As CEO and Managing Partner, Lak leads Next47, the global venture firm with $1.2 billion in backing from Siemens. He is based in Palo Alto and has spent much of his career focused on identifying industry changing disruptions and acting on them as an investor or acquirer. Having partnered with entrepreneurs building both full-stack and software businesses, Lak’s investment focus is on applications of AI/ML, vertical SaaS, robotics, mobility and other emerging areas of deep tech.
Prior to joining Next47 at its inception in 2016, Lak founded and built Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, bringing together venture investing and revenue-generating business development for portfolio companies from HP customers. He was an investor in Adallom (acquired by Microsoft), HortonWorks (acquired by Cloudera) and Mesosphere. Lak also previously worked in strategy and corporate development at Cisco Systems, where he led the acquisitions of Meraki and Starent Networks, and invested in Control4.
After cutting his teeth as an engineer working with startups during the .com era, Lak has enormous respect for the passion, vision and tenacity of entrepreneurs. As an investor, he believes in establishing mutual trust with Founders so when critical business decisions need to be made, he can support them in making the best choices for building world-class new businesses.
Education, Personal, and Fellowship
Lak earned an MBA, with Distinction, in 2005 from INSEAD, where he completed an exchange program with the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Lak holds an MS in electrical engineering from Kansas State University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He also holds a BE in electrical and electronics engineering from Guindy Engineering College, India, where he was a Gold Medalist.
Lak is a published author and has several research papers in IEEE to his credit. He and his wife, Preethi, have traveled abroad extensively and share a passion for south Indian classical music. Lak also loves spending time with his son, Jayanth.
Lak Ananth is a member of Kauffman Fellows Class 12 and served his fellowship at Bridgescale Partners under mentor Matthew Cowan.