Team

Our direct entrepreneurial and operational experience allows us to

unlock value across all stages of a company's life cycle

Bobby Yazdani
Founder & Managing Partner
Babak Poushanchi
Founder & Managing Partner
Albert Azout
Partner
Pete Williams
Partner & COO
Bradley Young
Head of Investor Relations
Bobby Yazdani is Founder and Managing Partner of Cota Capital, a firm investing in private and public technology companies. Bobby works full time on the development and support of entrepreneurs through Cota Capital. Through his family office Signatures Capital, Bobby has invested in over 100 private companies. In 2014, Bobby was ranked #1 out of 2000 angel investors for successful follow-on funding by CB Insights. Masimo Corporation was Bobby’s first angel investment in 1989.

In 2015, Bobby endowed the Signatures Innovation Fellowship at University of California, Berkeley to support data science projects with commercial promise. Bobby also serves as a founding member of the Persian Tech Entrepreneurs network, and a National Advisory Board Member of The Reset Foundation.

Bobby founded Saba in 1997, taking the company public in 2000. Today, Saba is the leading provider of Human Capital Development & Management Solutions, serving over 30 million people from 2,200 customers across 195 countries and in 37 languages worldwide. Prior to Saba, Bobby worked at Oracle in various R&D roles.

Bobby has successfully mentored entrepreneurs and invested in over 100 early-stage startups including Aardvark (acq. by Google), Addepar, Atheer Labs, Baarzo (acq. by Google), BaseHealth, Bina Technologies (acq. by Roche), Bonobos, Canary, AddThis (acq. by Oracle), CleverSense (acq. by Google), Dropbox, FundersClub, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), GuardantHealth, inDinero, InstaEdu (acq. by Chegg), KissMetrics, Klout (acq. by Lithium Technologies), Masimo (NASDAQ: MASI), Medialets, NextBio (acq. by Illumina), OpenGov, PassBan (acq. by EMC/RSA), Qwiki (acq. by Yahoo), Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), SoundHound, SweetGreen, ThinkBig Analytics (acq. by Teradata), Uber, Wash.io, Webs.com (acq. by VistaPrint), ZenPayroll and more.

Born in Tehran, Iran, Bobby completed high school in England and received a B.A. in Applied Mathematics at UC Berkeley.
Babak Poushanchi is Founder and Managing Partner of Cota Capital, a firm investing in private and public technology companies. Prior to founding Cota Capital, Babak was a Co-Founder and Co-Portfolio Manager of Newbrook Capital, a $1+ billion long/short equity fund. Previously, Babak was an Investment Analyst at Karsch Capital, a $2+ billion global long/short equity fund. He was also a Venture Partner at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, a technology-focused accelerator with over 70 portfolio companies, and an Investment Associate at Indosuez Capital, a $3+ billion merchant banking fund, investing in private companies across the capital structure. Babak received a B.A. in Economics at Northwestern University.
Prior to joining Cota, Albert Azout was Senior Director of Product & Applied Engineering at AOL, where he was charged with leading a variety of AOL’s efforts in bidding and optimization. Prior to AOL, Albert was the Founder and CEO of Velos, a machine learning software platform, which Verizon/AOL acquired in March 2015. Prior to Velos, Albert was a Co-Founder of StyleCaster, which was sold to SheKnows Media, backed by leading private equity firm Great Hill Partners, and currently the largest media company in lifestyle category with over 90 million monthly uniques. Albert has invested in and actively advises a variety of companies, with a focus on the disruptive utilization of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in products and services. Albert received a B.A. in Finance & Economics at Babson College.
Prior to joining Cota, Pete served in a number of executive positions at Saba, including EVP of Corporate Development, General Counsel and CFO.  During his tenure, Pete played an instrumental role in Saba’s IPO, acquisition strategy and integration, transition from enterprise software to SaaS, and sale in a go-private transaction.  Today, Saba is the leading provider of Human Capital Development & Management Solutions, serving over 30 million people from 2,200 customers across 195 countries and in 37 languages worldwide. 

