Dallas Venture Partners

"The difference between success and failure is a great team"

We pride ourselves on being entrepreneurs investing in entrepreneurs, and our founder-friendly strategy is complemented by our domain expertise and professional accomplishments

Investment Professionals

Abidali (Abid) Z. Neemuchwala

Venture Partner

Beginning his leadership journey with Tata Consulting Services (TCS), Abid has established himself as a humble, inventive and passionate leader with a remarkable career spanning multiple countries and organizations. Prior to joining DVP, Abid was Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Wipro Limited overseeing $8 billion in revenue and more than 180,000 employees serving clients across six continents. His passion about nurturing innovation, mentoring startups and celebrating entrepreneurship roots back to stewarding Wipro Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Wipro Limited that raised US$100 million in 2015 & US$150 million in 2020.

A statesman of the services industry and a thought leader advising Global CIO’s on Digital Transformation, Abid brings in rich experience in business and technology along with an extensive network that can benefit the startup ecosystem in Dallas. Being an advocate of change and a believer in simplification of processes with focus on talent development, Abid has led the creation of deep capabilities in human-centric design, cloud, artificial intelligence, and hyper-automation.

Over the course of a 28 year long distinguished career in the global IT services industry Abid has established a reputation as a bold transformative thinker with deep operational knowledge and broad strategic insight in building and scaling businesses. Throughout his professional journey Abid has been facilitated with several awards and recognition including BPO CEO of the Year 2010 & 2012, Elevate Texas Award 2017, and Distinguished Alumni Award 2020 IIT Bombay among others.

A post-graduate in Industrial Management from IIT Mumbai and a graduate in Electronics and Communication from NIT, Raipur, Abid enjoys travelling, Indian music, reading fiction, and chess. He is equally passionate about the community and his family and lives with his wife and three children in Dalla, Texas. Abid currently serves on the board of the World Affairs Council of Dallas Ft. Worth and the Texas Economic Development Corporation.

Adhavan Manickam

Venture Partner

Adhavan Manickam is a serial entrepreneur, technologist, investor, mentor, and an accomplished R&D professional having consulted for Ericsson Inc, in US and Sweden for 8 years. He founded a mobile platform company for personalized and contextual information delivery, was co-founder & CTO of a startup that developed an Industrial IoT platform which was acquired by a large industrial fluid manufacturer. He has been involved with Naya as an advisor and investor for over a year before becoming a Venture Partner. He has a Bachelor’s in Electronics and Communications Engineering from University of Madras, India and Masters in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas, Arlington. A long-term resident of Dallas, TX, he loves outdoor activities such as golfing, skiing, hiking & camping. His other passions include motorcycles and traveling the world with his wife and son.

Dayakar Puskoor

Founder and General Partner

The Co-founder and Managing Partner at Naya Ventures, Dayakar Puskoor, is a serial entrepreneur turned visionary investor, who had the foresight to launch one of the first tech-focused venture fund. Headquartered in post-telecom Dallas, the fund invested in several pioneering early stage startups in cloud, AI/ML and mobile technologies in Dallas, Silicon Valley, Seattle and India.

Passionate about mentoring founding teams of startups, Dayakar operates with a philosophy to Invest, Engage, Collaborate, Grow & Exit. The spirit of this philosophy has resulted in several path breaking transformations and winning exits for startups. His mantra of “Entrepreneur investing in other Entrepreneurs”, has led to the creation of a like-minded ecosystem of Investors, Advisors and Startups for mutual success.

Besides playing a key role in Naya Ventures, Dayakar is also Executive Chairman at Motivity Labs, GlobalOutlook and KeepTrax, Board Member at CoreStack, FelixHealthCare, Kore.ai, Altia Systems, SnapOne, and Viviota, Board Observer at Minetta Brook and an Advisory Board Member at Boxfish and Glympse.

