In this episode of the Dealmakers’ Podcast, Ramin Shirani, a seasoned entrepreneur with a remarkable journey, shares his inspiring story of going from a young immigrant delivering pizzas to becoming a successful technology innovator in Silicon Valley.
Ramin’s story is a testament to the American dream, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit. His latest venture, Ethernovia, has attracted funding from top-tier investors like ENEA Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, VentureTech Alliance, and Porsche Automobil Holding.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Embarking on a life-changing move to the USA before the Iranian revolution, starting from scratch in a new country.
- Choosing engineering over his family’s wish for him to become a dentist, following a passion for electronics, ultimately shaping his career in the tech industry.
- Understanding the invaluable advantages of being in Silicon Valley, emphasizing its unique ecosystem, access to resources, and proximity to investors.
- Involvement in ethernet technology at its early stages with a blend of luck and dedication leading to his central role in its evolution over the years.
- Latest venture, Ethernovia, that aims to revolutionize automotive communication systems, emphasizing the importance of understanding and solving customer problems holistically.
- Valuable advice on fundraising, emphasizing the need for aligning objectives with investors, creatively raising seed funding, and retaining ownership control.
- The significance of persistence, patience, and maintaining a founder’s compass to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape successfully.
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About Ramin Shirani:
Ramin Shirani received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, in 1984 and 1986, respectively.
Ramin has been spearheading products in Ethernet communications for 25 years and is adept in mixed-signal IC design. He is the co-founder and VP of engineering at Aquantia Corporation, Milpitas, CA, which he started in 2005.
Ramin helped form the team, raise the funds, and run engineering products from concept to production toward market leadership in 10GBase-T transceivers. In 1996, he cofounded Enable Semiconductor, a mixed-signal Ethernet PHY company, which was acquired by Lucent Micro-electronics in 1999.
At Lucent, Ramin was the General Manager of all physical-layer IC developments, including the OC line of products (OC48, OC192, OC768), Ethernet physical layer devices (10 M, 100 M, 1 G) with cross-functional teams on research initiatives with Bell Labs.
Ramin began his career in 1987 at National Semiconductor as an Analog Design Engineer, and, in 1991, he led the first integrated 10 Base-T MAC and Phy IC. In 1993, he was the Technical Manager and lead for National’s entry and subsequent 90% market ownership of 100 Base-TX transceivers, and helped drive the standard for IEEE 802.3au.
Ramin invented auto-negotiation, which later became part of the industry IEEE 802.3au standard. Auto-negotiation is an out-of-band capabilities negotiation mechanism built into more than a billion Ethernet devices shipped to date.
Ramin holds 21 patents and has 10 pending patents in the area of IC design and communications.
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Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the dealmakerr show. So today. We have a very exciting founder a founder that has done it multiple times and very successfully so you know from getting his company acquire the first one to his say latest one actually you know like he’s up to some really exciting things but the 1 right before this one he took it public you know at ah the peak it was like about 500000000 or so but he got acquired for a size level amount. So again, we’re going to learn a lot. We’re going to learn about fundraising how to balance that with the way that you go about building your business. And other really interesting stuff as well as the ups and downs of building a business because it’s not you know a path full of roses like you would see and as we know you know entrepreneur entrepreneurs so without further ado. Let’s welcome our guests today Ramin Shirani welcome to the show.
Ramin Shirani: Thank you very much a lot. Dr yeah excited to be here and to share some of my experience.
Alejandro Cremades: So originally born in Iran Ramin give us a little of a walk through memory lane. How was life growing up there and then also moving to the us.
Ramin Shirani: Um, you know that obviously back in back in 70 s 1970 s I was in Iran and I was going to you know top schools in Iran and life was good. You know the the.
