Anand Rajaraman

Anand Rajaraman

Founding Partner, Rocketship.vc

Anand is a Founding Partner at Rocketship.vc. Prior to starting Rocketship, he was Senior Vice President at Walmart Global eCommerce, where he co-headed @WalmartLabs, focused at the intersection of social, mobile, and commerce. Anand came to Walmart when Walmart acquired Kosmix, the startup he co-founded, in 2011. The purchase price was reported in the media to be over $300 million. Kosmix pioneered semantic search technology and semantic analysis of social media.

Anand also was a Founding Partner of Cambrian Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. His Silicon Valley investments include Facebook (one of the earliest angel investors in 2005), Lyft, Aster Data Systems (acquired by Teradata), Efficient Frontier (acquired by Adobe), Neoteris (acquired by Juniper), Transformic (acquired by Google), Kaltix (acquired by Google), AppNexus, HighTail, and several other innovative and successful companies. Anand also is an investor in several companies in India, and helped set up the IIT Madras Entrepreneurship Fund to encourage entrepreneurship at his alma mater.

In 1996, Anand co-founded Junglee, an e-commerce pioneer. As Chief Technology Officer, Anand played a key role in developing Junglee’s award-winning Virtual Database technology. In 1998, Amazon.com acquired Junglee for over $250 million. Anand helped launch the transformation of Amazon.com from a retailer into a retail platform, enabling third-party retailers to sell on Amazon.com’s website. Anand also is a co-inventor of Amazon Mechanical Turk, which pioneered the concepts of crowdsourcing and hybrid Human-Machine computation.

As an academic, Anand’s research has focused at the intersection of database systems, the World-Wide Web, and social media. His research publications have won several awards at prestigious academic conferences, including three retrospective 10-year Best Paper awards at ACM SIGMOD, VLDB, and ICDT (these awards measure the impact of research, both on academia and industry, over a 10-year period).

Anand co-teaches a popular course on Data Mining at Stanford University. His textbook “Mining of Massive Datasets,” co-authored with Jeff Ullman, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011 (the second edition in 2014 added Jure Leskovec as co-author). It has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times and has been translated into several languages.

Anand obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, where he won the President of India Gold Medal for graduating at the top of his class, and his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University. His work has been featured in hundreds of articles in leading national and international publications such as Business Week (cover) and the New York Times. In 2012, Fast Company magazine named Anand to its list of “100 Most Creative People in Business.” In 2013, Anand was named a Distinguished Alumnus by his alma mater, IIT Madras.

He shares his musings on Big Data, search, and social media on his influential blog Datawocky, whose motto is “More data (usually) beats better algorithms.