Dayakar began his career with Motorola where he owned the P&L for the Paging product and received the Engineering Excellence Award from management at Nippon Motorola. Following which, as Founder and CEO of JP Mobile, he pioneered the industry’s first mobile software solutions company considered to be inventor of wireless email for the Palm PDA platform. He secured $55 million in financing and successfully completed its acquisition by Good Technology, later acquired by Motorola. Prior to founding Naya, Dayakar owned the P&L for the Hosting & Mobility Solutions business at Microsoft. He was responsible for the incubation, development & management of new mobility and cloud solutions. He also led the $350M hosting business encompassing all product development, product management, marketing, and business development.

Dayakar is an active supporter of entrepreneurs and startups. He has been involved with the Dallas chapter of The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE) since 1999 and is currently a charter member. Among other activities, he chaired the wireless/mobility SIG of TiE, and organized a wireless seminar in partnership with Nokia, Texas Instruments and others. Dayakar has also been featured in numerous publications, including Forbes, where he is a thought leader and occasional contributor. Dayakar earned a master’s degree in computer science from Nova Southeastern University. 

Gokul Dixit

Venture Partner

Gokul Dixit brings two decades’ experience in North American, European and Asian capital markets, including bond & equity issuances, leveraged loans, private equity buyouts, venture capital investments, financial restructuring, asset-backed structured finance, cash, commodities and currency risk management. As a treasury analyst and investment manager, Gokul has led investments in start-up ventures. As a corporate turnaround specialist, he brought operational improvements and strategic alliances for his portfolio.  He has also managed investments in multiple asset-cycles, asset classes and geographies.

Manu Sharma

Senior Associate

Manu Sharma is the Senior Associate at Naya Ventures. As part of his role, he is responsible for conducting due diligence on prospective companies, supporting the existing portfolio, and assisting in fund operations. Manu serves as a board observer for Kore.ai, Hyperverge, Docsynk, Appnique, and Global Outlook, amongst others. Prior to joining Naya, Manu worked as a management consultant at EY, where he was a part of the Financial Services Performance Improvement and Strategy group.

Manu received a Bachelors in Business Administration from Texas A&M University, where he was a part of the University’s student led venture fund.

Shailendra Tipparaju

Venture Partner

An active serial entrepreneur, technologist and an executive coach, Shailendra Tipparaju (Shailu) has a cross-industry global footprint spanning over two decades. He has been a founding member of several Education Technology companies from concept to scale before successful exits, that have generated an enterprise value of over half a billion dollars.

Shailu also serves as the chairman of Chicago based Colosseum Group, a global brand of companies that focuses on investments, incubation, research, engineering, education, and creative brand communications. As the Vice-Chairman of Atal Balachandran Great Lakes Incubation AGBI, Shailu has helped foster entrepreneurship by mentoring, investing and advising over 50 companies.

Prior to his current active roles, he has been a founding member of EdAssist (acquired by Bain Capital Bright Horizons in 2010), Strateology (by University Ventures in 2017), and Examity (by Great Hill Partners in 2019). Between 2008 to 2013, he led the Technology Innovation program at CVS Pharmacy, a Fortune 10 company, to head implementations of shared services platforms. His first stint started as an intern in 1999 at Xerox innovation group (then part of Motorola division) and grew to lead several successful global engineering initiatives at Motorola, Delta Airlines, and GlaxoSmithKline. He was Xerox’s top performing employee worldwide in 2015.

A widely published author and speaker, Shailu has been recognized as one of the top 100 Education pioneers in 2020 and is an active contributor in various standardized and certification global councils in the EdTech domain.  A patriot, artist, musician, educator, and a strong family-man, Shailu believes in purposeful balanced living and compassionate capitalism. He heads up the Colosseum Foundation with a mission to create self-belief in individuals and guide the next generations to use entrepreneurship as a medium to build global ties, showcase global patriotism blended with compassionate capitalism, and promote the culture, heritage and spirit of intellectuality, hospitality, and spirituality globally. 