Ramin Shirani: You know the the experience I had as a child growing up and loving the country loving the you know by family and and soon enough at some point we decided obviously to come to United States primarily for. My sister’s education and at the time I also decided to stay here. This was right before the iranian revolution and my intention was to go back and finish high school back home but due to the revolution. We decided that hey it’s probably best for me to continue my education here. And then the whole family obviously moved here and we pretty much started from scratch. Ah you know building yet another life from scratch in United States back in late 70 s
Alejandro Cremades: So then talk to us about you know that moment of coming here for a better life. Um, you know from delivering pizzas to anything that you guys you know could do to really you know, go after the american dream I’m sure that was. Inspiring. You know to see your family. You know, like really doing whatever you know it was possible to really get that better tomorrow and to go after the american dream and and I’m sure that shape who you are today.
Ramin Shirani: absolutely absolutely so back home we had a reasonably comfortable life and I was raised in that environment when I came to us and after the revolution pretty much the money dried up the you know and we had to. Practically start from scratch I was delivering pizzas to make ends meet at some point I started teaching math. I was always very good at math and I remember getting you’re gonna laugh at this but I remember getting to ninety five an hour to to teach math which was. Back then kind of a minimum wage and my sister started working in cols junior and then my parents even though they’ve already put in a lifetime of work. They yeah. Pretty much started from scratch working in various businesses and restaurants to make the ends meet so be truly truly started from scratch and you know I I kind of paid partial payment from my parents but pretty much paid for myself through school. And you know so did so did my sister and my younger brother who became a dentist but it’s it’s truly an american dream. You come here with little money in your pocket and you go all the way to you know, finishing school and.
Ramin Shirani: Starting companies I’m living an American dream. But so it’s been. It’s been. It’s an um, it’s been an amazing journey up to this point and I would love to share some of the details with you.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in this case for you. How did you get into engineering you know because obviously you went to ah use see San Diego to ah to get your bachelors there but that problem solving that engineering you know mindset where do you get that from.
Ramin Shirani: My family excuse me my family wanted me to be a doctor right? I mean back coming from Iran you’re either a doctor or an engineer and you know we have ah we have a lot of dentists in the family. So my mom wanted me to be a dentist. And I I then on you know, talk to various Dennis I went and checked out the program at Uop but deep in my heart from childhood I always like to you know play with electronics I used to sit you know for hours and hours building gadgets out of. Kind of taking my old toys and breaking em apart and building new ones and you know electronics was really kind of a passion and it was it was a no- brainer that I wanted to be an engineer so I told my family I said I’m not going to be a dentist and probably one of the best decisions I made at a young age kind of. Going against the grain and I pretty much going to college I took mostly engineering classes. You know, excelled at it and then looked at various ucs and I loved u see San Diego it wasn’t only about the academics. But also the environment the campus that I used to play soccer I used to do weightlifting so you know it was the right campus that I yeah you know that I found that I can feel comfortable for the next four 5 six years of my life
Ramin Shirani: Ah, with the goal I had a goal of getting a ph d and I was actually in the ph d program. But then you know after a few years of getting my bachelors and masters and being in the ph d program I decided to put it on hold and come and actually get a job in Silicon Valley
Alejandro Cremades: And why Silicon Valley out of all places.
Ramin Shirani: Yeah, my family was still here right? The rest and we’re ah we’re a close knit family and you know my sister my brother my mom and dad and we really wanted to be together and that was honestly the primary goal if they were in New York I’ll probably go to New York right at that that at that age but it it luckily right? you you need to be in Silicon Valley to to be ah, you know you don’t necessarily need to be but being in Silicon Valley gives you a different perspective of being an entrepreneur right? The resources that.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah.
Ramin Shirani: Totality of the companies. You know the sand hill road with you know, venture capitalists and just of what vibe of Silicon Valley is unbelievable. So you know I didn’t quite realize it when I was a young engineer but over time. I realized what a blessing it is to be in Silicon Valley to be able to practically go across the street get a different job. Go talk to people fundraise and it’s been It’s been my home since coming back from San Diego so
Alejandro Cremades: So obviously the first job that you got there was at the national semiconductor company there and that was a pivotal moment for you because that’s when you stumble upon the ethernet and that was a life changing.
Ramin Shirani: You.
