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.
Nina joined Cota in 2015 as Principal. She is responsible for evaluating and sourcing private side deals and helping drive investment decisions. Prior to joining Cota, Nina held a Financial Analyst position at Google, where she was responsible for a $1.8 billion business. She worked on key strategic monetization deals with eCommerce and Search partners, including landmark deals with IAC, eBay and Amazon. Nina started her career as a High Yield bond trader at Citigroup, later transitioning to Emerging Market Credit. She has vast international experience, including London, New York, San Francisco, Dubai, and Istanbul. Nina also founded HIVE, the first Armenian tech incubator. Nina received her BA in Government, magna cum laude, from Harvard University, and was one of six recipients of the Michael C. Rockefeller Fellowship.