Sid Kasbekar

I was born in India, grew up in Sydney and when I turned 18, shipped off to the US. American college was a big change from the leafy suburbs of Sydney, but it opened my eyes to the world of startups.

After trying and failing with numerous entrepreneurial endeavours, I made what felt like the only logical decision: to start my career working at a private equity firm in New York. That was a formative education in Business 101, but I came to realise that I wanted to be closer to the decisions. I joined an Aussie fintech startup as their 1st hire in the US and loved the experience of helping to build something from the ground up.

In 2022, I felt what I think every Aussie feels at some point—the desire to move back home. I was lucky enough to join the wonderful team at Airtree, where I now spend every day trying to get a little smarter, so I can keep up with the world-class founders this region is producing.

Why tech and startups excite me

If the world is a canvas, early-stage innovation is what paints it, and small groups of people with outsized ambition are the ones holding the paintbrush. Investing in, and working with founders who are building our future reality is the greatest privilege of VC.

I’m on the lookout for

People who sit at the edge. It could be the edge of technologies, industries or random internet trends. These are the people searching in places others aren’t looking. My role is to learn from these people and connect dots that can help them build their vision. I’m also always looking for good book recommendations (with a strong affinity towards biographies).

Advice I’d give my younger self

Have fun along the way. To borrow from Tony Hsieh, great businesses are about delivering happiness to both customers and employees. When you have a culture that prioritises this, you can attract great people who can build a great business. Once the flywheel is in motion, it’s very hard to stop.

Investment Manager
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