Univ of California Taps Ranadivé for $250 Million Tech Investment Fund


The University of California has passed a $250 million tech fund into the hands of Vivek Ranadivé, former CEO of TIBCO and owner of Sacramento Kings. The investment will support University of California innovations, reports Mass Device, in a bid to streamline the pipeline between research and the marketplace.

Ranadivé will lead a team that will help develop ideas that emerge through the institution's ecosystem and attract investors to transform these ideas into tangible products and services. For the time being, the venture fund goes by the name UC Ventures.

The fund will help hatch innovations in technology, energy, and food production among ten fields in total. It is expected that more investors will join the venture, making the $250 million fund a starting place Ranadivé said, Reuters reports. Already investors have reached out to Ranadivé expressing their interest, Reuters says.

Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Bachler called Ranadivé a visionary who can share the institution's vision for innovation. Ranadivé has built various tech projects; one of the most notable has helped automate the Wall Street trading floors, the University of California says.

Ranadivé was the CEO of TIBCO Software, a Reuters Holdings Plc. subsidiary. While the University of California will invest $250 million, Ranadivé will contribute 5 percent of the fund, both said in a press release according to Reuters.

The venture fund will help the University of California fully leverage the innovations and research UC students and faculty create, the LA Times reports. Up to this moment, the UC had to seek investments from outside the university, but this is no longer the case, UC President Janet Napolitano stated. She added:

"What we're trying to do is leverage all the resources at our command and focus them on the future."

Ranadivé said about the venture fund's possibilities that:

"It is a tremendous honor to partner with the University of California in this unique collaboration focused on investing in breakthrough technologies emerging from the world-class University of California system. As an entrepreneur, I look forward to supporting fellow entrepreneurs and growing innovative, value-driven enterprises with a mission to advance our society and make the world a better place," Vivek said.

With a business plan for the next century, the University wanted a tech fund that is independent of UC, which explains the selection of Ranadivé, said Paul Wachter, the UC Board of Regents Committee on Investments chair.

Wachter explained the fund was developed after careful consideration of the best practices in the field to ensure the creation and growth of an efficient investment medium that will help highlight the value of innovation taking place at the UC ecosystem.

Back in September, when the University of California announced the UC Ventures, the institution said the aim of the fund is to build ‘attractive, risk-adjusted returns by investing in commercial opportunities arising from the University of California."

The venture fund will not make use of tuition or state funding.

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