The VMware Mafia

July 21, 2023
Tech Mafias

Company "mafias" are all the rage, and we here at PIN love to dig deep into the most influential 'Tech Mafias,' especially since we're huge on democratizing access to startup investing by supporting communities with all the legal and bureaucratic work when it comes to setting up a community investment club.

This week we have compiled a breakdown of the VMware Mafia. When we started researching this group, never in a million years could we have imagined that this would be the biggest tech mafia group we've covered so far, bigger than Tesla and Square! The list just kept growing and growing, there are more than 50 companies founded by former employees of VMware. In the list below we've added the top 40, including rising stars.

If you missed our previous posts, make sure to check the Twitter Mafia, Lyft Mafia, Stripe Mafia, Netflix Mafia, InstaCart Mafia, Dropbox Mafia, Revolut Mafia,Tesla Mafia, Square Mafia, and Reddit Mafia articles. Investing in fellow coworkers' startups, especially as a community or alumni group, is one of the best ways to get in early on deals as well as support the ideas and ventures of people you love and admire. Who knows what's around the corner in your own network and community!

Companies Covered: 

  • OneTrust
  • Platform9
  • Postman
  • Clumio
  • Contentstack
  • Mutiny
  • Atrium
  • Peek
  • Observe
  • UnitQ
  • Chainguard
  • CloudKnox Security
  • Monad
  • PernixData
  • Closefactor
  • Atomic Invest
  • Slamtec
  • Spectro Cloud
  • Armorcode
  • ClosedLoop
  • MemVerge
  • Styra
  • Xwing
  • Mabl
  • Trustworthy
  • Scale3 Labs
  • Graft
  • Grain
  • oPRO
  • Aircover
  • Contiq
  • Akto
  • Elliptic Labs
  • NetSpring
  • CloudChef
  • Kronologic
  • ioCurrents
  • Celential AI
  • TermScout


Founder: Kabir Barday
VMware Role: Director, Product Management
Capital Raised: $932.7M
Investors: TCV
Stage: Series C

Kabir is the founder and CEO of OneTrust, the market-defining leader in Trust Intelligence. He is passionate about giving back through the Aga Khan Foundation in their mission to end global poverty, and the Mayo Clinic in their research into rare disease and individualized medicine.


Founders: Madhura Maskasky, Roopak Parikh
VMware Role: Staff Engineer, Staff MTS
Capital Raised: $100M
Investors: Redpoint
Stage: Series D

Platform9 provides Kubernetes-as-a-Service for multi-cloud, on-premises, or at edge. Ituses 43 technology products and services including HTML5, jQuery, and Google Analytics.


Founder: Abhijit Kane
VMware Role: Tech Intern
Capital Raised: $433M
Investors: CRV
Stage: Secondary Market

Abhijit is the co-founder at Postman, the collaboration platform for API development.


Founders: Poojan Kumar, Woon Ho Jung
VMware Role: Head of Data Products, Staff Engineer
Capital Raised: $186M
Investors: Index Ventures
Stage: Series C

Clumio is a data backup and recovery software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, with Poojan and Woon as the co-founders.


Founder: Neha Sampat
VMware Role: Group Manager, VMware, vCloud Product Marketing
Capital Raised: $169M
Investors: Insight Venture Partners
Stage: Series  C

Contentstack offers a content management system that allows information to be stored and shared from a single source.


Founder: Jaleh Rezaei
VMware Role: Director of Product Marketing
Capital Raised: $71.6M
Investors: Y Combinator
Stage: Series B

Jaleh is the CEO and co-founder at Mutiny, a company that offers advertising, account-based marketing, and paid media optimization services. She has also previously worked as an advisor for Google.


Founder: Peter Kazanjy
VMware Role: Sr. Product Marketing Manager
Capital Raised: $33.5M
Investors: CRV
Stage: Series A

Peter is the co-founder at Atrium, which helps sales managers with data-driven management. He is also a frequent due diligence consultant for venture capital funds evaluating enterprise technology investments.


Founder: Oscar Bruening
VMware Role: Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $119.9M
Investors: Goldman Sachs
Stage: Series C

Oskar is the CTO and founder at Peek, a booking software and marketplace for delightful things to do such as wine tours, watersports, skydiving, and art classes.


Founder: Jonathan Trevor
VMware Role: Sr. Staff Engineer
Capital Raised: $112M
Investors: Human Capital
Stage: Series A

Jonathan has a broad research background and full stack development expertise in developing successful products for the web, desktop and mobile devices. His company Observe, provides performance management tools based on a versatile observability platform.


