Another small win for diversity as Khosla Ventures has added two women, Kristina Simmons and Kanu Gulati, to their investment team. The announcement comes in the wake of a study from Crunchbase, which found that only roughly seven percent of partners at top investment firms are women. Simmons and Gulati will serve as the investment team’s chief of staff and principal respectively. Both joined Khosla Ventures at a time when tech companies and venture firms face strong criticism for their overall exclusion and poor treatment of women in the industry.
Khosla founder Vinod Khosla recently insisted that sexual harassment is a far smaller problem in the venture capitalism industry than one would think. Speaking at the Commonwealth Club of California in Palo Alto last week, Khosla admitted he has no data on sexual harassment in the venture capital and startup industries. However, while Vinod Khosla said that he had “never done a statistical survey,” he feels that the problem is not quite as prevalent as it is in other industries or as common as media reports would suggest, Recode reported.
Meanwhile, Simmons, who previously worked at Lululemon Athletica, Juicero and Andreessen Horowitz, said Khosla was an appealing opportunity in part because of the company’s willingness to “back and hire people from all different backgrounds. [The firm] has invested in twelve women who are CEOs that I know of,” she said. “The portfolio has a real breadth. We are in everything from burgers to rockets and health care.”
Gulati said she was drawn to venture capitalism after attaining a Ph.D. in computer engineering at Texas A&M, as well as working at Intel. She later attained an MBA at Harvard and worked at Zetta Venture Partners. Part of her role at Intel was to conduct due diligence reviews of emerging technologies and tech startups. Gulati said she is looking to invest in companies that are working on “data and AI-enabled systems for the enterprise,” particularly technology within the retail supply chain.