Madrona Venture Group, an early-stage venture capital firm, announced today that S. "Soma" Somasegar, formerly corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division, is joining the firm as a venture partner.
Soma joins Madrona after nearly 27 years at Microsoft. Under Soma's leadership, the Microsoft Developer Division, which supports more than 6 million .NET developers worldwide, expanded its mission to deliver developer tools and services for mobile development and cloud development across a variety of platforms and programming technologies through the Visual Studio family of products.
However, as a Madrona venture partner, Soma will help identify new investments and provide strategic and operational advice to Madrona portfolio companies.
"The world of software development has seen radical changes since I started at Microsoft building Windows nearly twenty-seven years ago," Soma said in a statement. "Being at the helm of the Developer Division, I had the opportunity to see the incredible shifts brought on by the web, mobile and cloud waves first hand—forces which have enabled startups and enterprises to quickly reach millions of users literally overnight and bring incredible innovation to market. I'm excited to work with Madrona, which has had such an impact on the greater Seattle technology ecosystem, and their portfolio companies to build companies that will shape the future of our region and the tech industry."
As CVP of Microsoft's Developer Division, Soma oversaw Microsoft's developer tools and technologies, including the Visual Studio line of products and services and the .NET Framework. Additionally, he fostered a community of developers through MSDN and other evangelism programs focused on core developers. Soma was also the executive sponsor for global development at Microsoft and oversaw Microsoft's Global Development Centers in China, India and Israel.
Under Soma's leadership, Microsoft also launched efforts to open-source its .NET platform and to take .NET cross-platform to support Linux and Mac environments. The popularity of Microsoft's developer portfolio continues to grow, as over the past several months there have been more than 5 million Visual Studio 2015 downloads, more than 7 million Visual Studio Community downloads, more than 1 million downloads of Visual Studio Code Preview and 3.6 million registered Visual Studio Online users.
"Over the last five years we have witnessed a massive shift in how much power developers have over which products and technologies are adopted into enterprise IT," said Tim Porter, managing director of Madrona Venture Group, in a statement. "This shift to DevOps and the migration of IT spend from central IT into business groups has now been further accelerated by the move to microservices that make it easier to build, deploy and scale enterprise applications. Together these trends are driving massive change. Soma's deep understanding of the needs of developers and, more broadly, of enterprise software development and adoption will be especially relevant to Madrona's investment strategy and portfolio companies. We are excited to have Soma on board to share his extensive management and industry expertise with our entrepreneurs and our team."
Soma has been an active angel investor both in the region and globally. With investments spanning across both enterprise and consumer segments, Soma has focused on early-stage investments across a wide range of technology areas.
Soma holds a master's degree in computer engineering from Louisiana State University and a bachelor's degree in electronics and communication engineering from Guindy Engineering College, Anna University in Chennai, India.