Aseem Datar

Partner

Aseem Datar
“Madrona was super supportive in the years leading up to founding OctoML, helping our open-source community build a better bridge with tech companies. That was just the beginning! Since founding OctoML, Madrona has been extremely helpful — from strategy to executive hiring. Aseem has been especially helpful with our GTM strategy and execution, helping us navigate the complexities of deploying a deep-tech solution in a business-effective way. I feel very fortunate to have incredibly smart, focused, and always-ready-to-help investors!”
— Luis Ceze, Co-founder and CEO, OctoML

Aseem Datar

Partner

Aseem joined Madrona in 2021 after spending almost twenty years as an operating executive. He works alongside founders building the future of next-generation infrastructure (core, security, DevOps), intelligent applications, robotics, and automation. Aseem brings a specialized mindset to the broadest of goals: achieving scale. He focuses on helping founders identify, maneuver and systematize their growth levers.

Journey to Madrona

Before Madrona, Aseem’s career was marked by an interest and growing expertise in enterprise markets, product engineering, and scaling teams for hyper growth. He spent two decades at Microsoft in a wide variety of roles, from a developer writing deep installer-level code to building and developing business models for Office 365. Aseem also earned global sales experience, led growth for infrastructure, SaaS, and hardware businesses, and was most recently the GM/COO for Microsoft Cloud, where he led growth and scale initiatives that grew the business from its early days to over $20 billion of ARR.

His background in cloud, AI/ML, intelligent SaaS, commerce & payments, devices & OS means he is interested in a broad range of startup businesses. While at Microsoft, Aseem was also active with smaller companies, building a small investment fund and serving as an adviser to very early-stage companies.

Lessons Learned

  1. Play the long game — As in sports, tenacity, perseverance, and getting incrementally better pays enormous dividends. Building a company is hard, so keep at it as long as you are trending up and to the right.
  2. Great teams make all the difference — Hire thoughtfully and with intent.
  3. Happy customers lead to more happy customers — Have a maniacal focus on making your first five customers wildly successful. They will teach you all that you need to know about scale.
  4. Most decisions are reversible — There are very few instances where you cannot revert. Move fast, learn, and keep iterating.

When he’s not in the office…

Aseem is an avid cricketer and sports fan. In addition to being a founding member of an investment fund in the Pacific Northwest, he advises several tech companies and incubation funds. He describes himself as an avid reader of biographies, sometime chef, and dad of two amazing kids.

Noteworthy

Aseem holds a master’s in electrical engineering and an MBA from the University of Washington. He also pursued his exec-ed from Harvard Business School and was a research fellow at Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), focused on anomaly detection and computational theory. The Puget Sound Business Journal named him a 40 Under 40 honoree in 2017, and he was the youngest technologist to publish a paper on the digital economy at the IEEE consortium in India. Aseem is also a recipient of the coveted Microsoft’s CMO award, and he has the unique distinction of lobbying Washington state to pass a legislative amendment for international student aid.

Insights

The Time is Now for Enterprise Robotics
Robotics Expert Sidd Srinivasa on Trends and What’s Ripe for Innovation
The Progress of Low-Code/No-Code and an Update to our Thesis
How SpiceAI is Tackling the AI Tooling Gap with Luke Kim

Aseem on Madrona

“Founders need more than just capital to create long enduring value for customers. It takes a partner who truly understands the entrepreneurial journey and who knows what it takes to win and walk alongside every step of the way. The team at Madrona is just that, and I am fortunate to get the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and help with company building. What motivates me is very simple: working with great people, working on products that matter, and being able to have an outsized impact.”