As a teenager, Purvi Gandhi and her family moved to the Bay Area from India so she could access more opportunities as a woman. Today, Gandhi is helping liberate women from a different inequity—male dominance in venture capital.
“It’s disappointing how many smart women are paid a bit above market then relegated to back-office roles as head of marketing or human resources or business development,” says Gandhi, now a partner in the female-run VC firm Hone Capital. “These women are just as capable of doing amazing deals.”
Gandhi should know. In more than two decades as a CFO, she’s worked in private equity, hedge funds, and venture capital across Silicon Valley and Asia. Early in her career, she helped lead efforts by U.S. companies, among them MTV and Starbucks, to expand into Asia.
Hone is one of the most active (in the seed and early stage)—and, by writing only small checks to start, quiet—investors in Silicon Valley. Since its launch in mid-2015, Hone has poured more than $200 million into over 350 companies, 10 of which are now privately valued at $1 billion or more and two of which have gone public. One element of Hone’s success is its strategic partnership with AngelList, an online platform for entrepreneurs seeking seed capital. Another is Hone’s proprietary algorithm for identifying promising startups from Angel- List’s vast volume of deals.
“Our goal is to fundamentally change the VC landscape and build something unique and enduring,” Gandhi says.