Sumi joined CapitalG in 2015, bringing with him years of experience in growth and private equity investing.
While working at Providence Equity Partners, he focused on the technology and media sectors. At CapitalG, driven by his passion to support companies that provide mission-critical services as well as those that improve consumers’ economic mobility, he focuses on fintech, healthcare and consumer marketplaces. He has led investments in Robinhood, Stripe, Convoy, Albert and Aye Finance and sits on boards in the US and India.
What types of companies most excite you?
I’m excited by companies innovating in mission critical industries such as financial services and healthcare. Too many people worldwide lack access to these vital services. We are in the early stages of an incredible opportunity to use data and technology to reduce the costs of these services and dramatically expand their accessibility and reach. I find it incredibly gratifying to work with such meaningful, human-centric companies that can have a profoundly positive effect on millions of lives.
What qualities do you most look for in an entrepreneur or a CEO?
I look for entrepreneurs who have a unique vision of the future and an unrelenting commitment to making it a reality. I also value an entrepreneurs’ ability to articulate a winning strategy, hire a strong team, set goals and iterate quickly and honestly on both successes and failures.
Within the growth stage specifically, it’s important to find leaders capable of shifting gears from running a small team focused on building a singular product, to orchestrating a broad organization capable of launching multiple products and empowering their team to accomplish ambitious goals. Strong growth stage founders understand the need to delegate responsibility to their team and prioritize transparency in their decisions.
What about your upbringing has shaped your view of the world?
I was born in India, and my parents worked in the government which took us all over the country. When I was eleven, we immigrated to the US where I spent middle school and high school in New York. My frequent moves within both India and the US have taught me to be extremely open minded, that change is both difficult and essential and that aligning with the right people is critical to making any transition successful.
How can investors support entrepreneurs in the realization of their missions?
While good investors always have distinct points of view, it’s not our place to impose those views on our founders. Instead, I see our role as advisors who help entrepreneurs stay true to their mission, continuously refine their goals and then help them chart a path to see them realized.
I also see it as my job to help our companies achieve operational excellence. This can include helping them find the right talent, providing them operational insights and benchmarks from other best-in-class companies and, in CapitalG’s case, leveraging learnings and advisors from the broader Google organization when relevant.