A lifelong learner, Shailu has a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India and a Master’s in Computer Science from Loyola University, Chicago. He is currently pursuing a management program at the Harvard Business School at Boston.  He lives in Chicago with his wife and best friend of more than two decades, Sireesha, and his two super-hero sons, Dhanush and Ankush.

Shyam Penumaka

Partner

Shyam Penumaka brings more than two and half decades of experience in Investment Banking and Information Technology.  As a founding managing partner of an advisory firm, Shyam has advised multiple startups across technology and solar sectors to raise equity capital and in M & A transactions. A seasoned information technology professional with a global outlook Shyam has domain expertise in telecom, benefit administration and banking industries across North America and India. Shyam had led EDCs (Extended Delivery Centers) in India for large telecom operators in North America, UK and Europe. Shyam managed the engineering organization for a Silicon Valley startup that built multi tenet employee retirement self-care and employer contribution portals. Shyam volunteers for non-profit organizations and was the Hyderabad Chapter President of “Youth For Seva”, where he led multiple projects in green and health sectors in partnership with CSR divisions of large MNCs. Shyam holds an MBA from the prestigious Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad.

Tariq Akbar

Venture Partner

A serial entrepreneur since he was 16, Tariq is passionate about helping entrepreneurs chase their dreams, shape and realize their vision. A firm believer that as much about the journey as it is about the outcome, and entrepreneurs need mentorship as much as capital has landed him in Naya Ventures. His expertise includes engineering, management consulting and entrepreneurship.  His domain knowledge spans public sector, healthcare, tech, and real estate in North America, Europe and India. He currently serves as the CEO for LegalEase Solutions and prior experience includes Deloitte, GE and Rockwell Engineering. He holds a Master’s in Industrial and Management Engineering from Rensselaer, NY and is an active investor in emerging tech, F&B, and real estate. His interests include reading, swimming, and failed attempts at surfing.

Murali Narayanan

Advisor

An advisor to Naya Ventures and to some of its portfolio companies since 2012, Murali Narayanan is an innovator at heart who holds 8 patents in his name till date. Starting his career at Bell Laboratories in the mid-70s as a fault tolerant computer architect and designer, Murali held senior management positions across several major companies such as Microsoft besides leading many startups throughout his career.

Until his retirement in 2018, Murali was with Planet Labs as an advisor to the company’s CTO. Before joining Planet, he was a consultant with AT&T IoT Solutions group and drove the development of wireless communication capabilities to meet the needs of auto manufacturers building autonomous vehicles.

Murali has an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Business, MSEE from University of Michigan, BSEE from Indian Institute of Science and BS in Physics from University of Madras (now Chennai). He is an avid nature photographer and lives with his wife Mythili and daughter Priya in Redmond, WA.

Raja Doddala

Advisor

Raja Doddala leads a team that designs, builds and runs the digital experience for TIAA’s institutional clients. Partnering with TIAA’s institutional and asset management businesses, his team’s technology serves the employees of 16,000 universities, hospitals and other non-profit institutions. In addition, Raja manages TIAA’s corporate venture capital portfolio, and is responsible for TIAA’s enterprise wide fintech strategy and partnerships.

He joined TIAA after a ten-year stint at 7-Eleven, the largest retailer in the world in terms of number of locations, culminating in the position of VP, Omnichannel Strategy and Corporate VC. Under Raja’s leadership, 7-Eleven created a nationwide network for real-time cash bill payments, launched its first loyalty program and rolled out a suite of mobile applications. Applying technology to achieve concrete results, his team launched on-demand product delivery in all major US cities.

Besides developing strategies for digital, mobile and APIs, Raja founded 7-Eleven’s innovation practice and the corporate venture capital arm, 7-Ventures, LLC, and led the investing team. He holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas and a master’s in computer science from La Trobe University, in Melbourne, Australia.