From Bengaluru to Bay Area: Airbase Founder Thejo Kote’s story from a small-town boy to a successful American entrepreneur
By Ramarko Sengupta
San Francisco-based corporate spend management startup Airbase Founder Thejo Kote’s journey is as interesting as it is inspiring. He grew up in the quaint little historical town of Mysuru (about 150 km from Bengaluru) and graduated from a college in Bengaluru. He then went on to work for IT behemoth, Infosys, but soon realised that his calling lay elsewhere.
Building things and entrepreneurship fascinated him. He chased his dreams that brought him to America. His previous startup, Automatic, which he co-founded, was sold to New York-based broadcasting company SiriusXM for $115 million.
And his current startup Airbase is also making all the right noises, having raised $60 million recently, taking its total venture funding to $91 million...
“If I was an artist during the Renaissance period, I would have found my way to Florence. I wanted to be where the action was, which was Silicon Valley. Also, I wanted to fill the skills gap. The way for me to address both was to come to grad school here [at the UC Berkeley School of Information] and that’s what I ended up doing.”
Thejo Kote is a MIMS 2011 alumnus.