AI: Beyond the Buzzword

September 2nd, 2017|Categories: WRITING|

By Ravi Viswanathan (published in Silicon India Magazine) Unicorn. Cloud. Wearable. Big Data. SaaS. Internet of Things. These are just a few of the trendy tech buzzwords that have permeated the media, startup pitch decks, and investors’ daily lives over the past few years. It is our job as VCs to look past the hype and sift through the buzzword-bandwagoners to find true innovation and value—and this has never been truer than it is with the hot [...]

Wearables v2.0

June 30th, 2016|Categories: WRITING|

I wrote a blog on my experience with wearables a couple of years ago (My Wearables “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”) - it basically was a lamentation of my journey to find one (or any!) that excited me. I would characterize this initial generation as v1.0 - klugey products with limited or poor functionality, lack of real aesthetic appeal, and power/battery/connectivity issues. Since then, a lot has happened in the wearables world. Many have gone out [...]

Reinventing customer service: the modern contact center

June 21st, 2016|Categories: WRITING|

By Ravi Viswanathan and Scott Sandell Frustration. Impatience. Disappointment. Anger. These are feelings associated with a negative customer experience...and the old adage that an unhappy customer complains to 10 others?  No longer true. Thanks to social media that now sits at 1,000 or more! Furthermore, the cost of acquiring new customers is 5 to 25 times that of retaining existing ones, so the effects of poor experience can be absolutely devastating. Poor  experience can result from a number [...]

Focus on Fintech: The Opportunity to Transform Financial Services

June 20th, 2016|Categories: WRITING|

By Ravi Viswanathan and Rick Yang The size of an opportunity has a direct relationship with the potential for outsized returns. Again and again, we’ve seen that the companies with the largest magnitude of success are those that target massive markets, primed for innovation. Over the course of NEA’s 35+ year history, this market opportunity-to-success ratio has fueled disruption in industries from software to healthcare, to energy, to education, and beyond. Long story short: if the [...]

Forter: The new force behind retail & ecommerce security

April 24th, 2016|Categories: WRITING|

A decade ago, when we heard the term “retail security” it was likely to evoke images of mall security guards patrolling local shopping centers. But now, it’s 2016 and things have changed. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, ecommerce sales were $341.7B last year (up 14.6% ), with ecommerce as a percent of overall retail sales also continuing a steady climb. With the shift in the way people spend, comes the demand to evolve protection [...]

The Power of the Vertical Cloud – Why We Invested in Placester

April 10th, 2015|Categories: WRITING|

Chetan Puttagunta and Ravi Viswanathan At NEA, we have been excited about our thesis in vertical clouds, or enterprise cloud software solutions purpose-built for a specific industry or vertical.  The really interesting verticals are typically massive markets that heretofore have had legacy or antiquated software (if any) or have been run very inefficiently.  One such market is the residential real estate market.  Buying a home is the single biggest financial decision that most Americans make in [...]

Celebrating Entrepreneurship at Wharton – The Wharton Entrepreneurship Alumni Dinner (10/8/14)

October 20th, 2014|Categories: WRITING|Tags: , , |

A couple of years ago, I joined the Advisory Board of Wharton Entrepreneurship (WE), which is one of the Wharton Boards and is focused on stimulating and advancing entrepreneurship in the Wharton & Penn communities.  I joined for a few reasons: (1) loyalty to Wharton (i got my MBA there but also went to Penn undergrad and really enjoyed my time there); (2) the cause - I’m passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship and really wanted [...]

The Last Mile of Enterprise Applications

October 10th, 2014|Categories: WRITING|

Ravi Viswanathan, Kittu Kolluri, & Aaron Jacobson At NEA we’ve been privileged to help fuel the evolution of enterprise software from on-premise to the cloud by working with category-defining SaaS companies such as WebEx,, and Workday. We continue to invest in the SaaS transformation of the enterprise, from emerging big data applications (check out our colleague Scott Sandell’s take on this shift) to the rise of industry-specific or “vertical” SaaS—think utilities (Opower) or education [...]

My Wearables “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”

October 5th, 2014|Categories: WRITING|

With all of the hype surrounding the Apple Watch, I decided to go through my entire “graveyard” (or more appropriately, my personal “boulevard of broken dreams” given the promise each had) of wearables devices, from smart watches, fitness watches, activity bands, sleep trackers, etc. The tally was over 15 (the picture here only notes the smart/fitness watches & activity bands)! However, I must begin by saying that I’m a total wearables geek and will jump [...]

Acquia: Transforming Digital Business by Bringing Together Content & Commerce

May 27th, 2014|Categories: WRITING|Tags: |

Ravi Viswanathan and Chetan Puttagunta Today, enterprises are faced with the reality that customers want to engage in an end-to-end, cohesive buying experience through the web, across devices and platforms. However, the conventional formula to date has been to build massive marketing operations to create content and equally massive commerce operations to manage transactions. This has created an ecosystem of confusing and fragmented digital experiences that perplexes customers and leads to lost revenue for companies. [...]