In a move which which will send significant waves through the London and European startup ecosystem, Bindi Karia, currently the ‘Venture Capital/Emerging Business Lead’ at Microsoft UK, is departing to join Silicon Valley Bank’s UK Branch to lead its push in the early stage tech startup space. Karia has been an early and strong stalwart of the UK and wider European startup scene, supporting many startups and events on the continent. However, after receiving its approval to operate in the UK, SVB — which is best known as a financial partner to the technology, life science, cleantech, private equity and venture capital industries — has clearly been on the hunt for the kind of person that could give them the punch and profile they needed amongst startups. A spokesperson for Microsoft told us “BizSpark will continue and Microsoft remains fully committed to working with start-ups.” However there is no word on a replacement just yet.
Karia will start in January next year reporting into Phil Cox, head of EMEA and India and President of the Bank’s UK Branch. Her formal job title will be announced then. In a statement, Cox commented that “Bindi is extremely well connected within the industry and we are delighted to have her on board to drive our growth efforts for new banking clients in the Accelerator space.”
In a phone interview Karia told me: “I’m uber-passionate about startups and VC, and it’s great to go to an organisation that is solely focused on that space. SVB has the same values I do, and for me this really is the dream job. I cannot wait to join the team and share my vision to drive the business forward.”
Karia led BizSpark and BizSpark One in the UK for close to the last five years, focusing on early-stage tech, working with the UK investor community. She has also sat on several advisory boards for Seedcamp, Astia, EVCA, SVC2UK and BCS Entrepreneurs, and featured as part of the Wired UK Top 100 Digital Power Broker list from 2010 – 2012, Women of the Year Awards list, 2012 Girls in Tech Euro 100 Women’s list, named as one of the Six Most Connected Women in the UK by the IoD in 2011, and was a finalist for Asian Business Woman of the Year in the 2010 AWA Awards.