Hassan Ahmed, our Executive Chairman, was most recently Chairman and CEO of Affirmed Networks, which he co-founded in 2010. Mr. Ahmed was responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations and oversaw its sale to Microsoft in April 2020. From 1999 to 2008, Mr. Ahmed was Chairman and CEO of Sonus Networks, a company that actively transformed telephony. Mr. Ahmed led Sonus Networks for ten years, overseeing the company through its IPO on the Nasdaq in 2000. Before joining Sonus, Mr. Ahmed was EVP and GM of the Core Switching division of Ascend Communications (acquired by Lucent for $20.3 billion) and Chief Technology Officer of Cascade Communications (acquired by Ascend for $3.7 billion). He also served on the Board of Directors at Airvana Networks until it was acquired by Siris Capital. Currently, Mr. Ahmed is a member of the Board of Directors of Ciena Corp (NYSE: CIEN) and KINS Technology Group (NASDAQ: KINZU, KINZ, KINZW) and a Senior Advisor at Charles River Ventures. Mr. Ahmed holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Aerospace Engineering from Carleton University. He also received a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
CEO and Director
Osman Ahmed, our CEO, has significant principal investment experience from origination through exit in B2C and B2B platforms. Mr. Ahmed is currently an investor at KCK Group, a position he has held since 2015. Mr. Ahmed was previously the CFO at Beehive3D, a KCK Group Portfolio company, and has held roles at Volition Capital, Scale Venture Partners, and Stifel Financial. Mr. Ahmed currently serves on the Board of Directors of Harvest Sherwood Food Distributors and KCK Frontier Investments Ltd. From 2018 to 2020, Mr. Ahmed served on the Board of Directors of Kaidee and, from 2015 to 2016, was a Board Observer at Hibernia Networks. Previously, Mr. Ahmed was a Board Observer at Yield Engineering Systems and Emerging Markets Property Group. Mr. Ahmed has led and participated in investment rounds for companies such as Axcient (acquired), Hibernia Networks (acquired), RingCentral (IPO), TraceLink (active), and Kaidee (acquired). Mr. Ahmed holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Steve Papa is the CEO and founder of Parallel Wireless, a member of the Board of Directors of Desktop Metal, and Chairman of Toast. As a founder and CEO of Endeca, Mr. Papa reimagined the database to support faceted information, ultimately leading to Oracle acquiring the company for $1.1 billion (Oracle’s 6th largest acquisition at the time). Mr. Papa was a member of the team creating Akamai that reimagined global internet content distribution – now carrying peaks of 15 terabits/s of web traffic on any given day. Mr. Papa also led the team at Inktomi that reimagined the network cache to create carrier class caching. Mr. Papa also worked with AT&T / Teradata where enterprise computing was reimagined with the first use of Intel processors for enterprise servers. Mr. Papa received a BS in civil engineering and operations from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jack Selby is a technology and finance executive who brings more than 20 years of experience. Currently, Mr. Selby is a Managing Director at Thiel Capital, the family office of Peter Thiel. As a “PayPal Mafia” member, Mr. Selby co-founded, Clarium Capital Management, after selling PayPal to eBay in October 2002 for $1.5 billion. At PayPal, Mr. Selby joined as an early employee and later served as a Senior Vice President, overseeing the company’s international and corporate operations. Mr. Selby is an active technology investor and adviser. He was an early investor in Affirm, Bird, Myeloid Therapeutics, and SpaceX, and facilitated several investments in Palantir over the company’s lifespan. Mr. Selby was also a formal member of the advisory boards of Blend and Offerpad. In addition to his responsibilities at Thiel Capital, Mr. Selby is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Commerce Authority, a co-host/founder of the Arizona Technology Innovation Summit with Governor Doug Ducey, Chairman of invisionAZ, and Co-founder and member of the Board of Directors for the Wyoming Global Technology Partnership with Governor Mark Gordon. He received a BA in Economics from Hamilton College where he is a member of the Board of Trustees.
Rob Theis is the General Partner of World Innovation Lab with more than 18 years of venture capital experience. Mr. Theis invests in a broad range of multi-stage technology companies with exceptional growth potential. Over the course of his career at various VC funds, Mr. Theis has led investments in over 25 companies, including, Auth0, Automation Anywhere, BirdEye, BrightRoll, Digital Shadows, DocuSign, Fortinet, HubSpot, PGP, RingCentral, and VanceInfo. Formerly, Mr. Theis was a Managing Director of Scale Venture Partners, Sun Microsystems, General Partner of DCM Ventures, EVP at New Era Networks, and Product Manager of SGI. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors at RingCentral. Mr. Theis received a BA in economics from the University of Pittsburgh.
