After two stints working with Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and creator of Square, Rishi Garg is accustomed to working closely with tech founders who have big visions.
Now Garg, who was Twitter’s head of M&A until last year, will try to find the next crop of idealistic tech entrepreneurs in his new role as a venture capital investor.
Garg is joining Mayfied, one of Silicon Valley’s pioneering VC firms, where he will be the firm’s 6th investing partner. The plan, he tells Business Insider, is to find startups led by entrepreneurs who are driven by more than just the challenge of building a hit product.
“If you want to create massive change you can’t just say I’ve got a great product. You have to have a broader goal, a wider aperture of ambition to make an impact,” Garg says.
It’s not just for the sake of idealism. Startup founders who see their work as part of a broader mission to change the world will be more successful, Garg says.
“Twitter and Square are both mission-driven companies. It affected all of our day-to-day work, it’s how we started every meeting — talking about our mission, why we were there.”
Although Silicon Valley has been criticised of late for focusing too much on trivial innovations, like photo filters and emojis, Garg insists that advances in cloud computing and artificial intelligence means we are in a unique moment in time that will result in products that change human behaviour.
Garg served as the head of corporate development at mobile payment company Square for two and half years, before joining Twitter in 2014 as VP of corporate development and strategy. Twitter made several important acquisitions on Garg’s watch, including the Periscope live video app that is now considered one of the company’s key assets to help the social networking service revive its stalled user growth.
At Mayfield, which recently raised $525 million for two new funds, Garg will invest in companies focused on social media, financial technology and new platforms like augmented reality and virtual reality. Mayfield, which was founded in 1969, has backed companies including ride-hailing company Lyft and solar power company Solar City.
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