InterWest Doubles Down on Digital Media, Cloud Computing, Consumer Internet & Mobile
InterWest Doubles Down on Digital Media, Cloud Computing, Consumer Internet & Mobile Apr 2011
Keval Desai, Google Product Executive & Angel Investor, Joins as Partner Bruce Cleveland Promoted to General Partner
Menlo Park, CA — April 20, 2011 — InterWest Partners, a leading diversified venture capital firm, today announced two changes to its investing team: Keval Desai, a former Google executive and well-known angel investor, has joined the firm as a partner; in addition, Bruce Cleveland, who joined the firm as a partner in 2006, has been promoted to general partner.
Both moves are part of InterWest's expansion of its ongoing focus on digital media, cloud computing, consumer Internet and mobile. Some of InterWest's investments in these areas include: Epocrates (EPOC, which recently completed an IPO), CubeTree (acquired by SuccessFactors, SFSF), Tapjoy, Flurry, Marketo, CarWoo, Doximity and Brand.net. InterWest, which invests in a broad array of technology and life sciences companies, is currently investing InterWest X, a $650M fund.
Keval Desai Joins InterWest as Partner
As Google's former director of product management, Desai led teams that launched new advertising products & businesses — including Video/TV ads and an expansion of AdWords. He also launched syndication of Google's advertising products to third parties. Desai, who has worked in Silicon Valley since the early 1990s, was an active angel investor for the past two years. He is an investor, advisor or Board member at several startups, including: Backblaze, Duostack, MyLikes, Optimizely, Rixty and SpotMixer.
"As InterWest increases its emphasis on digital media, consumer Internet and mobile investments, Keval's vision and experience in building products in these areas will make him a tremendous resource for the entrepreneurs that we back," said Doug Pepper, general partner at InterWest. "His track record of building Google's advertising products into juggernauts, his knowledge of social media, combined with his experience as a company founder, an angel investor and a venture capitalist — make him a perfect fit for InterWest."
Immediately prior to joining InterWest, Desai was vice president for product at Digg. Earlier in his career, he was a co-founder of Achex, an Internet payments company acquired by First Data. Before joining Google, Desai was an investor at two venture capital firms, ONSET Ventures and Morgan Stanley Venture Partners.
"There are approximately seven billion people in the world and less than one third have Internet access," said Desai. "Only five percent of the world's population has smart phones that can access the web. Even Facebook counts only ten percent of the world's population among its customers. When it comes to innovation on fixed and mobile Internet, we are still in the early innings. The best is yet to come! Our son is two years old and I can't wait to see how he will use technology to learn, play and socialize with his fellow citizens across the globe. For starters, he already spends an hour a day watching YouTube videos on his iPad. What's next? For entrepreneurs with big ideas who are passionate about building products and businesses for tomorrow's decision makers, my partners at InterWest and I are open for business. We want to help accelerate your vision. Let's get to work."
Desai holds an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, an M.S. in computer science from UC Santa Barbara and a B.E. in electrical engineering from the University of Mumbai. He is a member of the Dean's Advisory Board at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business — and also sits on the Board for the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley.
Bruce Cleveland Promoted to General Partner
Since joining InterWest, Cleveland has focused on cloud computing, analytical applications and mobile infrastructure companies. Last year, his portfolio company, CubeTree, was acquired by SuccessFactors (SFSF). Cleveland's current active investments include: Aria Systems, Cloud9, Doximity, Flurry, Marketo and Signal Demand.
"Bruce's success at InterWest with companies like CubeTree, Marketo and others — combined with his own long track record as a technology entrepreneur — have made him a fantastic asset for InterWest and our portfolio," said Pepper. "We're very proud to have Bruce on our team and congratulate him on his well-deserved promotion."
Prior to joining InterWest, Cleveland was one of the original members of the Siebel executive team. He held numerous executive positions at Siebel, including senior vice president and general manager of products, senior vice president and general manager of the OnDemand and SMB divisions and senior vice president of marketing and alliances. Forbes and IDC credited him with creating the most effective alliance organization in the enterprise software industry.
"The Internet continues to drive transformations in the way that businesses find, acquire and monetize their customers," said Cleveland, whose blog Rolling Thunder is at www.interwest.com/rolling-thunder. "Young companies — whose solutions successfully harness the power of cloud computing — have the potential to create new markets and outcompete traditional software providers. One of the roles I enjoy is helping entrepreneurs compete against the incumbents. Happily, I have an unfair advantage: I used to be a traditional software executive, so I know how they think."
In addition to Siebel, Cleveland held executive positions in engineering and product management at Apple Computer and Oracle Corporation. He attended the United States Military Academy, West Point, and received a B.S. in business administration from CSU, Sacramento.
About InterWest Partners
For more than 30 years, InterWest has partnered with exceptional entrepreneurs to build winning technology and life sciences companies. With more than 200 years of combined operating and investing experience, the firm’s investing team has raised $2.8B, completed more than 70 IPOs, and participated in nearly 60 upside acquisitions. As the firm invests InterWest X, a $650M fund, the InterWest team continues to believe that providing capital is just the beginning of a long-term collaboration with entrepreneurs to turn their vision into a thriving company.
The firm's past successful investments in life sciences include: AkaRx (acquired by Eisai), ArthroCare (ARTC), Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (ASPV; acquired by Galenica group, GALN), Cor Therapeutics (CORR; acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, MLNM), Corixa Pharmaceuticals (CRXA; acquired by GlaxoSmithKline, GSK), Coulter Pharmaceuticals (CLTR; acquired by Corixa Pharmaceuticals, CRXA), Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST), Epicor Medical (acquired by St. Jude Medical, STJ), Inspire Pharmaceuticals (ISPH), IntraLase (ILSE; acquired by Advanced Medical Optics, EYE), LenSx Lasers (acquired by Alcon, ACL), Myogen (MYOG; acquired by Gilead, GILD), NovaCardia (acquired by Merck, MRK), Spinal Dynamics (acquired by Medtronic, MDT), TheraSense (THER; acquired by Abbott Labs, ABT) and Ventritex (VNTX; acquired by St. Jude Medical, STJ).
The firm's past successful investments in information technology include: CIENA (CIEN), Copper Mountain Networks (CMTN), Crystal Semiconductor (acquired by Cirrus Logic, CRUS), CubeTree (acquired by SuccessFactors, SFSF), Cyrix (CYRX; acquired by National Semiconductor, NSM), Edify (EDFY; acquired by Security First Technologies, SONE), Epocrates (EPOC), Kalpana (acquired by Cisco, CSCO), Lightera (acquired by CIENA), Lombardi Software (acquired by IBM), Network Computing Devices (NCDI), Open Silicon (acquired by Unicorn Investment Bank), PlaceWare (acquired by Microsoft, MSFT), Platform Solutions (acquired by IBM), Radius, Rendition (acquired by Micron Technology, MU), Sierra Logic (acquired by Emulex, ELX), SiTera (acquired by Vitesse, VTSS), Silicon Graphics (SGI), Stratacom (STRM; acquired by Cisco, CSCO) and Xilinx (XLNX).