Sandeep Murthy

Partner and Managing Director

Resilience and the ability to reinvent himself define Sandeep Murthy. In a career spanning more than two decades, Sandeep has changed lanes from investment banking to entrepreneurship to eventually, venture capital. His abiding curiosity about why the world works a certain way, the quest to learn something new every day, and a process-driven approach to derive outcomes from those learnings, form the bedrock of the philosophy, ethos and culture that drive Lightbox. 

Sandeep is a builder of India’s technology-led consumption economy. A University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School alumnus, he is deeply interested in all things technology at the intersection of brands and consumption in the Indian economy. His venture capital journey started in 2005 with leading investments for Silicon Valley based Sherpalo Ventures in iconic consumer internet companies such as Info Edge and InMobi. He also played a central role in scaling online travel platform Cleartrip, a Sherpalo portfolio company, as its CEO for three years. In 2014, when startup consumer brands started to emerge as challengers to incumbent players, Sandeep decided to build a differentiated venture capital firm to address that opportunity and Lightbox was born. 

His early investing experience, coupled with scaling Cleartrip and founding and selling a US-based digital music management startup to Sony Music, became the foundation for Lightbox’s hands-on, deep engagement investment philosophy. The firm’s willingness to apply a private equity operating engagement model to venture capital differentiates it from peers and drives value for investors. “We are betting on our ability to not just pick companies but work with them to create value,” he says.

Investing in startups, for Sandeep, presents an opportunity to work at solving hard problems that have the potential to exponentially impact large markets. When evaluating a startup, he looks for entrepreneurs who have unique insights into a market, are tenacious enough to turn those insights into viable solutions and an ability to think outside the box, while still working in a disciplined and structured fashion.

When he’s able to find time away from building Lightbox, Sandeep is most likely to be found shooting hoops at a basketball court or diving into the world of music.

What's been keeping Sandeep busy lately?

“The past 12-18 months have been a time for introspection and setting the agenda to establish Lightbox as an organisation known for company-building. This involved aligning our investors (limited partners) and the team with the larger vision, resetting the process and culture of the firm and getting back to where we had started from. I had the benefit of being able to rely on core team members who had been part of the journey from the beginning or for several years to enable us to move back to where we wanted to be…”