How Rak Garg Became Bain Capital Ventures' Youngest Partner

Rak Garg initially aimed to be a startup founder after his experiences building products at Atlassian. However, after realizing that company building wasn’t his calling, he decided to venture into venture capital. Enrique Salem, a board member of Atlassian and partner at Bain Capital Ventures (BCV), introduced Garg to the world of venture capital when he suggested that Garg join BCV to explore whether he wanted to start a company again or invest in startups.

Garg accepted Salem’s offer and joined BCV in May 2021, immediately showing interest in cybersecurity startups and AI infrastructure companies. As a result of his hard work, he was promoted to partner at just 27 years old, becoming the firm’s youngest partner in under 3 years.

Prior to joining BCV, Garg was born in Delhi and raised in the Bay Area, where he developed an early interest in cybersecurity. At 12, he received a book on cryptography from his father and started hacking to modify video game consoles. Later, he attended UCLA, participated in hackathons, and developed various projects, including a collaborative rapping app and an AI project aimed at improving cancer detection.

His interests in AI and cybersecurity continued when he interned at Redfin, where he worked on the ML platform team and then continued with the company through his senior year. Upon graduating in 2018, Garg joined Atlassian, where he focused on helping the largest companies in the world adopt Atlassian Cloud products. It was during his time at Atlassian that Garg began to understand the concerns companies had about the cloud, which led him to start Atlassian Access, a new identity management product that scaled to thousands of customers.

Eventually, Garg tried to start his own company, but he quickly realized he didn’t have the patience for entrepreneurship. Instead, he leveraged his experiences to join BCV as an associate, where he focused on sourcing deals, expanding the firm’s expertise in cybersecurity and AI infrastructure, and building the firm’s network. Since his promotion to partner, Garg has continued to work closely with founders to add value to the BCV portfolio by providing strategic advice and support.

In addition to his work at BCV, Garg has also supported startups such as Cleanlab, a data curation platform for AI models, and Contextual AI, which creates customized language models for enterprises. Garg also launched BCV Labs, the firm’s incubator for AI researchers and builders, providing early-stage startups with access to talent, customers, computing power, and office space. The firm only works with four startups at a time every year. With his promotion to partner, Garg plans to continue winning and supporting companies and build a successful career in venture capital.

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