When we founded Spero Ventures in 2018, we thought about what people might want in the future. We kept coming back to the idea that no matter what happens, people will always care about the basics: health and wellness; work and a sense of purpose; and human connection. So that’s what we decided to invest in.
Before starting Spero, I ran Emerging Tech investing at Omidyar Network. I loved the sense of purpose of bringing more opportunity to more people. We decided to spin out of Omidyar Network in order to invest in for-profit companies that shared the same purpose.
Prior to Omidyar Network, I worked with Pierre Omidyar to launch First Look Media. Before that, I worked at eBay, which Pierre founded in 1995. eBay’s mission — to enable economic opportunity around the world — felt like the ultimate purpose for the internet. I led the global product team and later I led US product marketing. Before eBay, I led product at a startup called NextCard.
In the midst of my tech career, I decided to pursue a new adventure and moved to New York to study film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. I made a few shorts and a collaborative feature-length film, where I got the chance to direct Oscar-nominated actors. The experience has given me a broader perspective of life outside Silicon Valley. I also learned that making a tech product and making a movie have a lot in common: You come up with an idea and spend a lot of time thinking about your audience and what they care about. Then you put together a talented team to create something you hope will resonate.
I love working with creators who want to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with our founders.
Why invest in wellness?
There is nothing more consequential than health and wellness. I’ve personally felt the clarity that comes with briefly having that security taken away: everything becomes sharper; your priorities become crystal clear. Everyone deserves to eat healthy food and have access to the care they need to stay physically and mentally healthy.
How will work be different in the future?
Technology continuously changes the world around us. It’s the way it has always been. We are going through a period where the pace of technology is accelerating dramatically. We need to harness technology to make us more effective and, at the same time, be resilient and adapt to change.
What does technology have to do with human connection?
What is the point of all this if we can’t share our lives with one another? Technology should make it easier for us to make more authentic connections with each other.
What got you into technology?
I grew up in Madras, India. My mother was a lawyer who had incredible ideas for products and startups and my father was an engineer who was fascinated by new technology and taught himself to use computers.
I learned to code when I was 10. Basic, on a ZX Sinclair. Then Cobol, then C. I got in trouble for dialing into the Compuserve servers from India (that was not a fun phone bill). I’ve loved my operating experiences in tech – to build products that millions of users are interacting with is an incredible joy. I started Spero to work with amazing founders with inspiring visions to make a lasting positive impact on the world. That’s the part of the job that gives me the greatest joy.