Former Google principal Debu Purkayastha becomes entrepreneur-in-residence at Octopus

Octopus Investments has followed a growing trend of hiring an entrepreneur-in-residence by securing its own from Google for its ventures team.

Debu Purkayastha has joined Octopus Investments as the firm’s entrepreneur-in-residence to identify new investments and support portfolio companies.

Having served as principal of corporate development and principal of new business development at Google, Purkayastha joins a venture capital firm which counts Zoopla, Secret Escapes and YPlan as portfolio companies.

Purkayastha was also part of the founding team at Google Campus in East London, a co-working space for start-up businesses.

Octopus is following in the footsteps of Index Ventures, which recruited former government advisor Rohan Silva as its entrepreneur-in-residence back in April 2013, and Accel Partners – which has Nick Mehta.

Alex Macpherson, head of the ventures team at Octopus, comments, ‘A popular face in the start-up community, anyone who has seen Debu speak at an event will have been impressed by his vast experience and knowledge.

‘He has a unique set of operating and deal skills spanning both US and Europe and it is great that he is going to be sharing this experience with our portfolio companies.’

Macpherson says that Purkayastha will be able to help start-ups working with big corporations as well as aiding with the sharpening of business strategy.

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Through his roles with Google, Purkayastha led the acquisitions of ITA Software, Phonetic Arts, Green Parrot Pictures and Gizmo5. He has also been involved with Google’s travel and finance search products.

‘The European start-up ecosystem has matured a great deal in the last five to six years,’ Purkayastha says.

‘Not only have we seen the entrepreneurial community expand and evolve, but we have also seen a sea change in the attitudes of investors. Support is no longer just financial and the team at Octopus have a really exciting hands-on approach to investing and partnering with the teams they back coupled with the willingness and financial ability to invest ambitiously.’

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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