Alejandro Cremades: Or I would say professional you know career changing for you. So what was so exciting about the ethernet that you know got you so hooked you know over the course of time you know in your life.
Ramin Shirani: You know, honestly how I stumbled across ethernet part of it was luck part of it was you know, kind of research and understanding what I want to get into but national was at the early days of kind of the growth of ethernet and it. I was a young engineer that you know regardless of working in a big company in all honesty I used to work twelve sixteen hour days even weekends right? You know people come to me. It’s like why are you still here. It’s like because I want to learn right? I mean I I finished school I have this. Hunger in me to want to learn and do something and impact the industry and grow. So I I did I did I did well in the first few tasks that I were assigned and soon enough I mean within I would say a year or year and a half. Managers there saw the potential in me and said hey listen do you want to get involved in our next generation ethernet controller 32 bit internet controller called sonic and you want to take over doing this piece. It’s a very important topic. It’s very important you know project. And but we think you can do it and sure enough you know I dived in worked even harder I started doing the digital design master that master that in you know so a year
Ramin Shirani: And then they transition me to analog design generally you’re either a analog designer or a digital designer. But I mastered both and within a year and a half two years I knew that chip inside out I knew the digital design the analog design I could you know the physical design. And I became kind of the lead for national ethernet controller products and it was it was you know an amazing opportunity and did I did I know where ethernet is goingnna end up to be honest with you I didn’t. There were many competing technologies. There was token ring fddi atm but but sure enough you know ever since I’ve been involved with ethernet right? Whatever ethernet touch it wins. Right? They’ve they’ve gone from local area to wide area to wireless to mean if you look at internet in general right? The the fundamental core technology at where the where the people interface to internet either is through you know. Their phones or their computers or their service but all the primary initial connections are ethernet. So yeah, that’s how I stumbled across it and been lucky enough to be involved in it now since then.
Ramin Shirani: And ah, every company I’ve ever done has been some variation of ethernet kind of the next generation Ethernet Faster Ethernet Ethernet for various, you know, sectors of the market. So that’s that’s kind of where the story goes.
Alejandro Cremades: So then at what point you know in about 96? Do you realize that things are different because after you know close to 10 years then it’s like something hit you. And at that moment you know you realize that perhaps you were ready to start your own business. So why? Why did it take you so long being in the land of opportunity in Silicon Valley what needed to happen for you to really feel good about you know, branching on your own.
Ramin Shirani: Bri Red so so so when when ethernet from went from 10 meg to hundred Meg which was right about you know 90 ninety 1 92 93 timeframe I was given the responsibility to lead the next generation hundred Meg and you know with. With with the pieces we had with the involvement in I trip eao two dot 3 which is foundation of standards for ethernet which I was very involved in ah we were able at national to be you know first in hundred me ethernet. We had we we grew that that business from infancy to multi $100000000 sales a year at so at the peak national had 95% market when with a set of products called cat five five twister. And you know I saw that success I saw the business success of of kind of after nine years ten years I kind of grew beyond just looking at technology and getting excited with technology. So I I looked at that business success and I said this is amazing. These kind of things can be done. This kind of market success can be achieved and at some point you know I approached my boss I was very very loyal his name was edwin de soza and I approached my boss and I said hey Edwin we can do this for ourselves right? I mean not this one. We’ve already done this one but the next one.
Ramin Shirani: Right? The the gig of it or the ten gig or and he he he said? Okay, yeah, they’ll do it together this and that but he was so embedded in a big company thing and I kept waiting and waiting and you know, really good guy I learned a lot from him but at the time he. He wasn’t ready. So I said you know what I’m gonna bite the bullet and I go do this on my own I there’s a lot to learn I’ve never raised funds I’ve never didn’t even know where to go look for funding I didn’t even I’ve never leased a building right? So so. So then I came across some other colleagues who already had the infrastructure. The gentleman’s name was Robert Chen and he already had the infrastructure he already had some limited funding but then I joined you know I joined hands and hands with him. And we we really created an enable which was focused on x- generationion ethernet. Ah for but the prior generation ethernet that national we did in Buyi Moss and it was multiple chips but this one we said we can get it done in single chip cmos. And sure enough we did it and we sold the company.