Founder: Christian Wiklund
VMware Role: Development Process Analyst
Capital Raised: $41M
Investors: Accel
Stage: Series B

Christian is the founder and CEO at UnitQ, a product quality platform that helps companies drive growth and retention. He previously founded Skout, Inc and later sold the company to The Meet Group.


Founders: Ville Aikas, Matthew Moore
VMware Role: Senior Staff Engineer, Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $55M
Investors: Sequoia Capital
Series A

Ville and Matthew co-founded Chainguard which enables developers to ship secure software by default.

CloudKnox Security

Founder: Balaji Parimi
VMware Role: Staff Engineer
Capital Raised: $22.8M
Investors: Foundation Capital
Stage: Series A

Balaji is the founder and CEO at CloudKnox which develops a multi-cloud permissions management platform that protects critical cloud infrastructure resources and identities.


Founder: Christian Almenar
VMware Role: Snr Product Line Manager - Encryption
Capital Raised: $19M
Investors: Sequoia Capital
Stage: Series A

Christian is the co-founder and CEO at Monad, a company that makes security data easy and accessible for DevOps and cloud engineering teams. He is passionate about startups and the intersection of art and science.


Founder: Satyam Vaghani
VMWare Role: Principal Engineer
Capital Raised: $62M
Investors: Lightspeed Venture Partners
Stage: Series C

Satyam was the CTO and co-founder at  PernixData, a company that offers software that virtualizes server-side flash to enable scale-out storage performance.


Founders: Leena Joshi, Ben Cheung
VMware Role: Group Product Marketing Manager, Director Product Management
Capital Raised: $19.5M
Investors: Sequoia Capital
Stage: Series A

Leena is the co-founder and CEO while Ben is the co-founder at Closefactor which provides automated sales research and contextual insights to improve the productivity of sales teams.

Atomic Invest

Founder: Marco Alban-Hidalgo
VMware Role: Product Manager
Capital Raised: $25.1M
Investors: Y Combinator
Stage: Series A

Marco is the co-founder and CTO at Atomic Invest, a provider of personalized investment management services that lets companies embed investment accounts into their services. He also worked as a Senior Machine Learning Product Manager at Uipath.


Founder: Jacky (Yu Xiang) Li
VMware Role:  Senior Engineer
Capital Raised: $32.1M
Investors: Qianshi Capital
Stage: Series B

Jacky is the co-founder and COO at SlamTec, a company which provides consumer level high performance robot localization.

Spectro Cloud

Founder: Tenry Fu
VMware Role: Staff Engineer / Architect
Capital Raised: $67.5M
Investors: Stripes Group
Stage: Series B

Tenry is the CEO and co-founder at Spectro Cloud which enables organizations to manage the full lifecycle of any combination of new or existing Kubernetes environments. He has more than 20 years of experience system software.


Founder: Nikhil Gupta
VMware Role: Vice President Strategy, Cloud Security
Capital Raised: $25M
Investors: Sierra Ventures
Stage: Series A

Nikhil is the co-founder and CEO that offers an AppSecOps platform to reduce application exposure and risk for customers.  He was previously a member of Forbes Technology Council.


Founder: Andrew Eye
VMware Role: VP Strategy
Capital Raised: $49.1M
Investors: Greycroft
Stage: Series B

Andrew is the CEO and founder at ClosedLoop, a healthcare data science platform. Andrew’s executive and entrepreneurial experience spans over 20 years in B2C and B2B, for startups and Fortune 500 companies.


Founder: Charles Fan
VMware Role:  SVP/GM, Storage Business Unit
Capital Raised: $43.5M
Investors: Lightspeed Venture Partners
Stage: Series B

Charles is the founder and CEO at MemVerge which is delivering the world’s first memory-converged infrastructure system, built with proprietary DMO technology.


Founder: Tim Hinrichs
VMware Role: Staff Software Engineer
Capital Raised: $54M
Stage: Series B

Tim is the co-founder and CTO at Styra, a platform that allows companies to enforce and monitor authorization policies across cloud-native applications. Tim was also a Postdoctoral Scholar at University of Chicago.


Founder: Marc Piette
VMware Role: Product Management
Capital Raised: $54M
Investors: Github
Stage: Series B

Marc is the founder and CEO at Xwing, an autonomous aviation company building a network of autonomous aircrafts for regional distances. He was previously the VP of Data Strategy atGoDaddy.


Founders: Dan Belcher, Izzy Azeri
VMware Role: Consulting Practice Manager
Capital Raised: $76.1M
Investors: CRV
Stage: Series C

Mabl is an intelligent test automation provider that maintains tests and identifies regressions for quality engineering.

Rising Stars


Founder: Nathaniel Robinson
VMware Role: VP Marketing
Capital Raised: $15M
Investors: The Operator Network
Stage: Series A

Nathaniel is the founder and CEO at Trustworthy, an online service that helps modern families curate, manage and securely share their important information. He is also the founding member at FamTech Founder Collaborative.

