Kestrel News

Q & A with Kestrel’s Senior Adviser Mohsen Moazami

Tell us about your professional background

I’ve had over 30 years in technology. After getting my masters in engineering at Stanford, I did what every Stanford engineer does: I started a technology company. I started off writing the code myself – eight years later and after many months of negotiations, we sold the business to what is known today as Accenture. I became a senior partner and entered professional services, ending up as head of global e-business.

I joined Cisco Systems, based in Silicon Valley and San Jose, then moving to London to look after emerging markets: 132 countries, a $6 billion P&L spanning India to Russia all the way to Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The most exciting part of my Cisco career was learning about international business, international thinking, and how there are smart people all over the world.

I then entered the world of finance and technology, returning to Cisco in California in 2000. But I just wanted to get out and be an entrepreneur again, so I started a venture fund CNTP, raised $300m and entered the world of investing in technology companies, predominantly venture-backed. I now live at the intersection of technology and Investment, predominantly in private companies.

My latest adventure is to chair a SPAC which we took public on NASDAQ in February 2021. We recently announced an acquisition and, if it gets approved, we’ll have a $170 million business on NASDAQ, called HotelPlanner (HOTP), which I will be the chairman of the board.

Why did you join Kestrel and what is your role?

I’ve been involved with Kestrel for less than six months and I’m very bullish and optimistic. I know a lot about technology strategy. I know a lot about global expansion and I’ve spent the vast majority of my adult life in Silicon Valley, so I have a very big network, and access to pretty much all the largest and most exciting technology companies such as Cisco, Intel, Apple, Google and all the others that happen to be within 25 square miles of my house. I am hoping to bring that network of friends to benefit Kestrel’s portfolio companies and act as a bridge to the US, which has the largest IT spend market in the world.

And if we all decide that one of our options is an exit, the most natural acquirers with the biggest and deepest pockets happen to be US companies – with a lot of appetite for global technology companies with good IP, good technology and good customer bases.

What is the most exciting opportunity for Kestrel’s investors?

Kestrel is a perfect opportunity in terms of arbitrage. In Silicon Valley, company valuations don’t connect to the valuations of Kestrel’s companies, which have real numbers, real customers and real revenues. And the arbitrage between the US and UK is just massive.

The optionality in terms of Kestrel’s portfolio is really exciting. This is an unattended space where Kestrel has found a niche and unique differentiation. Not too many people are looking in this space compared to private equity sector. I believe Kestrel has a unique value proposition and in the portfolio we have some gems that are under-appreciated. So I’m very excited about helping the real players here to capitalise on our collective opportunity.

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