Previously, Pete was a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP, a leading international law firm. Pete has extensive experience representing high-tech companies, as well as venture capital and investment banking firms.  In addition to private and public financings and acquisitions, Pete also specialized in technology and content development, licensing and distribution transactions.

Pete has BAs in economics and psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a JD, cum laude, from Santa Clara University.
Bradley Young joins the executive team as Head of Investor Relations and will focus on expanding Cota’s current base of global partners. Brad brings global relationships, perspectives and insights as a seasoned investment management and credit markets professional. Brad has met with institutional investors across six continents. At a prior firm, Brad established and managed business development activities for South Africa and Namibia. His past experience also includes client portfolio management. Brad earned his BA in International Business and Economic Theories from the University of California, Berkeley.
Will Scheinman
Associate
Vivian Cheng
Associate
Cat Rauschuber
Team Manager
Mia Figueroa
Team Administrator
Will joined Cota as an Associate in 2017, where he works on the investment team to source, analyze, and execute investments across the Cota portfolio of companies. Prior to Cota, Will was an Investment Banking Analyst with Shea & Company in their San Francisco office, where he focused on venture financings, equity offerings and merger and acquisition advisory assignments within the technology sector. Will graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Vivian joined Cota as an Associate in 2017, where she works on the investment team to source, analyze, and execute investments across the Cota portfolio of companies. Prior to Cota, Vivian spent four years in the finance group at Uber, where she focused on mobile operations, investments, and global payments and banking strategy. Vivian graduated from University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, with a full scholarship.
Cat joined Cota in 2017 as Team Manager, where she supports the team and coordinates and enhances Cota’s network of entrepreneurs, advisors and investors. Prior to Cota, Cat worked in San Francisco government and politics, including most recently with San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu across a wide range of policies and a broad range of constituents. Cat received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and her Master of Public Policy from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was a recipient of the Public Service Fellowship.
Mia joined Cota as the Team Administrator in 2016 where she supports the team’s daily needs while taking on a variety of projects. Prior to joining Cota she worked as a development associate at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. She received her BA in Political Economy with a concentration in International Trade Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Bobby Yazdani
Founder & Managing Partner
Babak Poushanchi
Founder & Managing Partner
Bobby Yazdani is Founder and Managing Partner of Cota Capital, a firm investing in private and public technology companies. Bobby works full time on the development and support of entrepreneurs through Cota Capital. Through his family office Signatures Capital, Bobby has invested in over 100 private companies. In 2014, Bobby was ranked #1 out of 2000 angel investors for successful follow-on funding by CB Insights. Masimo Corporation was Bobby’s first angel investment in 1989.

In 2015, Bobby endowed the Signatures Innovation Fellowship at University of California, Berkeley to support data science projects with commercial promise. Bobby also serves as a founding member of the Persian Tech Entrepreneurs network, and a National Advisory Board Member of The Reset Foundation.

Bobby founded Saba in 1997, taking the company public in 2000. Today, Saba is the leading provider of Human Capital Development & Management Solutions, serving over 30 million people from 2,200 customers across 195 countries and in 37 languages worldwide. Prior to Saba, Bobby worked at Oracle in various R&D roles.

Bobby has successfully mentored entrepreneurs and invested in over 100 early-stage startups including Aardvark (acq. by Google), Addepar, Atheer Labs, Baarzo (acq. by Google), BaseHealth, Bina Technologies (acq. by Roche), Bonobos, Canary, AddThis (acq. by Oracle), CleverSense (acq. by Google), Dropbox, FundersClub, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), GuardantHealth, inDinero, InstaEdu (acq. by Chegg), KissMetrics, Klout (acq. by Lithium Technologies), Masimo (NASDAQ: MASI), Medialets, NextBio (acq. by Illumina), OpenGov, PassBan (acq. by EMC/RSA), Qwiki (acq. by Yahoo), Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), SoundHound, SweetGreen, ThinkBig Analytics (acq. by Teradata), Uber, Wash.io, Webs.com (acq. by VistaPrint), ZenPayroll and more.

