Norwest Adds Ryan Harris, Promotes Tim Chang

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Norwest Venture Partners has added Ryan Harris as partner, and promoted Tim Chang to partner. Chang previously led the firm’s investments in ngmoco Inc. and Playdom Inc. Harris was previously a principal at the Carlyle Group and a venture partner with Industry Ventures. At Norwest, Harris will focus on late stage venture and growth equity investments in areas including medical devices, healthcare services and healthcare IT.


Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), a leading global investment firm, today announced major milestones achieved since closing its most recent fund, NVP XI, in November 2009. The achievements, outlined below, include multiple exits, acquisition of top notch talent and expansion into new practice areas.

“When we closed our $1.2 billion fund a year ago, we wanted to expand our growth by stage, region and sector. Not only did we accomplish our own expansion plans, but more importantly, our portfolio companies achieved significant success,” said Promod Haque, managing partner, NVP.

Exit Momentum

During the last 12 months, 11 of NVP’s portfolio companies have achieved exit success. Most recently, in October 2010, NVP portfolio company, ngmoco Inc., was acquired by DeNA for up to $400 million in cash and securities, and in July 2010, The Walt Disney Company agreed to acquire NVP portfolio company Playdom Inc., a leader in the online social gaming space, for up to $763.2 million. Additional exits included Persistent Systems’ successful public offering on the Bombay Stock Exchange in March; Harmonic’s acquisition of Omneon in May at a deal valued at approximately $306 million;’s acquisition of Jigsaw in April for $142M; IBM’s acquisition of Cast Iron Systems in May (undisclosed amount); KACE’s acquisition by Dell in February (undisclosed amount); and the completion of Logitech’s acquisition of LifeSize Communications for $405 million in December.

Promotions, New Hires and Practice Area Expansion

NVP both promoted from within and added new industry-leading professionals in a variety of capacities to maintain the firm’s growth momentum.

Recognized as a leader in the mobile and “gamification” sectors, Tim Chang was recently promoted to Partner. Chang was the NVP lead on both the ngmoco Inc. and Playdom Inc. transactions, which resulted in a combined transaction value in excess of $1 billion.

“Tim is an up and coming VC, an extremely hard worker and an integral part of the success of NVP,” said Haque. “He is great at recognizing disruptive, global companies and finding a way to bring them to market at the right time. We are thrilled to announce his promotion.”

NVP recently launched a Healthcare Practice with the hiring of Dr. Ryan Harris as Partner. Harris brings to NVP more than a decade of venture and growth equity experience, combined with deep technical medical knowledge and extensive strategic business experience. He previously was a Principal at The Carlyle Group and a Venture Partner with Industry Ventures. Based in NVP’s Palo Alto office, Ryan focuses on late stage venture and growth equity investments in healthcare, including such areas as medical devices, specialty pharma, healthcare services and healthcare IT.

“Ryan’s deep medical training and strong network of relationships with deal sources in the healthcare industry is of great value to NVP. We look forward to working with Ryan as we expand NVP into late stage venture and growth equity investments in the medical domain,” said Haque.

NVP’s global subsidiaries also continue to thrive. As a part of this growth, Sumer Juneja of NVP India was recently promoted to Vice President. Sumer works closely with NVP India managing directors Sohil Chand and Niren Shah, and was instrumental in helping NVP make very promising investments in a variety of leading companies including Asian Genco Pte Ltd (AGPL), Shriram City Union Finance and Sadbhav Infrastructure.

Portfolio Company Value Add

NVP’s mission is to actively partner with entrepreneurs to build and grow successful businesses. In an effort to further support this mission, NVP announced today that it is re-energizing its Entrepreneur/Executive-in-Residence program by adding Jim Barnett as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and John Herr as Executive-in-Residence. Both EIRs will work closely with existing NVP portfolio companies, while at the same time, explore new trends and investment opportunities.

Jim Barnett is a media and online advertising veteran with more than two decades of operational experience. Jim co-founded Turn, the world’s leading demand side platform (DSP) for display advertising, where he continues to serve as chairman of the board of directors. Previously he was President of Overture Search, a company he joined via its acquisition of AltaVista Company. Jim had served as President and CEO of AltaVista, where he led the company’s highly successful turnaround and sale to Overture. John Herr brings more than 20 years of experience in the consumer internet, e-commerce, new digital media, business software and financial services sectors. John has a proven track record in accelerating revenue growth and driving profitability and efficiency at leading global companies and has held a series of senior executive roles at eBay, PayPal, Softbank, Bain & Company and Johnson & Johnson.

Additionally, NVP recently expanded its operational staff with the hiring of former Cooley LLP partner, John Geschke as General Counsel and Teri McFadden as Vice President of Recruiting. Geschke has more than 15 years of venture capital and corporate legal experience and works closely with NVP portfolio companies across multiple geographies. He advises companies on transactions and negotiations, fund structuring and administration and regulatory compliance. Teri’s 20 years of experience in management recruiting and human resources development benefits NVP’s portfolio companies as she helps them build out their management teams with the best possible engineering, product management, marketing and executive talent. NVP also expanded its marketing department to three people, who continue to work closely with NVP portfolio companies on their global marketing efforts in a variety of capacities.

Global Growth Equity Expansion and Momentum

NVP has grown in the last 18 months, and now has nine investment professionals focused on global growth equity opportunities. In 2011, the firm will continue to hire aggressively in this area to pursue the many prospects it is seeing with fast growing companies with significant revenue and net income traction. In the last year, NVP has invested in several growth companies such as 1010Data, a leading provider of data warehouse and business intelligence products and services; Asian Genco Pte Ltd (AGPL), a an infrastructure development company in India with investments in power generation assets; and Sadbhav Infrastructure, a leading company in India engaged in engineering, construction and development of infrastructure projects.

“This year has been a major milestone for us,” said Haque. “I am proud of our team and the people who have been working so hard to make our portfolio companies successful.”

About Norwest Venture Partners

Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) is a leading global investment firm that manages more than $3.7 billion in capital. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, NVP has subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India and Herzelia, Israel. NVP makes early to late stage venture and growth equity investments in U.S. and global companies across a wide range of sectors including: information technology, business services, financial services, infrastructure, technology enabled services and consumer. NVP has actively partnered with entrepreneurs to build great businesses for more than 49 years and has funded nearly 500 companies since inception.

Notable investments include Actel Corporation, Airespace (acquired by Cisco Systems), Brocade, Cast Iron Systems (acquired by IBM), Cerent (acquired by Cisco Systems), Corio (acquired by IBM), Cray Research, Documentum (acquired by EMC), Extreme Networks, Forte Software (acquired by Sun Microsystems), Jigsaw (acquired by, Kace (acquired by Dell), LifeSize Communications (acquired by Logitech), NSE (National Stock Exchange of India), Omneon (acquired by Harmonic), Open-Silicon (acquired by Unicorn Investment Bank), PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle), Persistent Systems, Playdom (acquired by The Walt Disney Company), Polycom, Qumranet (acquired by Red Hat), Rackspace, Sadbhav Infrastructure Project Ltd (SIPL), Siara Systems (acquired by Redback Networks), SideStep (acquired by Kayak), Spinnaker Networks (acquired by Network Appliance), SPSS (acquired by IBM), Tivoli Systems (acquired by IBM), Transaction Systems Architects, Verio (acquired by NTT), Winphoria Networks (acquired by Motorola), and Yipes (acquired by Reliance/Flag Telecom). For more information, please visit

SOURCE Norwest Venture Partners