Alejandro Cremades: I mean it took no time you know 3 years for what it was worth at the time you know a total package of about 100000000 so for being the first company quite the exit I guess what? as as part of that process of getting that company acquired. What do you think you know like made it to. So successful you know for you guys to be able to achieve that finish line on a high note like that you know what was that acquisition process like.
Ramin Shirani: Ah, big. Really, it started by us the first chip the first chip seamos first chip in I believe back then half a micron cmas technology was one of the most leading edge hundred make products out there. And at the time there were you know talks of Broadcom getting into this market or they were in the market marvel still wasn’t in the in the market back then and you know getting you know, working around the clock and you know having the right team with the technology background. We had. Within a year and a half or 2 of starting the company. We had first fully functioning hundred Mex Simoss seaoss was important back then now nowadays everything it sees but having it in the lab and first time functioning and back then it was about cable reach. I mean if you could do longer cable reach it shows more robustness of your technology. So the very first chip very first day in the lab and never forget this right? We plug it in. we connect the netcom box and We connect hundred meter it works we connect 100 twenty hundred forty 6070 then be stopped. We said there’s something wrong, right? This can’t be so good. There’s probably the test equipment is broken but sure enough it wasn’t and the chip worked you know flawlessly and at the time we had. Ah.
Ramin Shirani: You know a number of companies out there trying to do the same thing to compete in the marketplace and 1 of them was lucent. We were interacting with them and they demoed it soon after we demo did and we got the production version out and they said we got to have this technology so lucent initially licensed the technology. It was but it wasn’t about acquiring company right? off the bat and then over time we got so embedded in loosecent and their programs and you know what they were gonna go do on the roadmap. It only made sense for us to for them to pick us up and make us part of their team and you know soon after. You know that I I joined lucent one of my old colleagues at national who’s at Roberts who was at lucent independently and he liked me back at national. He you know he he helped acquire the company and he promoted b to be the general manager of a rather large group.
Alejandro Cremades: And then after lucent I mean you were there for a couple of years and then obviously as they say once an entrepreneur entrepreneur always an entrepreneur and then the idea of Aquaantia you know started. Okay I mean here you know obviously was ah it was quite um, a tough time for you at the beginning you know a lot of Nos that you explored. And they obviously coming out of such a success like you had you know with with a prior company with enable semiconductor. You know, obviously now you know, starting up again and and hearing no I’m sure it was really really tough. So so walk us through through through the ups and downs there you know and and and why you thought it was a good idea to go out it again. You know with with what became you know, eventually aquantia.
Ramin Shirani: Um, yeah, absolutely absolute So ah so back in when I left lucent. You know it was it was right about 2001 And it was probably the worst time in the history for us to go raise funds for yet another you know, high-tech startup the post dot you know dot Com crash and I had I had a vision of kind of the next generation Ethernet. It was a combination of initially it was a combination of optical ah and you know electrical which eventually morphed to be you know, fully electrical being ten G based T but you know I felt everything I’ve learned and also some of the key partners Of. Had on the side. Ah, we had a technology that could fundamentally change the connectivity in the data center and upgrade it from Gigabyt to 10 gig and I knew that’s very very important that the ever growing need for Bandwidth I mean the trend. Regardlessof.com crash and you know the the environment being tough the the ever-growing Bandage requirement was there so we started on that path I self-funded it for a good period of time.
