Sunil Dhaliwal
General Partner

On Formative Experiences

My father is an electrical engineer who emigrated to the US from India. He reminds me of many of our founders:  a builder, incredibly curious, constantly thinking of better ways to solve problems, and always juggling a few side projects. When I was in grade school he quit his corporate job and started his first company, so I witnessed all of his successes and setbacks as a founder while growing up. Watching his transformation from engineer to entrepreneur gave me a deep appreciation for what it means to step off the safe path to build something new.

The most valuable career training I ever received was spending two summers as an inside sales rep for a software company. It wasn’t glamorous, but I couldn’t have asked for a better onramp to the professional world. I’ll never forget what I learned about communicating clearly, handling rejection, and persevering. I maintain a deep respect for anyone who makes cold calls for a living.

On Founding Amplify Partners

I was a venture capitalist for fourteen years before I founded Amplify. That period of time was critical to developing my philosophy of how best to support founders. It also crystallized my belief that early-stage venture capital should be rooted in focus, domain expertise, and a willingness to take risk.

Founding Amplify taught me more about startups than all of my years as an investor. Transforming an idea into a business was hard, but I never doubted the need for what I was trying to do, and therefore I never doubted it would succeed.

On Being an Investor

Early stage investing is about supporting a founder’s vision above all else. My greatest successes have come when an entrepreneur realizes their vision, not mine.

I get tremendous energy from helping companies go from zero to one. Believing in an idea, helping it take shape, and then seeing it manifest in products, customers, and employees is magical.

On Working with Founders

I’m a big fan of “founder-market fit.” I appreciate entrepreneurs who have a deep understanding of their problem space. First-hand experiences inspire the clearest vision of a solution.

Startups are powered by belief, and I have to be my founders’ deepest believer. It’s what binds us together through all the ups and downs of building a company.

I’ve worked through countless crises during my twenty years of venture investing.  Each one has taught an invaluable lesson that helps me avoid future mistakes and remain steady when the going gets tough.

On Life Outside of Work

When I’m not working with entrepreneurs, I spend time with my wife and three children or rooting for the Boston Red Sox and Georgetown Hoyas. I’m happiest when I’m on the water, whether that’s a pool, a lake, or the ocean.

Investment Areas
Previous Companies

Backtrace

(acquired by Sauce Labs)

BlueData

(acquired by HPE)

Cask

(acquired by Google)

Chef

(acquired by Progress Software)

Conjur

(acquired by CyberArk)

Ciphertrust

(acquired by Secure Computing)

Datadog

(NASDAQ: DDOG)

Fastly

(NYSE: FSLY)

Splunk

(NASDAQ: SPLK)*

Suplari

(acquired by Microsoft)

Netezza

(NYSE: NZ)*

@Stake

(acquired by Symantec)*

*Includes investments from prior firms.
Education

B.S. Georgetown University

Recognitions

The Forbes Midas List(2011, 2020), The Forbes Midas Seed List (2022)

newsletter
PHOTO
Sunil Dhaliwal
General Partner

I have very high expectations for my venture investors and Amplify Partners has exceeded all of them. I cannot think of a better partner for an early-stage entrepreneur.

Artur Bergman, Founder of Fastly

Sunil is an incredibly rare kind of investor. He gets behind the thesis of your business, tells you what he thinks clearly and without judgment, and gives you the room to make the best decisions you can. Most importantly, nobody is better when things get hard, and they always get hard.

Adam Jacob, Co-founder at Chef
Pagination
Investment Areas
Previous Companies

Backtrace

(acquired by Sauce Labs)

BlueData

(acquired by HPE)

Cask

(acquired by Google)

Chef

(acquired by Progress Software)

Conjur

(acquired by CyberArk)

Ciphertrust

(acquired by Secure Computing)

Datadog

(NASDAQ: DDOG)

Fastly

(NYSE: FSLY)

Splunk

(NASDAQ: SPLK)*

Suplari

(acquired by Microsoft)

Netezza

(NYSE: NZ)*

@Stake

(acquired by Symantec)*

*Includes investments from prior firms.
Education

B.S. Georgetown University

Recognitions

The Forbes Midas List(2011, 2020), The Forbes Midas Seed List (2022)

newsletter
Photo