergreen corporate venture capital (CVC) vehicle for electronics manufacturer Samsung.

Chris Chu, vice-president and managing director at Samsung Catalyst Fund, said: “Radhika Malik has been instrumental to Samsung Catalyst Fund’s investment activities in next-generation AI (artificial intelligence), datacentre and computing technologies. She has contributed immensely to shaping Samsung Catalyst Fund’s investment theses through her innate deep knowledge of technology, combined with her keen business instinct.

“Radhika also commands the respect of company executives, internally and externally, by her leadership and steadfastness in getting tasks accomplished. The team looks forward to building upon Radhika’s continued success in the corporate venture capital world.”

Malik said: “Prior to joining Samsung, I worked in product and engineering at a couple of different early-stage startups, one of which was a company funded by Samsung and other CVCs. There, I saw up-close the value strategic investors could bring to a startup, in addition to the capital.

“Being at a CVC for a global technology leader like Samsung, you are really at the cutting edge of both technology and business. You have the privilege of not only working with entrepreneurs building future technology but also get exposure to leadership at Samsung thinking about innovation at a global scale. Our team acts as the bridge between the best startups across the world and Samsung’s platform; in the process, we hopefully add value to a young startup, while also helping influence Samsung’s strategy and innovation.

“And, not to forget, the nature of the job is really fun, too! As a CVC for a tech company, we inherently focus a lot on the technology and product of any startup we speak to – in addition to the business and financial metrics – which, as you can imagine, is always really enjoyable for a former product builder.”

Regarding her concentration, Malik said: “I come from a technical background, with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree focusing on AI and machine learning (ML), and hence that is what I have naturally focused on. I have helped lead a lot of our fund’s work in AI and ML, particularly around the infrastructure side.

“One of the first investments I worked on, SambaNova Systems, is emerging as a top innovator in the AI hardware space, building new chips to make these technologies run with much better performance, and hence enable many new applications.

“[In 2019], I worked closely with an entrepreneur-in-residence, to help incubate a new company building optics for much faster data movement across chips. Our fund co-led the seed round and helped build a syndicate to get the company off the ground. I get to observe on the board and it’s extremely gratifying to see the company grow from just an idea that our EiR had and witness the great progress they have made.

“These days, I am trying to leverage my software engineering background to help our team think about software infrastructure around AI and ML, along with new software workloads in the cloud that will impact future of the underlying infrastructure.”