The rest of the 50 (in alphabetical order): David Li, senior associate, Avanta Ventures
Sanjiv Parikh and Steve Bernardez, respectively managing partner and partner for Avanta Ventures, the corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of US-based insurer CSAA Insurance, said in their nomination of David Li, a senior associate at the unit: “Bringing prior institutional venture investing skills developed at Longitude Capital, a product management background at Pivotal Software and deep financial experience from positions at KKR, Lazard and Merrill Lynch, David has immediately added value above and beyond his level to Avanta Ventures’ investments in startups across mobility, insurtech and fintech.
“From putting rigour to our investment theses to sourcing quality companies in the mobility space to working on closing a number of investments, David has become an integral part of Avanta Ventures and CSAA Insurance Group in leveraging disruptive innovation.
“David’s insight and voice have been appreciated by executive leadership at Avanta Ventures’ corporate parent, helping to validate the strategic value of our corporate venture function and drive growth for CSAA Insurance Group.
“David has been tireless in adding value to our portfolio companies, either as a board observer at portfolio company Car IQ or informal adviser to Room8, Owl Cameras and others on a daily basis by engaging them in partnership discussions, advising them on financing strategy and cap table construction, and introducing them to other venture capitalists. Within Avanta Ventures, David is our go-to resource for any challenge.”
Li joined the unit in June 2018 and focuses on early-stage investments in mobility, from autonomous vehicles and connected fleets to smart cities. “This vertical is one that is especially exciting for me personally,” he noted, “as I have been a car enthusiast ever since I was a kid.”
Regarding why he joined the unit, he said: “At Avanta Ventures, I am able to leverage our close ties with internal CSAA Insurance business units, as well as the broader AAA (American Automobile Association) ecosystem to support our portfolio companies.
“This enables me to help create mutually beneficial partnerships, with CSAA Insurance gaining access to disruptive technologies and our portfolio companies benefiting from the deep domain expertise, new pilot opportunities and distribution channels offered by CSAA Insurance.
“Ultimately then, in a funding environment that is flush with capital, CVC represents a unique platform that enables me to add significant strategic value to the companies I invest in.”