Allen Salmasi is a pioneer in the wireless industry with over 40 years of experience building leading edge companies. Currently, Mr. Salmasi is the CEO of both Veea, a provider of comprehensive full stack solutions for edge computing and communications, and NLabs, a family office investment firm. Previously, Mr. Salmasi served as Chairman, CEO and President of NextWave Wireless Inc. which developed and implemented the first Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service with MCI Corp. Prior to joining NextWave, Mr. Salmasi was the President of the Wireless Division and Chief Strategy Officer of Qualcomm. Mr. Salmasi currently serves on the Board of Directors of mimik Technology Inc., the Korea Information and Communications Company and is the Chairman of the Board at OncoSynergy and NLabs. He was previously on the Board of Directors at Qualcomm. Mr. Salmasi holds BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University and a MS degree in applied mathematics from the University of Southern California.
Nikhil Kalghatgi has been the Head of Alternative Investments at S.P. Hinduja Banque Privee since early 2020. He was previously a Partner at CoVenture primarily investing in high-yield asset-backed credit opportunities and creating quantitative trading strategies. CoVenture’s investment areas primarily included fintech, special situations and emerging assets. Mr. Kalghatgi was also a Partner at CoVenture Crypto, a multi-strategy cryptocurrency asset management firm backed by SBI Holdings, with a quantitative trading fund, smart-beta fund and venture capital investments. Prior to this, he was a Partner at Vast Ventures Management LLC, investing in early-stage and late-stage companies. He has invested across technology including space exploration, consumer, healthcare, software, and transportation. He has also previously been a Principal at Softbank, Founder of Partner 6, a long-only equity investment firm, and a Director of Business Development and Marketing at Localytics, a mobile analytics platform. He also spent several years in the military intelligence sector at the MITRE Corporation. Mr. Kalghatgi holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s degree in engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
John Muleta is currently the CEO of Atelum LLC, a strategic consulting firm focused primarily on the wireless communications industry. Previously, Mr. Muleta served as the non-executive Chairman & Board Member of HRsmart, a leading innovator in the Talent Management SaaS field which sold to Deltek, a Thoma Bravo portfolio company. Mr. Muleta was also CEO of M2Z Networks Inc. which sought to provide a nationwide, free, broadband network with the backing of Kleiner Perkins, CRV, Redpoint Ventures and DirecTV. Prior to starting M2Z, Mr. Muleta was Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau of the FCC, where he was responsible for wireless regulations covering radio services for cellular, private land mobile, public safety, microwave and mobile 911 in the United States. Mr. Muleta was previously a Partner at Venable LLP and co-head of the firm’s Communications Practice. Mr. Muleta served as a senior executive in two publicly traded technology companies. Mr. Muleta was EVP of Navisite, Inc., and led the datacenter company’s international expansion efforts as well as its innovative streaming business unit that was eventually acquired by Akamai. Prior to joining Navisite, Mr. Muleta was SVP of PSInet Inc. and responsible for building the company’s global fiber and satellite footprint as well as leading the company’s IMEA region and its corporate venture fund. Mr. Muleta was a Board Member of FiberTower, a microwave carrier (acquired by Verizon) and served on the advisory boards of several innovative companies including Good Technology (acquired by Blackberry), Cognio (acquired by Cisco), and PacketHop (acquired by SRA). Mr. Muleta graduated with a BSc in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and received a JD/MBA from the University of Virginia School of Law and Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.
Adeel Rouf is currently the Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance of Altitude Acquisition Corp, a SPAC primarily targeting the travel sector. Prior to joining Altitude Acquisition Corp., Mr. Rouf was an Investment Professional at FinTech Acquisition Corp. III and Insurance Acquisition Corp., SPACs which recently completed mergers with Paya and Shift Technologies, respectively, and an Investment Professional at Cohen & Company. From 2017 to 2019, Mr. Rouf was an Investment Banker in J.P. Morgan’s leveraged finance group, where he executed debt transactions in diversified industries, and, from 2015 to 2017, he was a Project Finance Associate in Sumitomo Mitsui’s Power and Renewables Group. Mr. Rouf holds a BBA in Accounting from Baruch College and is currently pursuing a MS from Columbia University.