Our team is comprised of successful founder-entrepreneurs that have lead public and private companies and experienced investors who bring significant value in their ability to help a partner grow their business and generate strong returns.
Rod PerryExecutive Chairman
Rod Perry, our Executive Chairman and Director since our inception, has over 30 years of experience in investment management. From 1985 to 2005, Mr. Perry was employed by 3i Group plc, one of the oldest private equity firms in the world, listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:III). During his tenure at 3i, Mr. Perry held a number of positions, including Sector Advisor covering systems and software sectors before joining the Executive Committee in 1996. He was an Executive Director of the Group (on the Board of 3i Group plc) from 1999 to 2005. He was a member of the Executive Committee and Investment Committee from 1997 to 2005. From 1997 to 2001 he was responsible for developing the 3i investment business in Asia Pacific, and from 2001 to 2005, he was the Global Head of Venture Capital for 3i. Mr. Perry was involved in the origination, execution and disposal of numerous technology venture capital investments internationally. Mr. Perry was a Non-Executive Director of PartyGaming plc, a FTSE listed company, from 2005, and became Chairman in 2008, until 2011. PartyGaming plc went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2005 at a valuation of £4.76 billion. He became Deputy Chairman of, Senior Independent Director and Chairman of Remuneration Committee of BWIN.Party, one of the largest publicly traded online gaming business at the time, when BWIN.Party and PartyGaming merged in 2011 and retired from that Board in July 2015. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Perry was a Non-Executive Director at Gulf of Guinea Energy (Nigeria) and a Non-Executive Director of Indago Petroleum from 2005 to 2009, an AIM listed oil and gas exploration company operating in Oman. Mr. Perry started his technology career with GCHQ, a British intelligence and security agency. Since February 2015, he has served as an advisor to Amanat Holdings PJSC in Dubai, a private equity firm which is listed on the Dubai Stock Exchange. Amanat invests in Healthcare and Education in the region. Mr. Perry has been Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee of Ithmar Capital Partners, which is a Dubai International Financial Centre regulated company in Dubai, investing in special situations, since December 2016. He has also served since January 2017 as Chairman of the Board of Objectivity Ltd., an agile software developer and system integrator based in the UK and Poland and has been an advisor to the company since January 2014. He is Chairman of Draper Oakwood Capital Ltd. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Physics from the University of Salford and is a Chartered Member of the Institution for Engineering and Technology.
Aamer SarfrazChief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Director
Aamer A. Sarfraz, our Chief Executive Officer and Director since our inception, is founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Draper Oakwood Companies, a group of investment and advisory companies which he established with Mr. Draper in October 2015 to provide new and innovative funding opportunities to growth companies. He has been Chief Executive Officer of Draper Oakwood Capital Ltd, an investment and advisory company which is authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority since July 2016. Mr. Sarfraz has been founder and Chief Executive Officer of Better Grain Ltd., which builds sustainable agricultural supply chains worldwide, working with thousands of small-hold farmers to use technology to grow better crops and increase livelihoods, since February 2016. He previously founded and managed various affiliates of Better Grain since 2011. He has been founder and Director of Indus Basin Holding, a private holding and advisory company, since 2011. From 2006 to February 2014, Mr. Sarfraz served as Managing Director of The Electrum Group (UK) LLP, which was part of The Electrum Group, a global private equity business investing in natural resources, headquartered in New York. At The Electrum Group, Mr. Sarfraz was involved in building international strategic partnerships, sourcing and evaluating new business opportunities, fundraising, international business development for portfolio companies, managing government relations, and overseeing the management of various mineral exploration projects. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Sarfraz served as Business Development Director in the London office of Ithmar Capital Partners, a Dubai based private equity fund, investing in special situations, where he was responsible for the development of an international network of co-investors. From 2004 to 2005, Mr. Sarfraz was an Analyst in the venture capital team at 3i Group plc in London, where he worked on evaluating new technology investment opportunities, due diligence, and value addition strategies. Mr. Sarfraz serves as a Member of the President’s Circle at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Member of the International Advisory Board of Texas A&M University, Trustee of the Cogito Scholarship Foundation in London, Member of the Wolfson College Strategy Group in Oxford, Trustee of his family foundation, the Fazaldad Institute, Member of the Board of Governors of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Pakistan, Trustee of the Cheetah Conservation Fund UK, and founder and Director of the Govtech Alliance in London. He is Honorary Consul of Estonia in Pakistan. He conceived of and launched the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship. Mr. Sarfraz holds an MSc (with Distinction) in Information Systems from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and graduated from Boston University’s School of Management.
Ali ErfanVice Chairman and Director Nominee
Ali Erfan, our Vice Chairman and one of our directors commencing upon the effective date of the prospectus which is part of this registration statement, has worked in venture capital and private equity for over 17 years. Mr. Erfan worked at 3i Group plc’s London headquarters from 2000 to 2007, becoming a senior partner in the venture capital group in 2004. He was a member of the management committee for the global venture capital business and led 3i’s venture capital expansion into the Middle East and China. He also led 3i’s investment into new sectors including clean tech and alternative energy. Since 2007, Mr. Erfan has been a director of The Electrum Group. Investments include private and public mining companies such as NovaGold, Sunshine Mining and Gabriel Resources. Mr. Erfan was a founding board member of Leor Energy in 2003, an oil and gas exploration company in Texas, that was acquired by EnCana for $2.55 billion in 2007. He is also a Director at Draper Oakwood Capital Ltd. Mr. Erfan is founder of the Cogito Scholarship Foundation, a UK charity. He holds a BA and MA (Hons) from Oxford University, and an MBA from the London Business School. He is a Fellow of the Kauffman Foundation for Venture Capital.
