Thejo Kote
Founder & CEO
Airbase

(5.0)
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  1. Thejo is the perfect candidate for this award as he is a genuine example of someone who has ridden the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur – more than once. Thejo realized he needed to move to the epicenter of the tech startup world after his first company’s software thrived in India but ultimately failed to break through globally. This was around the time of Twitter’s meteoric rise, and he couldn’t help comparing his company’s performance! So Thejo chose to pick himself up and go again and his decision to move to the United States, get a master’s degree from UC Berkeley, then start another company in 2011 proved to be the right one. Automatic, which he co-founded, was sold to SiriusXM for $110 million. Thejo’s experience at Automatic revealed that widespread inefficiencies of accounting and finance in small to midsize companies can actually curtail a company’s growth. The most inefficient area he saw was non-payroll spend – no one had designed a fully articulated, consolidated software solution to fix this broken process. So he did; he started Airbase. Airbase was founded in 2017, and so far has raised $30.8 million in venture funding from leading VC firms including Bain Capital Ventures, First Round Capital – and from others including the former CFO of Netsuite and co-founder of Okta, Airbase has gone on to become the world’s leading spend management platform. Thejo’s story is one of resilience, foresight and determination and he has instilled those characteristics into his team at Airbase. He is a true leader and someone that deserves to be recognized for this award.

    Staff, submitted on

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