Rajeev Madhavan

Partner & Co Founder

Rajeev Madhavan is a Co Founder and Partner of Clear, where he focuses on early stage technology investments.

Rajeev brings operational skills from founding, building and running (as CEO) two highly successful companies. He has the uncanny ability to deeply understand what entrepreneurs are trying to do, and to steer them onto a successful path. He has been a venture investor in over 35 companies.

Rajeev’s notable exits include Toast (IPO), Reflektion (Sitecore), Robin ( Rakuten), Apigee (IPO), YuMe (IPO), Virident (acquired), Magma (IPO), Groupon (IPO), VxTel (acquired), LogicVision (IPO) and Ambit (acquired).

Prior to founding Clear in 2014, Rajeev founded three successful startups. The most recent, Magma Design Automation, became the 4th largest Electronic Design Automation company in the world under his leadership.

Rajeev served as Magma’s Chairman and CEO from when he co-founded the company in 1997 through its acquisition by Synopsys in February 2012 for $580 million. Magma was listed on Nasdaq in 2001 and was ranked as the 2nd fastest growing Technology Company in 2005 by Forbes. Magma provided core infrastructure software to mobile pioneers such as Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung, which was used to design the core processors at the heart of the smartphone era.

Prior to founding Magma, Rajeev co-founded and served as President and CEO of Ambit Design Systems, which was acquired by Cadence in 1998 for $280 million. Rajeev also co-founded and served as Director of Engineering of LogicVision, Inc. (IPO). Rajeev is a recipient of the Red Herring Top Innovator award, the lifetime achievement award at NITK, India and various other awards.

Rajeev earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication from KREC, Surathkal, India, and an M.S.E.E from Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada.

When Rajeev is not working he can be found with his wife and two children, trail running, tending to his rose gardens, or holding court with technologists figuring out what comes next.


What Entrepreneurs Have To Say

They continually help us in all areas... And when they don’t know how to help you, they introduce you to someone who will.
— Amar Chokhawala, Founder & CEO, Reflektion
What stands out to me is the Clear Ventures team’s ability to go the extra mile. Early customer introductions, help with recruiting. This allows our partnership to be valuable far beyond financing.
— Feng Niu, Founder, Evidently
Clear Ventures has been a great partner. Both Rajeev and Chris have been extremely helpful as sounding boards, and in helping us with strategic guidance, operational assistance, and customer and investor referrals. They have truly provided mentor capital for us as first-time entrepreneurs, and the entire Clear team has been instrumental in helping us become leaders in our space.
— Chandra Ranganathan, Co-Founder & CEO, Opsera
Without Rajeev at Clear Ventures, Robin.io would not have existed. When we started on this journey, we were very early in the market. Clear Ventures recognized that the market was evolving and that we needed to keep investing. As a technical VC and former entrepreneur, Rajeev and the partners understood the value of technology at a deep level.
— Partha Seetala - Founder & CEO, Robin.io
Rajeev combines his experience as an entrepreneur with a razor sharp intellect. He partners early and helps you to shape the DNA of the business. He rolls up his sleeves and will work alongside the founder, with practical inputs. He has an uncanny knack to sift through the noise and chaos of an early stage company and help you to define your market. He"calls" it as he sees it with a refreshing honesty that's makes you a better entrepreneur. When you start with the dream of building an enduring company, there is no better person to have in your corner.
— Ram Menon, Founder & CEO, Avaamo
Clear founder Rajeev Madhavan is an early personal investor in Toast. He has provided us with useful counsel as we have scaled the company and introduced us to some great prospects. Some investors talk about adding value, but Rajeev knows how to help where it matters most while giving us the space we need to execute. We are fortunate to have him as a shareholder.
— Chris Comparato, CEO, Toast
Rajeev and Chris have been great partners to GoEuro, either by helping us build a network in the valley, or by pushing us think through scaling the business, hiring or other operational challenges. It is always a pleasure to speak w them on any question.
— Naren Shaam, Founder & CEO, GoEuro
Clear Ventures is a unique and highly differentiated early-stage startup venture firm. Rajeev Madhavan combines his extensive operating experience as a highly successful entrepreneur with his contacts in the valley to be a value-added investor and board member. He helped shepherd my earlier startups, AutoESL and Neptune Design, to success. Clear has been providing us with great help for a wide range functions, from executive search, to providing compensation guidelines, to partner/customer/investor introductions and raising subsequent capital. Combined with Chris’s Venture background and relationships, Clear is a great resource for us.
— Jason Cong, Co-founder & Chairman, Falcon Computing Solutions

Experience At A Glance

  • Clear Ventures

    Founder, General Partner

  • Independent early-stage IT VC

  • Magma

    Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO

  • Ambit Design Systems

    Co-Founder, President and CEO

  • LogicVision

    Co-Founder, Director of Engineering

  • Bell Northern Research

    Software Engineer

Active Partnerships

  • Atmosic

  • Evidently

  • Frore

  • Kognitos

  • Opsera

Notable Exits

  • Toast (IPO TOST)
  • Reflektion (Sitecore)
  • Robin (Rakuten)
  • Apigee A (IPO APIC)
  • YuMe A (IPO YUME)
  • Virident seed (WDC)
  • Magma seed (IPO LAVA)
  • Groupon A (IPO GRPN)
  • VxTel seed (INTC)
  • LogicVision seed (IPO LGVN)
  • Ambit seed (CDNS)