Richard Atterbury, one of our directors commencing upon the effective date of the prospectus which is part of this registration statement, has been Chairman of AgFe, a specialist in European financial assets, since February 2011, and joined the firm in May 2010. He is also a board member of the Economic Advancement Program of the Open Sociaty Foundations and Chairman of New Philanthropy Capital. He is also a Director at Factern Ltd and Draper Oakwood Royalty Capital Ltd, and Chairman of Alta Advisors Ltd. Mr. Atterbury has 28 years of banking experience in both Europe and the US. He was a Vice Chairman at Nomura International, an international investment bank, from 2008 to 2009, and previously worked at Lehman Brothers from 2005 to 2008, where he was co-head of European Capital Markets and global co-head of the Financial Sponsors Group. He was also a member of the firm’s European Operating Committee. From 1999 to 2004 he worked at Morgan Stanley in London where he was global co-head of the Financial Sponsors Group and Chairman of European Leveraged Finance. From 1997 to 1999, he was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr. Atterbury also worked in the Chicago office of Bank of America from 1994 to 1997 and as Treasurer of Applied Power, Inc., a manufacturing company located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 1992 to 1994. Mr. Atterbury has a B.A. from Jesus College, University of Cambridge.
Gabe Turner, one of our directors commencing upon the effective date of the prospectus which is part of this registration statement, has been the executive director of the Draper Venture Network since September 2013. Prior to Draper Venture Network, Mr. Turner spent six years as a management consultant, first with Deloitte’s Strategy & Operations practice, from 2004 to 2011 and then as an independent advisor, from 2011 to August 2013, working with governments on policy related to science, technology and innovation, and with startups in the Silicon Valley on user acquisition and growth. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA and BS, and holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
General Frank GorencDirector
General Frank Gorenc, one of our directors commencing upon the effective date of the prospectus which is part of this registration statement, retired from the United States Air Force as a four-star general in October 2016. From August 2013 to August 2016, General Gorenc served as Commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Africa and Commander of NATO Allied Air Command, headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He was responsible for Air Force activities, conducted through 3rd Air Force, in an area of operations covering more than 19 million square miles. This area includes 104 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and the Arctic, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. General Gorenc has commanded a fighter squadron, an operations group, a wing, an air expeditionary wing, the Air Force District Washington, and a component Numbered Air Force. He has served in numerous positions at Headquarters Air Combat Command, Headquarters Air Force Air Staff, the Joint Staff, and at US European Command/Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. These include as Assistant Vice Chief of Staff and Director Air Staff from April 2012 to August 2013, Commander 3rd Air Force from August 2009 to March 2012, Director of Air and Space Operations at Air Combat Command from August 2008 to August 2009, and Commander Air Force District of Washington from June 2007 to August 2008. During his long military career, spanning from 1979 to October 2016, he received numerous awards and decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters. The general is a command pilot with more than 4,800 flight hours. He earned his commission in 1979 from the United States Air Force Academy.
Abdulwahab Al BetairiDirectorAbdulwahab Abdulkarim Al Betairi is a co-founder and managing partner of Water Partners Company, an investment management and financial consulting company established in October 2014. Prior to that, from June, 2004 to June, 2014, Mr. Al Betairi was at The Family Office Co BSc, a leading multi-family office based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, where he was a founding partner. During his role there, he was involved in all aspects of the business from investments to managing client relationships and was a member of the firm’s executive committee. From June, 1999 to February, 2004, Mr. Al Betairi worked at the Treasury Division of Saudi American Bank (a Citibank affiliate in Saudi Arabia), lastly managing over $500mm of alternative investments for the banks propriety investment book. Mr. Al Betairi also currently serves on numerous non-profit organization committees and boards such as the Family Business Committee part of the National Chamber of Commerce in Saudi Arabi and an investment Committee member for the National Charity for Home Care. In addition, Mr. Al Betairi chairs the Board of Directors of Osool & Bakheet, one of the oldest and most established asset management firms in Saudi Arabia. He also serves as a director of a number of Saudi Arabian listed and unlisted entities and currently heads the Saudi chapter for the alumni of London Business School and is a Young Presidents' Organisation member in both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain chapters. He holds an MBA degree from London Business School and an undergraduate degree in finance from KFUPM.
Tim DraperSenior Advisor
Tim Draper, our Senior Advisor, has, for over 30 years, been one of the most prominent venture capital investors in the world. An affiliated entity of Mr. Draper owns 25% of the pecuniary interests of our sponsor. Mr. Draper is Founding Partner of venture capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Draper Associates. His venture successes include Skype, Hotmail, Tesla, Baidu, Athenahealth, Solar City, Box, TwitchTV, SpaceX, Cruise Automation, Parametric Technology and others. As an advocate for entrepreneurs and free markets, Mr. Draper is regularly featured as a keynote speaker in entrepreneurial conferences throughout the world, has been recognized as a leader in his field and has frequent TV, radio and headline appearance. He has received various awards and honors including the Entrepreneurship Forum’s “Entrepreneur of the World” in 2015, the Commonwealth Club’s Distinguished Citizen Award for achievements in green and sustainable energy in 2007, is listed as one of the top 100 most influential people in finance by Worth Magazine in 2014, and #7 on the Forbes Midas List in 2006. Mr. Draper founded the Draper Venture Network. In promoting entrepreneurship, he created Draper University of Heroes, a residential and online school based in San Mateo, California to help extraordinary people accomplish their life missions. He started Innovate Your State, a non-profit dedicated to crowdsource innovation in government, and BizWorld, a non-profit that teaches young children how business and entrepreneurship work. Mr. Draper received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.