Death – Nexus Venture Partners cofounder Narendra Gupta passes away

Death – Obituary

Narendra Gupta, cofounder of Nexus Venture Partners and a pioneer in the Indian venture capital and startup ecosystem, passed away on December 25.

Based in Silicon Valley, the 73-year-old was among the first generation of Indian American tech entrepreneurs, co-founding software firm Integrated Systems Inc in 1980 and staying on as chief executive for about 15 years.

In 1990, Gupta took Integrated Systems public, merging it with Wind River Systems. He remained on the company’s board till it was acquired by Intel.

In 2007, at a time when Indian tech startups were still nascent, Gupta launched Nexus Venture Partners.

Today, Nexus is among the top-tier venture capital firms, having backed companies such as logistics firm Delhivery, ed-tech company Unacademy, Software as a Service platform Postman, and ecommerce marketplace Snapdeal, among others.

“Naren was a father figure to a generation of venture capitalists and founders. He embodied everything positive that a founder looks for in an investor, always backing founders unconditionally, especially when they were in a tough spot,” said Kunal Bahl, cofounder and chief executive of Snapdeal. “He had incredible energy and his immense wisdom was enlightening and inspiring to an entire generation of founders who owe their careers to him. He leaves behind an immense legacy and will be greatly missed…”

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Gupta was till recently chairman of the board at open-source technology maker Red Hat, prior to its $34 billion acquisition by IBM.

“I had known Naren since my days as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur in 1998. In the mid-2000s, he was early to spot cross-border venture investing and had very successfully established Nexus as a founder,” said Subrata Mitra, partner at venture capital fund Accel. “Notwithstanding all his accomplishments, he was humble and down-to-earth and always willing to help. It’s shocking to hear about his sad demise.”

Gupta held a B Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi; an MS from the California Institute of Technology and a PhD from Stanford University, all in engineering.

Gaurav Munjal, co-founder and chief executive of Unacademy, said, “Will cherish the long discussions and conversations I have had with him the few times I have met him.”

Vivek Wadhwa, tech entrepreneur, writer and a fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering, tweeted, “…Completely devastating. Naren was a wonderful human being, and he did so much for the world…”

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.