Cleartrip.com, an online travel company which is set to launch on Tuesday (July 4), recently got funding from Ram Shriram of Sherpalo Ventures and Kleiner Perkins. The company was on a stealth mode and did not openly confirm nor deny their investment news, which first broke in February. There is something interesting about Cleartrip. Its CEO is Sandeep Murthy, who is actually a partner at Shriram’s Sherpalo. At Cleartrip, founders have taken a backseat and the investor (not clear how much stake Sherpalo and KPCB owns at the online travel company) is in the driver’s seat.
SiliconBeat‘s Matt Marshall has an interview with Ram Shriram and he asks this uncomfortable question:
We asked Ram Shriram whether Murthy is taking on too much, i.e., running a start-up and screening deals for two venture firms? Ram said he doesn’t see this as a stretch, saying that Murthy isn’t being asked to actually do the deals per se. On the contrary, Ram said, the point is to find solid teams that buckle down for several years to build great companies. So Ram is looking for the right market opportunities, and then working with Murthy to screen the teams. “Most VCs in India are investment banker types, not technologists or operating execs,” Ram says, saying that Murthy’s experience in building Cleartrip will also be helpful in nurturing other teams.