Pioneering Indian American venture capitalist Naren Gupta passes away

Naren Gupta, the co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners and a pioneer of venture capital in India, passed away at the age of 73, the venture capital firm said in a statement on December 26, 2021. Nexus is one of India’s largest venture capital firms and an investor in unicorn startups such as Postman, Delhivery, Druva, and Unacademy. 

“It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden demise of Dr. Narendra Gupta, 73, Co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners on December 25th. He is survived by his wife, Vinita Gupta, and two daughters. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family in this very difficult time. Naren was a stalwart in the global technology and entrepreneurial ecosystems and a pioneer of Indian venture capital. He was a mentor and a close friend to all of us at Nexus and we will miss his passion, caring nature, and towering intellect”, a spokesperson said in a statement. 

Gupta was based in Menlo Park, California. He was among the early backers of Indian startups. After completing his engineering from IIT Delhi, he did his Masters from Caltech followed by a PhD from Stanford University. Gupta founded software firm Integrated Systems in 1980, took it public in the US, and merged it with Wind River, which Intel acquired for $900 million in 2009. 

He founded Nexus Venture Partners along with Suvir Sujan and Sandeep Singhal in 2006 and has been actively investing in Indian startups for the last 15 years. Nexus is one of India’s earliest and largest homegrown venture capital firms, managing over $1.2 billion. 

The firm was essentially a cross-border fund; it had an investment team in the US led by co-founder Gupta who invested in the booming enterprise software market. The startups it invested in catered to mid-size and large American and European corporations. 

Gupta is largely credited for Nexus’ US and SaaS bets, something that has paid huge dividends for the firm. US-based advertising platform Pubmatic too went public last year at a $1.4 billion valuation, where Nexus holds a 25 percent stake. 

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