Prolific angel investor Anand Chandrasekaran is moving on from Five9, a leading provider of cloud call centre solutions in the US, that he helped build. In July this year, Zoom had announced its intention to buy Five9 for $14.7 billion, making it one of the largest technology deals in recent times.
Chandrasekaran is planning to take some time off, before deciding on his next course of action. He was the executive vice-president (product management) at Five9. Earlier in his career, he was a director at Facebook and the chief product officer at Snapdeal.
Five9 added over $12 billion in valuation over the last three years. “When I joined the company, it had a valuation of around $2 billion. Five9 was an extension of the customer care innovations that I led while at Facebook Messenger and it's great to see the customer experience (CX) industry connected to remote work and digital transformation, growing with tailwinds,” Chandrasekaran said.
Silicon Valley-based Chandrasekaran has made seed investments in over 70 start-ups, with over 25 seed investments now having a valuation of more than $250 million. “A few of them are on their way to becoming unicorns,” Chandrasekaran said.
“I continue to stay deeply committed to the Indian internet ecosystem since spending time building multiple successful products at Snapdeal and Bharti Airtel and will spend time helping founders post this transition,” said Chandrasekaran.
He has been an investor/advisor with several breakout companies across India and in the US, both in the B2C and B2B segments. These include Rupeek, NoBroker, On Deck, Pratilipi, Two Chairs, Dealshare, OneCard, MindHouse, Yulu, InVideo, AltoIRA, Mudrex, OneCode, OTO Capital, COR etc in the B2C segment. In the B2B segment, they include Observe.AI, MoEngage, SAFE Security, Smith.AI, VIA Customer, Carta, Khatabook, LocoNav, Fiddler Labs, SignEasy, AccelData, OssoVR, Prodigal etc.
Chandrasekaran says he pays a lot of attention to the quality of the founders while cherry-picking his investments. “I try to figure whether they have the grit to last the course,” he says. “This decade belongs to India, as far as tech entrepreneurship is concerned. All the founders who started out a decade ago, are now reaping the benefits. It’s like the ‘overnight’ success, with 10 years of work behind it,” he adds.Meanwhile, a Justice Department-led panel in the US is investigating Zoom’s proposed deal, citing potential national security risks. However, the Justice Department has not said what exactly the “foreign ties of concerns” are. Zoom is based in California and has more than half of its employees in the US. But it has a large number of research and development workers in China.