- Vinod Khosla says the new role is necessary for the firm to get recognized by finch companies and expand beyond early-stage investing into new areas and investment vehicles, like SPACs.
Indian American tech veteran Shernaz Daver has joined Khosla Ventures in a newly created position of senior operating partner and chief marketing officer. The Mumbai-born Daver becomes the first CMO in the 17-year-old venture capital firm led by Indian American Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla, according to a Business Insider report.
“Today, we’re welcoming @shernazdaver as our first-ever Chief Marketing Officer,” the company’s official Twitter handle announced on Oct. 7.
“Excited to be joining @khoslaventures to work with @vkhosla and team on a new adventure,” Daver tweeted.
Khosla told Business Insider that the CMO role “is necessary now,” because he believes “the firm does not get properly recognized for its early stakes in fintech companies like Stripe, Square, Upstart, and Affirm.” He continued: “People often misunderstand what we do, and how much we do in so many different areas.” He added that “part of Daver’s new role will be to help raise the visibility of the firm” and help the firm “expand beyond early-stage investing into new areas and investment vehicles, like SPACs.”
In a LinkedIn post, Daver wrote that she is “excited to be joining Khosla Ventures to collaborate with Vinod and the team to create a new adventure and lots more stories along the way.” Noting that most of her “professional journey has been one of twists and turns,” there’s always been “three things in common, at every company she worked – building, people and imagination.” Netflix, Walmart, Udacity, Guardant Health, 10x Genomics, and GV (Google Ventures) are some of the companies Daver worked at.
She served as the global chief marketing officer at Udacity, where she oversaw the company’s marketing, user acquisition and partnership efforts. She was the chief marketing officer and head of investor relations at Inktomi, a company that became one of the hottest Internet names reaching a $37 billion valuation. She started her career at Sun Microsystems with roles in the U.S. and European offices.
For the last ten years, Daver has served as executive advisor to GV, and was instrumental in building the fund. “Incredibly proud to have been a part of the GV team for the last 10 years to build it into a multi-billion fund and meet some of the most important people in my life,” she wrote in her LinkedIn post.
She recently worked with 10x Genomics, one of the fastest-growing life sciences companies, which she advised through their fall 2019 IPO resulting in one of the top five performing IPOs for that year. “Working at 10x Genomics from a start-up with the audacious vision of mastering biology that few had heard of to a company that is an enviable rocket ship was an immense privilege and joy,” read her LinkedIn post.
Daver, who currently serves as an advisor to Kitty Hawk, will continue working with the company, “as we democratize personal flight for all.”
She is also credited to introduce Chinese company Baidu to the U.S. market “prior to its public offering, helped Netflix win the war against Blockbuster, and built out a technology brand position for Walmart through the creation of the @WalmartLabs division,” according to her LinkedIn profile.