After twenty years as an operator and technology leader, Khan is just the second CIO ever to join a venture capital firm as an investment partner
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CIO–Today, Ridge Ventures, an early-stage, enterprise-focused venture capital firm whose investments include Fastly, Braze, Discord, UpLift, Krux, ThirdLove and Trifacta, announced that Yousuf Khan has joined the team as Partner. At Ridge, he will provide a vantage point that few other VCs have, leveraging his more than twenty years of experience as an operator to advise entrepreneurs on what it takes to build a successful enterprise business.
Ridge invests in late-seed and early Series A enterprise startups building new SaaS, infrastructure, data and B2B2C products. The firm targets founders with deep domain expertise and typically writes checks in the $3-7 million range. Ridge’s CXO Network—Khan himself a former member—is one of many resources designed to help founders acquire customers at the “pre-spreadsheet” investment stage, empowering startups to be enterprise-ready and strategically positioned for follow-on financings.
“Yousuf is one of the most sought-after experts and advisors on how to build a successful enterprise business,” said Alex Rosen, Managing Partner at Ridge Ventures. “He’s done it all, and will be a not-so-secret weapon that helps take Ridge companies from one customer to many million dollars in revenue. He’s had a significant role in defining what a modern CIO can be and has helped hundreds of startups and CIO peers over the years with everything from setting strategy to tactical adjustments. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to our team.”
Khan was most recently CIO of Automation Anywhere. He was previously CIO and VP of Customer Success at Moveworks, CIO at Pure Storage, and CIO at Qualys. At each of these companies he was the first CIO and led operations spanning infrastructure, applications, data and information security, in addition to running customer advocacy programs and building internal product showcases. Khan is currently a finalist for the Bay Area CIO of the Year award.
He joined Ridge because the firm substantiates its “founder-focused” mantra in measurable ways. Ridge boasts the largest CXO network of any non-billion-dollar fund, adding Fortune 500 customers and up to forty percent in revenue to its companies, and sees an impressive rate of repeat founders. These features align with Khan’s values and focus to work amongst CXOs and early-stage companies. He has served as an advisor to Ridge for three years, and has evaluated and bought hundreds of software products, so he understands how young companies achieve enterprise-readiness and win their first sales.
“Becoming an investor has been a twenty-year journey for me—a personal mission from when I first started working in tech, that in doing so allows me to continue helping entrepreneurs while also playing a more active role in identifying and shaping incredible companies to be successful,” said Khan. “During my career, I’ve long admired the journey that founders have had to go through in building. I’ve played a small part in some of these journeys and now hope to dedicate more of my time in this area by providing a perspective as a strategic and hands-on operator. Having been involved in hundreds of technology buying decisions, I’m eager to provide guidance to aspiring companies early on in their journey in my role at Ridge. I can’t wait to get started.”
Originally born in Pakistan, Khan grew up in Egypt, UK and Kenya and spent a large part of his career working for global companies based out of the UK after graduating from King’s College London. He admired entrepreneurship from a very early age and that passion fueled his desire to help fellow operators, earning him the nickname “Helper-in-Chief.” Khan is an active member of the CIO community as well. In 2014, he began organizing a series of events for CIOs to unite the community and share learnings from their respective companies. Over the years, these CIO events have become well-known and highly regarded within Silicon Valley and beyond.
About Ridge Ventures
Founded in 2007, Ridge Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in founders who are redefining how the world interacts with data and code. Ridge takes a fast, flexible and founder-focused approach, and backs companies delivering advanced technologies, new distribution models and incredible user experiences. To learn more, visit www.ridge.vc and follow us @ridgevc.
Mark Gavigan for Ridge Ventures