In today’s episode, Anirudh Singh sits down with Basil Darwish, Managing Director and Fintech & Enterprise Tech lead at Wells Fargo Strategic Capital. Basil joined as the team’s first hire in March 2016, coming over from Citi Ventures. In this episode, they discuss a range of topics, including Basil’s winding path towards venture investing, the pros and cons of different corporate venture capital models, a deep dive into three of Wells Fargo’s investments: Travota, H20.ai, and Arkose Labs, and much more!
Basil Darwish is a Managing Director at Wells Fargo Strategic Capital and leads the group’s focus on Fintech and Enterprise Software. His investments range from early-stage to growth capital investments in companies that are strategically aligned with Wells Fargo. One of his goals is to bring technology-based innovation into the Bank. Basil’s investment focus areas include B2B/B2C Fintech, RegTech, AI & Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, and Cyber Security.
Basil has been in the domain of venture investing for the past 12 years, across Silicon Valley, New York, and Southeast Asia. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2016, Basil was with Citi for 8 years most recently as Senior Vice President at Citi’s growth ventures and innovation group (Citi Ventures), where he focused on venture investments and innovation initiatives across the US and Asia, in the domains of Payments, Big Data Analytics, and Information Security.
Prior to moving into financial services, Basil spent several years in the technology industry in various roles across the value chain, from semiconductor product engineering and system-level product development at Analog Devices Inc, as well as digital design engineering at Chinook Communications, a technology startup that emerged out of MIT in 1999 developing spectrum enhancement technologies.
Basil currently serves as a board director of Trovata, H2O.ai, OpenFin, and Droit. He also serves as a board observer of Arkose Labs, Socure, Volante Technologies, Elliptic and Atscale.
Basil holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business with a double major in finance and entrepreneurial management, a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University with a focus on semiconductor design, and a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Jordan. Basil lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two daughters.
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