I’ve always looked up to my mom. She was the person in our community that people would seek out in the middle of the night to discuss their most personal problems. She never judged other people, and she always seemed to understand that everyone was just doing their best in life.
It was through my mom that I gained my love for deep conversations, my avid collection of cheesy self-help books, and a passion for meditation and mindfulness. I’ve come to the conclusion that self-growth is what gives me meaning in work, relationships, and life.
My parents immigrated from Mumbai, and like many immigrants, they had to work really hard, but they never complained. I was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and I’d often go back to Mumbai as a kid to see my extended family. My family was big and loud, and everyone was in everyone else’s business. I loved how rambunctious, blunt, and loving they were.
I started my career at Boston Consulting Group, where I focused on due diligence for private equity clients. The hours were long, and I spent my days building market sizes, creating landscapes of competitors, and analyzing growth drivers in certain markets. It was good learning for me, and this market work still comes in handy at Amplify when I work with companies.
I got my first taste of early-stage tech at the Clinton Health Access Initiative after BCG. We were working to lower drug prices in the developing world, and we also funded new products to improve healthcare in East Africa. I traveled to Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa for the first time in this job, and I felt at home in these countries and got to take some time to reflect after BCG.
During this time, I decided I wanted to move to the west coast and see what Silicon Valley had to offer. I started my MBA at Stanford in 2015, and I noticed all of my classmates starting companies. I was really honest with myself, and I decided I wasn’t ready to do something on my own yet, so I went to Google to work on the Emerging Products and Solutions team (EPS) for the retail and ecommerce vertical.
My team at Google focused on designing and building new ML products that could benefit retailers. I worked on two main products at Google: Shoppale Images and Sponsored Product Ads, and I also did a 20% project at Waymo on the external LiDAR team.
One of the best parts of working at Google was the ability to learn from a bunch of different teams. I made an effort to dive deep into all parts of Google’s business: cloud infrastructure, browsers, operating systems, security, core search, and of course, autonomous vehicles at Waymo. When an opportunity at Amplify came up, I was excited to make it my job to have a point of view on a broad base of technical domains.
I now invest in infrastructure, developer tool, and security startups. I get many of my investment ideas from reading Hacker News, finding patterns in what’s trending on GitHub, and of course, just talking to developers.
I think about two things often when I’m working with founders: empathy and hustle. Founding a company is one of the hardest and, at times, loneliest jobs in the world. These things weighed heavily on me when I thought of starting something on my own. For those who do choose to be a CEO, I believe the only antidote to these ups and downs is a supportive group of people around you.
Hustle is also really important to me, and I always strive to hustle for the companies that I work with, whether that’s identifying candidates, recommending customers, or advising on any aspect of company building (even the small stuff, like finding office space or a bank to work with). I think hustle is one of the most important traits in people.
I live in the Bay Area with my husband, and we enjoy skiing and drinking wine. I’m an avid hip-hop music fan, and I think the 90’s were the golden era for hip-hop. I’m also keen to talk about traveling off the beaten path (I’ve gone to 40+ countries to date), ponder the meaning of life, or learn something new from you!
Renee has been helpful at every step of the way. She gave great advice from our first intro, through the fundraising process, and even helped close candidates. She's been an invaluable resource for our company.
I am convinced that Renee can see the future. Her clarity of vision, founder empathy, and technical depth combine to make her a trustworthy advisor. From the Friday afternoon text messages to the formalisms of the board meeting, I find myself continually impressed by how generously she gives of her time and wisdom.
Renee brings a positive, high-impact, empathetic approach to the board room. She is a thoughtful leader, culture cultivator, and advisor.