Ramin Shirani: Had consultants I had some of my cofounders who were putting in you know time just for the sake of being involved with the company but I exaggerate none right I heard from 2001 to 2003 I heard no less than 50 knowns right? I mean. I went on up and down the sandhill road I went to you know vcs in the East Coast ah talk to individuals this and that but the reality of it was I wasn’t ready to give up and once you taste this is the key once you taste being in a startup. Once you taste the pace of a startup once you taste what it takes to build a company sell the company. You know it’s it’s hard to go back to a you know corporate environment I was in a corporate environment post enable acquisition and as much as. Loved loosened. Love the people but I didn’t like the corporate structure right? I I want fast making decisions I want you know fast moving environment I want to be able to influence the outcome of the company I don’t like bureaucracy. So. So and again I’m not saying every company has that but my experience you know at least toward the tail end of staying at loosen. So so sure enough I said you know what? I’m not going to give up I continue doing this. We’ll self-fund it I’ve made a bit bitd of money in selling enable and.
Ramin Shirani: Then I partnered with other people who had similar vision and we got the first seat funding from lightspeed venture which was small but 750 k for proof of concept in 2004 and that kind of jumpstart everything right now we had a Vc behind us a gentleman named Eric O’brien who’s actually a board member in my current company. He was kind enough back then to give us the 750 k and he stuck with us and after the proof of concept. We got the major funding and and then the rest is history and I can tell you about it but eventually you know we took the company ipo.
Alejandro Cremades: Well let’s talk about that. You know as ah immigrant you know to the us ringing the bell in The New York stock exchange you know having your family there around you that was that moment for you.
Ramin Shirani: Oh it was it was amazing. It was amazing. You know you stand there looking at the crowd. You know there’s all the all the commotion and you you kind of reflect back at your life right? and all the all the accomplishments. All. But but it just puts everything in perspective. It’s like oh my god I’m here this this this is this is really kind of an indication of all the hard work all the innovations all the you know sleepless nights and. Ultimately, it’s not so much in all honesty about me right? It’s not so much about ah you know personal games. It is more about hey listen I’m impacting the industry I’m impacting the world in a positive way. To the point that this company is going Ipo and ready to serve you know ah is a good section of the technology sector with the kind of products that have that weaver putting out. It’s just satisfying to be in that position. That I’ve accomplished something that actually does impact people’s lives.
Alejandro Cremades: So then in this case I mean the company ended up getting acquired for 450000000 plus but in your case I mean part of the startup you know driving the adrenaline and the mentality that that you have Ramin you know that’s saying ultimately what they drove you to get going again with. Ethernobia. So how did ethernobia come knocking. Why did you think that it made sense to go at it with ethernoia and what is the business model. How do you guys make money with the company.
Ramin Shirani: Absolutely so so toward the tail end of our stay at aquantia we saw the qant of was obviously focused on Data Center Enterprise that was the business case. Our key customers were you know Intel La Cisco and so on. So so you know automotive for us at that qantia was a secondary target and secondary targets really never flourish right? because you have you have a daytime job and then you know partial focus on something doesn’t make doesn’t make sense. So. There’s significant interest in automotive we had various oems come to us and say hey listen we want you to build this. We want you to borf your 10 g based d technology to do a single pair transceiver for data communication within the car and as I learned more and more about automotive. And the requirements in automotive I honestly came to a realization that you know at least the nervous system of the car. What what connects the brains of the car to the to the sensors of the car is really really outdated right? it’s It’s kind of a hodgepodge of 30 years of putting multiple networks in a car. You know, ah some of some of the cars that are even on the road today may have as many as and I know this is hard to believe but as many as eighty eighty different networks.
Ramin Shirani: 30 cab 20 lenn most flextray ethernet. You name it and I said how is this even possible I mean look at where Vrv Data Center Enterprise with ether internet ethernet needs to penetrate the car and you know again at some point. In aquantia we were at the point where we were you know already Ipo the company was on a successful path. So I decided independently to leave and kind of start thinking more about ether ethernet inside the car. You know some other colleagues I had they independently left. On their own for various reasons and we came back together and we said you know what? let’s focus on doing an ah ethernet-based communication system within the vehicle. Let’s bring the totality of our experience from 30 years of ethernet 30 years of chip design and you know everything we know about ethernet and the success of Ethernet. Let’s try to bring it inside vehicle. It’s a tall order There’s no doubt and honestly if it was my first startup I would probably not do it because. Automotive cycles are long. Automotive is a tough is generally a tough business but but since I’ve been there I’ve done it I’ve done multiple companies before I said you know what? let’s dive into it. Give it our best shot we can raise money we have the reputation to raise money. We know it’s not going to be a 1 or 2 or 3 year deal.
