“In the Studio” at TechCrunch TV this week welcomes a former California resident and current investor back to the west coast, where he and his partners have embarked on a new journey to build out a physical presence in Silicon Valley and San Francisco for one of the most dynamic business groups in the world.
Ajay Agarwal, a managing director with Bain Capital Ventures (BCV), is leading the charge of building his firm’s west coast offices and unveiling a brand new $600m fund, announced a few weeks ago in The New York Times. That’s a whole lot of money to invest in new consumer, enterprise, and mobile opportunities. This is sort of a personal homecoming for Agarwal, who went to Stanford years ago as a undergraduate computer science student and founded a company while he was in school. Now, after nearly ten years with Bain Capital in Boston, he’s leading his team here in California, comprised of Sahil Gupta, Indy Guha, and Adam Marchick, as it it were a startup, too.
In this short conversation, Agarwal discusses how BCV fits in within all of Bain’s diversified business units, and most importantly explains how founders can expect to leverage that very unique platform. He also discusses what the firm’s investment strategy will be, in terms of preferences for early vs. late stage opportunities, as well as why the firm chose the Valley over San Francisco, and downtown Palo Alto over Sand Hill Road.
Like other top-tier firms, BCV has also invested financial and human resources in order to help portfolio companies recruit technical talent nationwide, specifically by creating Startup Academy (led by Shannon Harrington) and going so far as to incubate companies. Even though Bain Capital Ventures has been around since 1984, both in Boston and New York, they have been investing in California and nationwide for years, so this move cements that long-term commitment to the west coast. With a group like Bain and their expansive, diverse portfolio, you’d have to expect when they make a concerted move out west, they mean business, and that will be a very good exciting development for a startup ecosystem that is constantly evolving.