Madrona Venture Group, a Seattle, WA-based early-stage venture capital firm, announced four appointments and promotions.
In details, the firm added:
– S. “Soma” Somasegar to the role of Managing Director.
Soma, who joined Madrona in November 2015 as a Venture Partner, following a more than twenty five year career at Microsoft leading the company’s Developer Division and responsible for the Visual Studio and .NET family of products. He was also responsible for Microsoft’s R&D labs in Boston, China, India and Israel and an active angel and seed investor, backing Highspot, Buuteeq, Amperity, Discord, Indix, Sulekha.com, and Talentwise.
As a Venture Partner at Madrona, Soma was involved in key investment areas including Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality, next generation cloud infrastructure and intelligent applications. he led investments in Shyft and CloudCoreo, and he is also the Board Chair at Pixvana and an initiative focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence.
– Hope Cochran, who has joined the firm as Venture Partner, bringing knowledge based on her experience as an entrepreneur, board member and CFO of public and private companies. She was CFO of King Digital, the creator of Candy Crush and other mobile games and of Clearwire, a telcom company, while started her career as an entrepreneur and founder of SkillsVillage, which created a system for companies to manage contract labor. Cochran also serves on the boards of MongoDB and Hasbro.
As Venture Partner, she will help identify new investments, provide strategic and operational advice to portfolio companies, and foster corporate and strategic business development relationships with larger companies and investors.
– Julie Sandler, who was promoted to Partner, has led investments in several companies including Integris, Poppy, and Julep, serving on boards across the Madrona portfolio as a board director and observer.
She launched the Seattle Entrepreneurial Women’s Network, an informal forum for women entrepreneurs, startuppers, and aspiring entrepreneurs to connect in the greater Seattle area, is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Washington Foster School of Business and teaches an MBA course on Entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Madrona, Sandler was a senior product manager at Amazon where she managed digital marketing for Kindle Books and led the design and implementation of new web and mobile shopping experiences for Kindle Content.
She also worked in product management at TeachStreet (a Madrona portfolio company acquired by Amazon) and Accenture where she designed and launched worldwide Disaster Response operations for Microsoft’s Volume Licensing division.
– Dan Li, who was promoted to Senior Associate, joined Madrona in 2015. Prior to joining Madrona, Li worked in the Seattle office of the Boston Consulting Group, working on a variety of strategy and operations projects, ranging from developing go-to-market strategies for cloud services to deploying new technology systems to improve the quality and speed of insurance claims processing.
He helps develop investment themes, sources and evaluates new investment opportunities and works with portfolio companies to develop strategies for success. Li has helped drive the firm’s investment strategy in areas like autonomous transportation and virtual reality, and is an inventor, having developed both internal tools and a mobile game called Babel. He serves as a board observer for several portfolio companies, including Matcherino, SayKara, and Eventbase.