Born in Tehran, Iran, Bobby completed high school in England and received a B.A. in Applied Mathematics at UC Berkeley.
Babak Poushanchi is Founder and Managing Partner of Cota Capital, a firm investing in private and public technology companies. Prior to founding Cota Capital, Babak was a Co-Founder and Co-Portfolio Manager of Newbrook Capital, a $1+ billion long/short equity fund. Previously, Babak was an Investment Analyst at Karsch Capital, a $2+ billion global long/short equity fund. He was also a Venture Partner at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, a technology-focused accelerator with over 70 portfolio companies, and an Investment Associate at Indosuez Capital, a $3+ billion merchant banking fund, investing in private companies across the capital structure. Babak received a B.A. in Economics at Northwestern University.
Albert Azout
Partner
Pete Williams
Partner & COO
Prior to joining Cota, Albert Azout was Senior Director of Product & Applied Engineering at AOL, where he was charged with leading a variety of AOL’s efforts in bidding and optimization. Prior to AOL, Albert was the Founder and CEO of Velos, a machine learning software platform, which Verizon/AOL acquired in March 2015. Prior to Velos, Albert was a Co-Founder of StyleCaster, which was sold to SheKnows Media, backed by leading private equity firm Great Hill Partners, and currently the largest media company in lifestyle category with over 90 million monthly uniques. Albert has invested in and actively advises a variety of companies, with a focus on the disruptive utilization of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in products and services. Albert received a B.A. in Finance & Economics at Babson College.
Prior to joining Cota, Pete served in a number of executive positions at Saba, including EVP of Corporate Development, General Counsel and CFO.  During his tenure, Pete played an instrumental role in Saba’s IPO, acquisition strategy and integration, transition from enterprise software to SaaS, and sale in a go-private transaction.  Today, Saba is the leading provider of Human Capital Development & Management Solutions, serving over 30 million people from 2,200 customers across 195 countries and in 37 languages worldwide. 

Previously, Pete was a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP, a leading international law firm. Pete has extensive experience representing high-tech companies, as well as venture capital and investment banking firms.  In addition to private and public financings and acquisitions, Pete also specialized in technology and content development, licensing and distribution transactions.

Pete has BAs in economics and psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a JD, cum laude, from Santa Clara University.
Bradley Young
Head of Investor Relations
Will Scheinman
Associate
Bradley Young joins the executive team as Head of Investor Relations and will focus on expanding Cota’s current base of global partners. Brad brings global relationships, perspectives and insights as a seasoned investment management and credit markets professional. Brad has met with institutional investors across six continents. At a prior firm, Brad established and managed business development activities for South Africa and Namibia. His past experience also includes client portfolio management. Brad earned his BA in International Business and Economic Theories from the University of California, Berkeley.
Will joined Cota as an Associate in 2017, where he works on the investment team to source, analyze, and execute investments across the Cota portfolio of companies. Prior to Cota, Will was an Investment Banking Analyst with Shea & Company in their San Francisco office, where he focused on venture financings, equity offerings and merger and acquisition advisory assignments within the technology sector. Will graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Vivian Cheng
Associate
Cat Rauschuber
Team Manager
Vivian joined Cota as an Associate in 2017, where she works on the investment team to source, analyze, and execute investments across the Cota portfolio of companies. Prior to Cota, Vivian spent four years in the finance group at Uber, where she focused on mobile operations, investments, and global payments and banking strategy. Vivian graduated from University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, with a full scholarship.
Cat joined Cota in 2017 as Team Manager, where she supports the team and coordinates and enhances Cota’s network of entrepreneurs, advisors and investors. Prior to Cota, Cat worked in San Francisco government and politics, including most recently with San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu across a wide range of policies and a broad range of constituents. Cat received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and her Master of Public Policy from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was a recipient of the Public Service Fellowship.
Mia Figueroa
Team Administrator
Mia joined Cota as the Team Administrator in 2016 where she supports the team’s daily needs while taking on a variety of projects. Prior to joining Cota she worked as a development associate at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. She received her BA in Political Economy with a concentration in International Trade Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.