Canaan Partners Adds Khanna as Managing Director

Venture capital firm Canaan Partners has named Rahul Khanna managing director of Canaan India. In the new role, he will lead investments in early-stage, India-based technology companies in the consumer Internet, mobile, software, and managed services industries, the firm said. Previously, Khanna was a founding director of Mumbai-based Clearstone Venture Advisors, the India advisory practice of Clearstone Venture Partners.

Canaan Partners, a multi-billion dollar global venture capital firm, today announced the appointment of Rahul Khanna as a Managing Director of Canaan India. With over 15 years of international operating and venture capital experience, Khanna will lead new investments in early-stage, India-based technology companies in the consumer internet, mobile, software, and managed services industries.

“A respected venture capital and technology industry veteran with many years of experience at both US and Indian companies, Rahul will be a great addition to the expanding Canaan India team. We look forward to leveraging his deep expertise in early-stage investing to continue to identify and help build the next global technology companies being created in India,” said Alok Mittal, Managing Director of Canaan India. “Rahul’s unique expertise includes identifying early-stage technology startups with the potential to become global leaders, as well as offering entrepreneurs hands-on guidance and access to his deep network of financing, business development, and operational partners.”

Khanna’s appointment expands Canaan Partners’ long-established local presence in the fast-growing Indian technology sector, where innovative startups are not only growing and exiting on local exchanges at a rapid pace, but are also building global customer bases to become worldwide leaders. Canaan’s growing presence in the Indian venture industry underscore’s the firm’s long-term commitment to global investing. Canaan invests in local technology startups and connects them to international markets through access to Canaan Partner’s extensive global network of partners, customers, and advisors.

“Canaan Partners is one of the only global venture capital firms that truly understands the unique startup economy in India and how to successfully connect Indian technology companies with partners and markets worldwide for global success,” said Khanna. “I’m thrilled to join the Canaan India team and look forward to helping identify, fund, and accelerate the international growth of the next generation of India-based technology leaders.”

Prior to joining Canaan India, Khanna was Founding Director of Mumbai-based Clearstone Venture Advisors, the India advisory practice of the global early-stage venture firm Clearstone Venture Partners. At Clearstone, Khanna evaluated over 500 investment opportunities and led or co-led multiple investments for the firm, holding board seats at BillDesk and Games2Win. Previously, Khanna served as Asia Pacific Area Director for Sonim Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based venture-backed startup providing mobile VOIP technology to global operators. He has also served as Manager of Business Development at Airflash, a Redwood City, California-based mobile startup that was acquired by Webraska in 2001. Earlier in his career, he served in management roles at Hutchison Max Telecom. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA in Economics from the University of Mumbai.

Canaan India’s current investments include BharatMatrimony, the world’s largest consumer Internet site for matrimonial services; Cellcast, the largest participation content business in India; iYogi Holdings, leading provider of computer support via phone and remote access for home and small business users worldwide; MotorExchange, India’s largest used vehicle marketplace; and UnitedLex, the global leader in legal consulting, analytics and outsourcing solutions.

About Canaan Partners

Canaan Partners invests in visionary entrepreneurs and provides them the networks, insights and operational guidance required to build high-performance technology and healthcare companies. Founded in 1987, the firm has raised eight funds and completed more than 83 acquisitions and 52 IPOs. With $3 billion under management and a worldwide footprint, the firm is committed to catalyzing the growth of innovative digital media, communications & mobility, enterprise, clean tech, biopharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics and healthcare infrastructure companies.

Among its successes are Associated Content, the people’s media company; VOIP equipment supplier Acme Packet; Amicus Therapeutics, a pioneer of next-generation oral therapies for the management of human genetic diseases; BiPar Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering novel tumor-selective therapies to address urgent unmet needs of cancer patients; Calixa Therapeutics, developer of hospital-based antibiotics to treat infections resulting from resistant strains of bacteria; Cerexa Inc., one of the largest biotech acquisitions of 2007; CommerceOne, the company that pioneered B2B ecommerce; DoubleClick, the leading online advertising solution;, the most popular online dating site in the world; and SuccessFactors, the global leader in on-demand performance and talent management solutions. Other Canaan investments include Active Networks, Advanced BioHealing, BharatMatrimony,, Blurb, Calibra Medical, Chimerix, iYogi, KABAM, Lending Club, Liquidia Technologies, LiveU, Motorexchange, ON24, OpenSky, N-trig, Naaptol, Prime Sense, SOASTA, ReVision Optics, SandForce, Theraclone Sciences, Tremor Media, UnitedLex and Zoosk. Canaan maintains a presence in California, Connecticut, New York, India and Israel. For more information visit