Ramin Shirani: Gonna be more like a 7 8 10 year deal but we were ready for it and you know we came in primarily to change the nervous system of the car to make the core of the network ethernet and it’s not just about doing one chip or 2 chip right. Spend the first year of ethernoia entirely right? rather than doing and starting a chip or starting a design the first year of the company was entirely about finding what is the problem in the customer application. And how could we impact it not at the chip level. But at the solution level. This is very very very important again. You can go start a company focus on a single chip. And in automotive the customers are going to say okay come back to me when you have the chip I’ll look at it right? You’re a small company who cares? what we did for the first year especially hands and glop with volksvacken is we looked at the totality of the problem we realized it’s a much tougher not to crack. If you want to solve it in automotive. It’s not about just having at the right physical layer the right switching layer but it’s also about how you interface to cpu and ecus and gpu and then the totality of the software that sits on top of it and.
Ramin Shirani: Additional hardware and software offload capabilities that you need to have to make sure the whole thing works again to give you an example without you know, prolonging this. It turned out that you know the cars many cars had hundred mega at the time. But in transition to gigabet what they realized is that the protocol processing of ethernet for transition consumes, a significant amount of their cpu which has nothing to do with the nervous system of the car and the cpu exhaustion. Right? for protocol handling multiple arm processors trying to do the protocol handling of ethernet so transition to Gigabyt or 10 gig was meaningless. So so effectively early on. We realized that the totality of the problem is not just about doing a single chip. So we defined a solution which intels multiple chips and it intails a layer of software and their necessary protocol offload you know mechanisms built into this solution and what what I one one very important. Thing I want to cover with you is that a lot of people a lot of entrepreneurs go to customers and say I’m going to go to a lot of different customers and I’m gonna hear their requirements then I build something that’s wrong as much as we think it’s all correct as long as even big companies. Do that.
Ramin Shirani: In my opinion in my book. That’s wrong, right? You go to your customers you learn everything that there needs to be as long as you have credibility for them to tell you right? and you then compare and contrast then you define your customer’s roadmap. If you just do what the customer tells you they’re going to tell 20 other companies. So who are you as a small startup to go outcompete them. So the foundation of building a company if you’re an entrepreneur if you want to be successful is you have to have enough knowledge you have to have enough diversity. You have to have enough system knowledge that you define your customer’s roadmap. That’s when they respect you right? And in all, honestly, that’s exactly what we did in ittanovia to date. We’ve raised sixty four billion
Alejandro Cremades: And and for ethernoia how much capital have you guys raised to date.
Ramin Shirani: And we’re on a path of ah you know in the next you know in the next six months to a year we’re on a path of raising but in excess of that for kind of expansion of the company and that’s that’s our plan.
Alejandro Cremades: Now you know you were talking about like there I thought it was fantastic. The um, the advice on on how to think about building a company and and the way to really digest the feedback from customers. So. On. That note if I was to put you into a time machine and I was to bring you back in time to that moment where you were still. You know, maybe you know like coming out of um, you know University or even Better. You know where you were you know, like now you know thinking about what your next you know first company would be while you were working at National semiconductor.
Alejandro Cremades: If you had the opportunity of giving your younger self one piece of advice for launching a company. Why would that be and why given what you know now after launching 3 companies.
