Blinkx founder Suranga Chandratillake takes up venture capital role

Balderton Capital has recruited technology entrepreneur Suranga Chandratillake as a new partner at the venture capital firm.

Having build and then taken his video and audio content search engine business to the public markets, Suranga Chandratillake has turned to the investment world for the next stage of his career.

The entrepreneur is taking up a position as partner at Balderton Capital, a London-based venture capital firm which has interests in businesses such as Wonga, Zopa and Achica.

Chandratillake has spent the last ten years in Silicon Valley on the west coast of America, but will be returning to the UK as part of his Balderton Capital job.

In an open editorial for GrowthBusiness back in November 2012, Chandratillake explained why he had stepped down as CEO of blinkx so that he could ‘rekindle his passion for business’.

Explaining his decision to in effect ‘fire himself’, Chandratillake said that the breakthrough moment came while negotiating the acquisition of Burst Media in April 2011. Having spent 48 hours in his hotel room surrounded by paperwork, he realised that he felt out of touch with the brainstorming of future products, innovating in video search and deciding on new directions. Instead he was wrapped up in legal, HR and investor issues.

Having moved from CEO to chief strategy officer, the entrepreneur focused on strategy and technology development, and will continue to do so as a director at blinkx while with Balderton.

More on Suranga Chandratillake and Blinkx:

Commenting on his new career move, Chandratillake says, ‘Balderton is a natural fit for me. They are a smart, lean and driven team that makes high-impact decisions and has the flexibility of thought and action that fast-growing technology companies need from their partners.

‘The firm also has a strong Silicon Valley heritage, complementing my own experience, and can bring the US mind set to European venture exceptionally well.’

Chandratillake first began building blinkx in 2004, and grew it to a stage where it was valued at £125 million in 2007. The business, which makes money from online advertisers, is now worth £855 million.

Balderton Capital general partner Bernard Liautaud says, ‘As the architect of one of the UK’s most successful internet technology companies, Suranga will be a great addition to our team as well as an invaluable mentor to the companies in our portfolio.

‘He understands what it takes to create global and long-lasting businesses and can draw from his own experiences to support the founders we back.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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