The Sith Lord of startups

Silicon Valley angel investor Dave McClure wants Indian investors to take more risks

Amit Haralkar

California-based 500 Startups isn’t your regular accelerator and its founder and ‘Sith Lord’, Dave McClure, isn’t your regular VC. You either love him or hate him but you can’t ignore him. A veteran of PayPal, Founders Fund, Facebook and LinkedIn, among others, he has invested in over 250 companies, including, Twilio, Wildfire, SendGrid, SlideShare and MakerBot  in the 20 years he has spent in Silicon Valley. In 2010, he started 500 Startups, a seedfund and accelerator, right under the shadow of the most successful accelerator to come out of the Valley, the Y Combinator. “A lot of people thought we were f*****g crazy to compete with [Y Combinator] in their own backyard. But we knew we were going to be different,” says McClure, on a recent visit to India as keynote speaker at the Asian Business Angel Forum 2013 organised by the Mumbai Angels.