Ramin Shirani: Bye bye but so so as much as being an entrepreneur having a vision being technical you know, having being passionate being a good communicator. Understanding the market is you know is is important those are fundamental traits of a good entrepreneur but it is equally as important to know how to raise money a lot of young entrepreneurs or myself included back. You know twenty five years ago they come out and they look for funding but they really don’t know how to structure the funding because ultimately in my book. The companies that are successful look at Apple look at Facebook look at Netflix right look at there’s a million examples right? but. Ultimately the companies that are successful are are run by founders who have a compass in their heart right? and having a compass in your heart means you know you not only have the fundamentals of what it takes to be an entrepreneur but you also have the diversity on. You know the business side the management side and and companies again companies like Apple right? It’s all about innovation. It’s not about management. It’s ah the management. All of that is important. Those are to me secondary. It’s all about innovations.
Ramin Shirani: And having the company be run by the founders of the company. So but again you know I kind of digress to this to this topic but going back to the fundraising right? You want a fundraise in a way that the founder with the compass in their heart actually runs the company. And keeps innovating and the culture that that founder says should never be tainted by in in again in my humble opinion right? It shouldn’t be tainted by bringing other ceos or what have you to try to change the direction or the focus of the company. So. How do you fundraise and I had to go through my set of mistakes. How do you fundraise so you ultimately have enough say in the outcome of the company so you can continue running the company and again if you’re a founder who cannot run the company then you need to be. You know, wise enough to step aside I’m not saying you should stick in there. But have the have the guts have the ah you know passion to want to run the company create a compass in your heart. Do the fundraising in such a way that you effectively have an opportunity to run the company and make sure very very key. Is that make sure your objectives are aligned with the Vc objectives if you go after a certain set of Vc just because they give you money right? off the bat. It doesn’t mean your objectives are aligned right vcs have commitments to their lps and lps.
Ramin Shirani: Require money back. They don’t want to wait ten years right now they may out of necessity but they want to get their money back. You know soon enough so they can redeploy it. So um, you know again, align yourself with vcs who have who share your vision and are patient enough. For for especially in automotive right now for us, you know we’ve already been into this five years and I know it’s going to probably take another three 4 five years before you know any kind of you know, major outcome but we’re patient or Vcs our patient. And and again on that on that note when you start a company. Um you know, many entrepreneurs go and they they raise say 10000000 Fifteen Twenty million and by time it’s done 50% or 55% of the company is already gone right? What’s there to celebrate right? You just. You just gave control away. You just bought yourself a job your and again all due respect to venture capitalists have been more than kind to me throughout the number of years and that’s why I’m here right? because of a lot of people on Sand Hill Road and you know other corporate investors. But. The reality of it is the initial funding of the company in my humble opinion should never be from a venture capitalist because their objectives demand that they take you know, certain ownership sense certain control this and that and you should find creative ways and and seed funding of.
Ramin Shirani: Few million dollar you know prevaluation is just deadly for the company right? You have to use vehicles like used to be convertible nodes but nowadays it’s safe as a fe and creative ways of raising safe from various individuals. Corporations is especially corporate partners if your vision is to go after something you can always find the corporate partner to support you and they’re less valuation sensitive. So really approach the fundraising with as much ingenuity and smartness as you do your business case. And make sure you raise the money in such a way that you don’t give the company away I mean ten years fifteen years of your life and if you don’t have a say in the outcome if you don’t have enough ownership. It’s it’s still a good experience right? It’s not bad, right? If maybe maybe you do it once. But. But the reality of it is if you’re smart you fundraise for success to start with.
Alejandro Cremades: I Love that so Ramin for the people that are listening. What is the best way for them to reach out and say hi.
Ramin Shirani: Ah, ah the best way. The best way I have a Linkedin profile. So if you have a Linkedin which I’m sure most of you do please don’t hesitate to send me a you know a note or a message I’m open ah my my Linkedin profile is open so. Be glad to reach back out to you and um, um, um, I’m a very social guy and I you know coffee breakfast dinner this dad and as busy as I am I always make time for people. So if you know if it makes sense and there’s you know, reach out to me and. Be glad to be glad to help you.
Alejandro Cremades: Amazing! Well Ramin. Thank you so much for being on the deal maker show today. It has been an honor to have you with us.
Ramin Shirani: Thank you very much for your time and thank you for giving me the opportunity to kind of share with you. Some of my experience.
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