SOURCE: Valhalla Partners

July 08, 2008 10:00 ET

Valhalla Partners Adds Principal and Research Analyst to Growing Team

Former Virgin Mobile USA and NBC Universal Executive, Saj Cherian, Hired as Principal, Brings Mobile, Media and IT Services Expertise to Valhalla

VIENNA, VA--(Marketwire - July 8, 2008) - Valhalla Partners, a technology venture capital firm devoted to building world-class technology companies, today announced it has hired two new professionals to its growing team -- Saj Cherian, Principal, and Leon Zilber, Research Analyst. Both hires underscore Valhalla's ability to attract top talent and its prominence as a premier high-tech venture capital firm.

Cherian brings extensive experience to Valhalla as an operating executive and management consultant for consumer and enterprise technology firms. Most recently, Cherian was active in wireless strategy and business development for NBC Universal (a General Electric Company), where he focused on scaling the company's mobile advertising business. Prior to NBC Universal, he was Director of New Data Services for Virgin Mobile USA, the wireless carrier, where he launched and managed the company's mobile advertising business. Cherian also oversaw the growth strategy and product marketing of mobile data services (messaging and mobile content) to Virgin Mobile's 5 million subscribers.

Previously, Cherian was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he advised enterprise software, IT services, and telecommunications firms in the US, Europe, and Latin America on marketing, business building, and corporate strategy. A Marshall scholar, he earned an M.Phil. in European Politics and Society from the University of Oxford, Lincoln College and an A.B. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. Cherian is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on its Committee on Corporate Affairs. With experience at both a wireless carrier and content publisher, Cherian is uniquely positioned to help entrepreneurs scale new advertising-based models across emerging digital platforms.

"I am certainly excited to join the extraordinary team at Valhalla Partners," said Saj Cherian, Principal at Valhalla Partners. "From working at both mobile start-up and media companies, I know how hard it is to launch new businesses. I am passionate about entrepreneurs and helping them innovate. I look forward to the opportunity to invest in building not only great companies but also a great firm."

As a research analyst, Leon Zilber will support Valhalla's research arm, which the firm established to deepen its sectors expertise, enhance its support of portfolio companies and drive investment decisions. Prior to joining Valhalla Partners, Zilber was a senior analyst at Alliance Bernstein, where he was responsible for improving operations of the recently merged Fixed Income group. Prior to that, Zilber worked five years as a management consultant with the New York office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, helping Fortune 100 companies improve their operations. He also worked for Hewlett Packard UNIX R&D Labs as a software engineer and moved to product management before leaving to join PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Rutgers University and an M.S. in Computer Science from NTU.

"We strive to offer our portfolio companies the best support possible and that can only be done with the best talent," said Gene Riechers, General Partner, Valhalla Partners. "In both new hires, we see great examples of the kind of talent we continue to attract and grow at Valhalla, both for the ongoing success of the firm and the portfolio companies with whom we work so closely."

About Valhalla Partners

Valhalla Partners is a trusted partner and advisor to technology entrepreneurs in their quest to build world-class companies. Based in Vienna, Virginia, the firm's management team has made more than 120 investments over the past twenty years and produced $1 billion of investment proceeds. Valhalla prefers investments where the mission of the company is to innovate, challenge and fundamentally change the dynamics of new and existing markets.

Investments by Valhalla's team include Advertising.com, BDMetrics, CareerBuilder.com, Clarify, EnterpriseDB, Epicor, Exchange Solutions, JumpTap, LeftHand Networks, Mobius, NextLink, Nirvanix, Progress Software, Proxicom, RealOps, Register.com, Riverbed Technologies, SafeNet, SEPATON, ServiceBench, Trilogy, and webMethods. Valhalla Partners brings the full power and network of its experienced team to every investment it makes, helping companies grow faster and smarter regardless of size or maturity.

For more information, go to www.valhallapartners.com.

Contact Information