Pankaj Jain is the founder and managing partner of Saka Ventures. Pankaj has 25 years of international experience with a unique background that integrates technology, finance, entrepreneurship, venture capital and blockchain. This experience gives him the ability to view business models and startups through a cross-cultural lens coupled with a keen understanding of global markets. Pankaj has been an active angel investor as well as an advisor to venture capital funds, startups, governments and foundations on topics ranging from building technology startup ecosystems, to early-stage deal structuring, as well as, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
For over four years, Pankaj led India investments and operations for 500 Startups (500 Global), a Silicon Valley based seed fund and accelerator program, where he served as a Partner. Pankaj focused on investing in early stage startups across India, New York City, South Asia, the US and other countries, leading investments in over sixty-five companies at 500 Startups. Under Pankaj’s leadership, the organization built a solid reputation in South Asia, known as one of the top venture capital firms in the region. Pankaj worked tirelessly to influence and transform a nascent startup ecosystem, working with government bodies and organizations to restructure policies, laws, and increase efficiencies.
After getting his B.S. from the New York University Stern School of Business, Pankaj spent over 12 years in the Financial industry at firms such as JP Morgan, Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) and GlobeOp Financial Services.
At Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM), Pankaj served in various roles including enterprise fixed income risk management, as well as managing teams across product management, product development, application architecture, and market data infrastructure.
From LTCM, Pankaj went on to become one of the founding employees of SS&C GlobeOp Financial Services in late 1999, where he headed the firm’s trade management, pricing and data infrastructure as well as customer service groups.
In 2007, Pankaj started a company in India building an on-demand, employment marketplace for the under-served. In 2008, Pankaj became a co-founder of the HeadStart Network Foundation and the led the efforts in Delhi. In late 2010, he founded Startup Weekend in India and led the organization until 2013.
In early 2012, Pankaj began working with TLabs, an Indian accelerator, where he helped source, select and invest in startups for the first two cohorts. In late 2012, Pankaj joined 500 Startups to lead the firm’s investments in Indian startups. Pankaj moved back to New York City in 2014 and continued to focus on Indian startups targeting the domestic Indian market as well as a global market.