Dallas’s Naya Ventures Targets Investments in Telecom Startups
Dayakar Puskoor wants you to know that North Texas’s telecom scene is not dead yet.
More than a decade after the region’s telecommunications industry busted, leading to company closures and layoffs numbering around 100,000, Puskoor hopes to be part of its resurrection. The software engineer turned entrepreneur and investor believes so much in the region’s strength that he founded Naya Ventures, a Dallas-based fund with a mission to help boost telecom startups both locally and nationwide.
“We are a portfolio operator VC,” he says. “We don’t only invest cash.”
Puskoor, Naya’s managing director, founded the $50-million fund in 2011, and has closed on $10 million of that. Most of the investors are high-net-worth individuals, and Puskoor says he is approaching institutional capital and family offices to raise the remainder.
In the last two years, Naya—which means “new” in Hindi—has invested $3.3 million in a dozen startups, three of which are based in North Texas.
Puskoor has a particular affinity for mobile startups in Dallas. He founded JPMobile in the city in 1996 and sold it for $500 million in 2005 to Good Technology, which was later bought by Motorola. He also served as a senior director at Microsoft, incubating cloud infrastructure projects.
Naya has an office in Seattle, which is headed by co-founder Prabhakar Reddy and includes Gowri Shankar, the former CEO of SinglePoint Technologies. There is also an office in India, playing on the men’s relationships there.
“We have been able to attract pretty good talent,” Puskoor says. “People who are coming as advisors to us. They are able to evaluate what type of companies we are looking at.”
Naya’s portfolio companies include Dallas-based OyoKey, which has cloud-based addressing and recognition technology; Glympse, … Next Page »