Suraj Rajwani is the managing partner and co-founder of DoubleRock. Located in San Francisco, the company is a venture capital firm established in 2012. Investments promoted by the company include IoT, mobile, SaaS, and big data solutions. Companies whose growth was fostered by DoubleRock investments have experienced a high level of success in their later stages.
Suraj Rajwani has an extensive background in building and operating businesses. Beginning with a business degree from the National University of Singapore, he has always been interested in the ways that businesses can grow when given the proper investment and timing.
Rajwani’s business ventures range from branding and online positioning to creating a network for global entrepreneurs in Singapore. He is on the Board of Directors of Optimal, Inc., and has invested in a broad range of cybersecurity and IOT companies in Silicon Valley.
As an early-stage venture capital investor, Suraj Rajwani has a unique window into the growth and development of new companies. He uses his business expertise and his deep knowledge of his portfolio companies’ activities to assist wherever he can. He is adept at judging the amount of acceptable risk that DoubleRock can take on while paving a path forward to success.
Rajwani’s company has three main goals in connection with its investments. First, they invest only in what they know, boosting the chances of their portfolio companies’ success. They are focused on providing seed or Series A funding, catching technology companies in the early stages of development. Finally, they are resolved to add value to their portfolio by assisting companies with talent resources, brand building, and guidance in operations.
While Rajwani is relatively young, he has amassed an impressive range of experience with branding and venture capital. His investments have helped to promote the advancement of technology firms all over the world. He will continue to guide his firm in choosing the best investments, making a difference in the world of technology.
Where did the idea for DoubleRock come from?
The idea for my company came when I was working with the Global Entrepreneurs Network Organization in Singapore. I became aware of the number of tech companies with great ideas that weren’t receiving the kind of support they needed to grow. I believed that I could set up an early-stage venture capital fund with the goal of expanding opportunities in technology and related fields.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I have a regular daily routine, but I’m not opposed to varying it if I need to. I usually get up early and work out. I feel that working out gives me a more balanced view of life as well as giving me the energy I need to get things done. I am working on eating a healthy breakfast, but most of the time I have coffee. I get to the office on the later side and work until later in the evening than most of my colleagues. It’s not unusual for me to work until eight or nine o’clock in the evening.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life through collaboration. I really enjoy working with the companies in our portfolio to enhance their operations. It’s fun, in a way, to give a company tips and suggestions and see where your ideas take them. I enjoy being in on the ground floor with these businesses, watching them move from ideas to functioning companies with customers and products of their own.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is the shift toward electric vehicles. I am a strong believer in environmental causes, and I also believe that the world is ready to change over to electric transportation. There will have to be some infrastructure built, of course, when it comes to home and business charging stations. Electric vehicles have so many exciting possibilities when it comes to efficient operations. Tesla is leading the way.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One of the habits that makes me a productive entrepreneur is doing thorough research. I have staff members who do a lot of the preliminary research for me, but I always supervise and help them whenever they need it. I enjoy learning about new companies and industry sectors. When it comes to the details of how these companies work, my curiosity drives me to find out more.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I am pleased with the way my life has turned out. I would tell my younger self to stay on his path and that good things would come of it. The one thing that I would improve upon is accepting help from friends and family. I liked to go it alone when I was younger, and I often resisted help.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Companies with only a little bit of industry experience can succeed. Many people argue with me about this topic, and they believe that companies have to be proven in a field before they can make a go of it. I have worked with many companies that were not prominent in their field before they entered a certain business area.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Take notes. I take notes on everything. This means that I have a physical record of meetings, conversations, and ideas. I am so busy that sometimes details slip my mind, but if I search my notes on my tablet, computer, or phone, I can find exactly what I’m looking for.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We are continually expanding the types of companies that we support as a venture capital firm. We specialize in big data-related companies, and there are so many offshoots of this field emerging yearly.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Some of our investments fail. That’s just the way life is when you’re in venture capital. The last time we had a company fail, I resolved to do even more research and find out everything I could about the company and its principals before giving them any money.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ve always thought that an online coaching service for new entrepreneurs would go over well. It would be more personal than some of the entrepreneurial courses that we hear a great deal about. Each entrepreneur would be matched with a skilled business professional.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a piece of artwork for my office. It was surprisingly affordable, and it reminds me of Singapore where I grew up.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Evernote is fantastic. Everyone should try it. It keeps me organized and sane. It’s easy to get started with the program.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend Mastering the VC Game by Jeffrey Bussgang. It’s a great road map for inexperienced companies that want to receive VC funding.
What is your favorite quote?
“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” —Warren Buffett
• Taking notes is one of the biggest keys to success.
• Always be curious about other companies, especially if you want to invest in them.
• Don’t be afraid to change your daily routine if it’s not working for you.
• Doing thorough research is absolutely necessary.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.