Viewpoint / AI

Navin Chaddha: Helping Entrepreneurs Achieve Their Dreams

Mayfield Managing Partner Navin Chaddha recently joined EE Times journalist Nitin Dahad on the Silicon Grapevine podcast. In this interview Navin shares his motivation for becoming a venture capitalist after three back-to-back successful startups; his journey from his beginnings studying at IIT in Delhi, and Stanford in California, to becoming an accidental entrepreneur to a successful VC; his POV on the semiconductor industry; and more. Key takeaways include:

  1. Invest in relationships, not transactions – Mayfield’s people-first philosophy guides our investment decisions.
  2. The VC industry experienced a massive increase in capital investment in startups, reaching a 10x increase from 2012-2021. However, most of this funding went to mid and later-stage companies via follow-on rounds, creating a supply-demand imbalance. It’s important for the industry to remember its roots in inception and early-stage investing, and to right-size the amount of money going into startups.
  3. For a while, the VC industry at large did not invest in semis for a variety of reasons –  Moore’s Law, the capital intensity of these ventures, long product development, even longer sales cycles, and public markets valuing software and consumer companies highly, to name a few. But today, silicon investing is back with the Renaissance of Semiconductors, and Navin actively invests in this space, with investments including Nuvia (acquired by Qualcomm), Alif, Auradine, and Frore Systems.
  4. Navin urges entrepreneurs that they should have a 30-second elevator pitch, starting with vision, mission & values; articulating the customer problem; explaining how big the market is; and sharing the team’s background and founder-market fit. Once you have a VC’s attention you can dive deeper into the technology behind the company.
  5. Some investment themes Navin and Mayfield are investing in include AI, the renaissance of silicon, the rise of the individual, cybersecurity, and human and planetary health.
  6. One piece of advice he would give his younger self: take it easy, enjoy the journey and look at what’s around you – don’t be so focused on your goal that you miss out.

Mayfield brings a People-first view to AI and invests across the five layers of the technology stack.  The firm also recently announced the first dedicated seed fund in the firm’s history, the $250M AI Start. Learn more about the firm’s AI focus here.

You May Also Enjoy