Scale3 Labs

Founder: Karthik Kalyanaraman
VMware Role: Member of Technical Staff 3
Capital Raised: $5.3M
Investors: Redpoint
Stage: Seed

Karthik is the co-founder and CTO at Scale3 Labs, a web3 platform for monitoring and maintaining blockchain networks and nodes. He also worked as a Senior Software Engineer at Coinbase.


Founders: Eric Schkufza, Irina Calciu
VMware Role: Senior Researcher, Senior Researcher
Capital Raised: $4.5M
Investors: NEA
Stage: Pre-Seed

Eric and Irina are the co-founders at Graft, a cloud-native platform that aims to make the AI of the 1% accessible to the 99%.


Founder: Jake Adams
VMware Role: Software Engineer Intern
Capital Raised: $20M
Investors: Peterson Ventures
Stage: Series A

Jake is the co-founder at Grain, a meeting insights tool to help businesses understand and communicate the needs of customers.


Founder: Sean Chen
VMware Role: Cloud Architect
Capital Raised: $1.5M
Investors: Cortado Ventures
Stage: Seed

Sean is the co-founder and CTO at oPRO, an artificial intelligence company providing deep learning optimization for process automation. Sean has also worked as the Head of Operations at Petuum.


Founder: David Levy
VMware Role: Sales, EUC
Capital Raised: $3M
Investors: Defy VC
Stage: Seed

Aircover is a real-time sales enablement software powering in-meeting sales tools and intelligence. During his time at VMware, he collaborated with VMware strategy team on go-to-market opportunities with Apteligent, VMware, and their partner ecosystem.


Founder: Arun Lal
VMware Role: Senior Group Product Marketing Manager, VMWare Inc.
Capital Raised: $3M
Investors: Jason Calacanis
Stage: Seed

Arun is the co-founder, CEO and CMO at Contiq, an AI-powered buyer engagement and insight platform for B2B businesses. He has experience in building multiple world-class PMM teams from scratch at Microsoft, VMware, Climate, and Productiv.


Founder: Ankita Gupta
VMware Role: Manager, Global Sales Operations (Go To Market)
Capital Raised: $4.5M
Investors: Accel Partners
Stage: Seed

Ankita is the co-founder and CEO at Akto, a platform for securing APIs and discovering APIs, running tests, and identifying business logic weaknesses.

Elliptic Labs

Founder: Laila Danielsen
VMware Role: EVP
Capital Raised: $22.5M
Investors: Laila Danielsen
Stage: Seed

Laila is the CEO of Elliptic Labs, a global AI virtual smart sensor platform company with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. She has extensive experience at both Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley startups.


Founder: Abhishek Rai
VMware Role: Member of Technical Staff
Capital Raised: $17.7M
Investors: Khosla Ventures
Stage: Series A

Abhishek is the co-founder at NetSpring and he also previously co-founded ThoughtSpot.


Founder:  Li Fang
VMware Role: Senior R&D Manager
Capital Raised: $13.7M
Investors: Matrix Partners China
Stage: Series B

Li Fang is the founder and CEO at CloudChef, an enterprise services company. They work on making the cloud more open, intelligent and agile!


Founders: Trey Allison, Ben Parker
VMware Role: Consultant/Sr. Consultant - Professional Services, Strategic Projects
Capital Raised: $17.5M
Investors: Silverton Partners
Stage: Seed

Trey and Ben are the co-founders of Kronologic. Kronologic develops a calendar monetization platform that converts sales leads into meetings.


Founder: Bhaskar Bhattacharyya
VMware Role: Sr. Member of Technical Staff
Capital Raised: $6.3M
Investors: Bellingham Angel Investors
Stage: Series A

Bhaskar is the CTO and co-founder at ioCurrents, Inc. He was also the Chairman of the ioCurrents board until January 2019. ioCurrents is an online boat monitoring platform intended to turn large-scale maritime sensor data into actionable intelligence.

Celential AI

Founder: Andrew D
VMware Role: Sr. R&D Manager
Capital Raised: $9.5M
Investors: GSR Ventures
Stage: Series A

Andrew is the founder at Celential, an early-stage startup bringing to market AI-driven services to empower people to own their career development. Andrew leads a startup focused on an AI-driven passive candidate recruiting and career development platform.


Founder: Bill Mooz
VMware Role: Associate General Counsel
Capital Raised: $7.3M
Investors: GroundUp Ventures
Stage: Seed

Bill is the co-founder and Board Member at TermScout, a legal tech platform that brings transparency to the contract review process, reducing review time by up to 50%.

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