Raghu Bharat was attracted to venture capital because it was an opportunity to spend time with founders, the people working to change the world for the better. His first exposure to these entrepreneurs occurred while Raghu was working as an engineer in telecommunications.
“At that time, it was all about who decided what technology to use and why. I learned I wanted to hang out with the people who were building these brilliant technologies, without knowing whether it was going to work, who saw the future before it was there,” explains Raghu. “I figured out I could spend time with these brilliant founders, in venture capital.”
Raghu works on the Thin Air Capital team and is a General Partner at Thin Air Labs Fund I.
“I work on the investment team, and I help founders with whatever they need,” explains Raghu.
He came to Thin Air Labs after getting his MBA at McGill University and working for a decade in venture capital with a French bank in Montreal, called Crédit Mutuel, investing in companies across North America.
“I worked with some incredible founders, which led to one IPO,” says Raghu. “One acquisition by Microsoft, and a few more in the US, one by a billion dollar company. “
“I truly believe that every single one of the companies in the Thin Air Labs Fund I portfolio can do just that, become globally competitive, in their own specific ways,” says Raghu.
This experience is exactly what Thin Air’s investment team was looking for. And Raghu loved the Thin Air Labs’ investment thesis that focuses on helping founders to build globally competitive companies creating meaningful human impact.
“With Thin Air, I knew I found my people,” admits Raghu. “In one of the very first conversations I had with James and Rick, we were talking about the way we see the world, what our big goals were, and even though we started from very different spaces, it just made sense.”
And it’s this Capital team of “unlike minds” that by design, can offer founders a broad range of useful advice and expertise.
“As a team we have complimentary skills, which allows us to offer founders facing various issues advice, opinions, suggestions on what we think is the right course of action, based on what we’ve seen in the past.”
Raghu says that’s what Thin Air Labs is here to do. Help founders succeed.
“They know how to run their business, but the investment side has a terminology all its own,” says Raghu. “So we can really help founders understand this, help them understand what they’re getting into, and who they’re getting into this with. We help them determine if they should raise money and how much. We help them prepare for their next round, develop their story, get in front of the right investors…”
And with the right support at the right time, Raghu believes all the early stage companies in the portfolio will be successful and create massive human impact.
“I truly believe that every single one of the companies in the Thin Air Labs Fund I portfolio can do just that, become globally competitive, in their own specific ways,” says Raghu. “No one thinks small at Thin Air. But you do need to start somewhere, and I think it’s important to master your own backyard first, so Thin Air Labs Fund I is focused on Calgary, then Canada, then North America, then the world.”
And Raghu and the Capital team believe there is no shortage of extraordinary founders in Calgary and beyond who, just like the founders he first met all those years ago, can see the future, and are working hard to create meaningful human impact as they #BuildWhatsNext.