Canaan adds two new partners and expands into SF

Canaan Partners, the multi-stage venture capital firm, is beefing up its enterprise software investment team and looking to spend more time in San Francisco in addition to its longtime home on Sand Hill Road.

Joydeep Bhattacharyya and Rich Boyle are joining Canaan as partners where they’ll focus on artificial intelligence and marketplace creation, and mobile-based software as a service business opportunities respectively.

Bhattarcharyya comes to Canaan after several years at Shasta Ventures where his investments included LeanPlum, a mobile marketing platform; NeuMob, which accelerates the responsiveness and speed of mobile apps; and the security company SkyCure. Before working with Shasta, Bhattarcharyya was one of the founding employees of Microsoft’s Office365 (so needless to say, he knows a thing or two about mobile business software).


For his part, Rich Boyle knows the Canaan family pretty well. He worked as VP of product at Risk Management Solutions under Tom Hutton (whose wife Wende Hutton is a general partner at Canaan), and was the chief executive of before becoming an operating partner with Khosla Ventures.


The move is a good one for Canaan. A lot of the work businesses are doing these days centers around artificial intelligence and designing tools for a mobile workforce, and it’s an area where the firm hasn’t had a strong bench for a while.

Its last big enterprise exit was SuccessFactors back in 2007. That’s a pretty long wait for a big home-run in what’s been a pillar of venture returns for ages. In the intervening years, e-commerce investments like eBates, financial technology plays like LendingClub, and forward-looking bets on companies like Skybox Imaging have proven fertile ground for the firm.

On the company’s Medium site, Canaan partner Maha Ibrahim, wrote:

I like to say we have a franchise approach towards investing. Rather than cover the broad landscape of technology, in any given period, we identify 5–6 large thematic areas and then dive deep. To date, we have successfully done that in areas such as financial technologies, infrastructure software/cloud and B2B marketplaces. Rich Boyle and Joydeep Bhattacharyya have joined us to build out and lead a richer enterprise software investing platform for Canaan — one that includes artificial intelligence and marketplaces (Rich) and SaaS applications and mobile-first solutions (Joydeep).