Jalak Jobanputra is Founding Partner of FuturePerfect Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund in NYC. FPV’s portfolio includes Abra, Open Garden, Blockstream, Bitpesa, FuseMachines, and Blockchain. Before founding Future\Perfect Ventures, Jobanputra was the Director of Mobile Investments at Omidyar Network, a philanthrocapitalist fund started by Pierre Omidyar, co-founder of eBay. While there, she created a mobile investment strategy, invested in an East African mobile tech incubator, invested in the fastest growing Indian mobile classified ad site, and closed Omidyar’s largest for profit investment ($5M) to date in Latin America, a wireless company that creates credit profiles on unbanked middle income consumers using mobile data. She has 20 years experience in venture capital, impact investing, media and technology. She was previously Senior Vice President at the New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF), a private economic development fund, where she managed the fund’s technology and digital media venture investments. While there, Jobanputra spearheaded the formation NYCSeed in 2008, a seed fund dedicated to funding early stage tech entrepreneurs in NYC, in response to a market gap in seed funding at the time. She was also on the selection committee and served as a mentor and speaker for NYCSeedStart, NYC’s first summer accelerator program, and helped launch the FinTech Innovation Lab, which has since been replicated in London. Jobanputra worked closely with the Bloomberg administration and NYCEDC to implement initiatives to help diversify the NYC economy through NYC’s growing tech/digital sectors and served on Governor Paterson’s Small Business Taskforce. Her portfolio at NYCIF included outside.in (acquired by AOL), Thumbplay (acquired by Clear Channel), Schoolnet (acquired by Pearson) and TXVia (acquired by Google), in addition a debt instrument to Grameen America, and seed investments in Magnetic, Ticketfly, Enterproid and SeatGeek.
Prior to NYCIF, she was a Principal at New Venture Partners, a $300 million early stage venture fund that commercialized technology out of corporate labs. At NVP, she founded and served as interim CEO of Real Time Content (spun out of British Telecom) in 2005, a personalized video ad platform, and was a Director of Procelerate Technologies, a SaaS workflow management tool for the aerospace industry. She also incubated a range of other technologies, including speech recognition/NLP, 3D displays, video surveillance, 4G wireless broadband and music recommendation software. From 1999-2003, Jobanputra was at Intel Capital in Silicon Valley, where she invested in enterprise software, internet and digital media startups, including Demantra (sold to Oracle), Extricity (sold to Peregrine), Viacore (sold to IBM), R Systems (IPO), Financial Engines (IPO), Yodlee (IPO) and Zinio. In 1997 in NYC, in the early days of Silicon Alley, she launched and managed product development for online financial information startup Horsesmouth. She began her career in media, telecom and tech investment banking at Lehman Brothers and Broadview in NYC and London.
Jobanputra is also active in supporting education reform and social entrepreneurship and served as a Trustee of Achievement First Bushwick Charter Schools (Brooklyn) and sits on the Executive Committee of the Social Investment Council of Echoing Green. She is on the Board of Directors for the Center for an Urban Future, Advisory Board of Loreal’s Women in Digital Initiative, member of Mayor DeBlasio’s Broadband Taskforce, and Access to Capital Subcommittee member of the US Secretary of State Women’s Leadership Council.
Jobanputra serves on the NYC Downtown Alliance “LM” Leadership Committee, announced by Mayor Bloomberg on Sept. 12, 2013, and a member of the Advisory Board of The Daily News Innovation Lab. She served as a 2010 Mentor for the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder, a summer accelerator for social entrepreneurs worldwide. In 2003, she took a yearlong sabbatical from VC to consult on replication strategy for Gates Foundation funded charter schools, including the Big Picture Company. Jobanputra spent four months setting up microfinance programs and training women entrepreneurs in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania after receiving her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management in 1999. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Communications from the Annenberg School and a BSE in Finance from the Wharton School.
In 2013, Jobanputra was selected as a “40 Woman to Watch Over 40”. Jobanputra was selected as an Outstanding 50 Asian American in Business in 2010 by the Asian American Development Center. In November 2012 she participated in an Aspen Institute delegation to Amman, Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II, Mideast entrepreneurs and investors. She was selected as a US State Department Delegate to Indonesia in the summer of 2011, where she met with entrepreneurs, angel investors and business leaders to promote tech entrepreneurship. Jobanputra is a Techstars NYC Mentor, Member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) and Advisory Board Member of Astia NYC, and is a frequent speaker and judge at entrepreneur and venture conferences, including Mobile World Congress, CTIA, TechCrunch Disrupt, Bloomberg, Internet Week and Social Media Week. She is a regular contributor on BloombergTV and has been interviewed by MarketPlace Radio, Forbes, SeekingAlpha and other national publications. Jobanputra has been asked to speak on entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems by the Obama White House and throughout the US and is has played a leadership role in the tech community on immigration reform. She can be found at @jalak or on her blog www.thebarefootvc.com (named a top 10 investor blog by several sources). Jalak was recently awarded Institutional Investor’s Top 35 Fintech Dealmakers of 2016 and also listed as a 100 Most Influential Fintech Leader of 2016.