It’s a notable hire. Once an investor at ONSET Ventures and Morgan Stanley Venture Partners, Desai joined Google back in 2003 and worked his way up to the position of Director of Product Management (LinkedIn profile).
At Google, Desai led development of several initiatives with regards to Google’s advertising business, including AdWords, Syndication & TV Ads.
At the end of 2009, Digg poached Desai away from Google and appointed him as their new Vice President of Product and Engineering. He didn’t stick around for long; word got out last month that he was leaving Digg.
Desai has been an active angel investor for the past two years. He backs, advises or sits on the board of several startups, including Backblaze, MyLikes, Optimizely, Rixty and SpotMixer.
On a sidenote, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington worked together with Desai at Achex, a digital payments startup Mike cofounded back in 1999 that was acquired two years later.
“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!”
In addition to the recruitment of Desai, Bruce Cleveland, who joined InterWest as a partner in 2006, has been promoted to general partner.
InterWest focuses on investments in digital media, cloud computing, consumer Internet and mobile startups. Some of its investments include Epocrates (went public), CubeTree (acquired by SuccessFactors), Tapjoy, Flurry, Marketo, CarWoo, Doximity and Brand.net.
The firm is currently investing InterWest X, a $650 million fund.