S. “Soma” Somasegar, who recently stepped down as head of Microsoft’s developer division, joins Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group as a venture capital partner, kicking off a new phase of his career after nearly 27 years at the tech giant Redmond.
The venture capital firm says Somasegar will identify new investments and advise Madrona’s portfolio companies in his new role. Somasegar, who has already made his own angel investments in consumer and corporate startups, said in an interview that he was optimistic about the Seattle area in particular as a source of innovation and new business.
“I cannot stress enough that I consider the Seattle site to have the particular potential and opportunity to be as big a player as any other place in the world in terms of startups and companies. technologies emerging successfully, âhe said. noted. âPart of the reason is that the talent available in Seattle today rivals any other part of the world, at least in terms of technical and engineering talent. “
Somasegar was at Microsoft since 1989, working on eight versions of Windows before joining the developer division. He has helped lead Microsoft’s push towards open source technologies, including the decision last year to open the .NET core server framework and runtime environment.
“SomaMadrona’s in-depth understanding of developer needs and, more broadly, enterprise software development and adoption, will be particularly relevant to Madrona’s investment strategy and portfolio companies, âsaid Tim Porter, one of the chief executives of Madrona Venture Group, in a statement. “We are delighted to have Soma on board to share his vast expertise in management and industry with our entrepreneurs and our team.
Madrona first approached Somasegar while still at Microsoft to see if he wanted to invest in the last fund of $ 300 million, known internally as âFund VIâ. He did, and it got Somasegar and the rulers of Madrona to know each other better.
Later, when he made the decision to leave Microsoft, his conversations with Matt McIlwain of Porter and Madrona ultimately led him to his new role at the company. Somasegar explained that he wanted to try something different that builds on his background and experience, rather than going to work for another big tech company like Amazon, Facebook, or Google.
Madrona recently celebrated her 20th birthday. His investments have had a disproportionate impact on the Seattle startup market, starting with co-founder Tom Alberg’s early investment in Amazon.com, and spanning companies such as Redfin, Apptio, Pro.com, Peach, Smartsheet and many more.