Soma joined Madrona in 2015 and focuses on B2B and enterprise-related startups. He invests across a wide variety of technology areas, including machine learning/artificial intelligence, next-generation cloud infrastructure, intelligent applications, developer and DevOps platforms and tools, robotic process automation and the intersection of innovation — where life science and data science intersect.
Journey to Madrona
Prior to Madrona, Soma had a successful 27-year career at Microsoft and was most recently the senior vice president of the developer division. Under Soma’s leadership, the Microsoft Developer Division, which supports over 6 million .NET developers worldwide, expanded its mission to deliver developer tools and services for mobile development and cloud development across a variety of platforms and programming technologies through the Visual Studio and .NET family of products. Additionally, Soma was the executive sponsor for global development at Microsoft and oversaw Microsoft’s Global Development Centers in China, India, and Israel. Soma has been a long-time angel investor with investments across a wide array of technology areas both in the U.S. and internationally. For more on Soma’s path to Madrona, listen to this episode of “Leading Smart.”
- Take a long-term view — whether it is investing in an early stage company and partnering with the founder/founding team for the next decade or more, whether it is making a decision that balances the long-term vision with the short-term requirements, whether it is building a professional relationship with a smart, passionate individual, whether it is about building a castle while putting together the building blocks one at a time — I think taking a long-term view and optimizing for that while balancing the short- and medium-term requirements is what works best.
- Work on an important problem that you are very passionate about solving – if it is not an important problem, you’re not sure why you are spending time on it, and if you are not very passionate about spending all of your time, energy and effort in solving that – you aren’t going to be putting in your best effort anyway.
When he’s not in the office…
Soma is passionate about empowering and educating girls around the world. Having two daughters, he and his wife strongly believe in the great opportunity that exists globally in supporting women’s education and empowerment initiatives. Soma and his wife are also part owners of Sounders FC in Seattle.
Soma holds a master’s in computer engineering from Louisiana State University and a bachelor’s in electronics and communication engineering from Guindy Engineering College, Anna University in Chennai, India. Soma also has an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Anna University.