Kirthiga Reddy is an Indian-American entrepreneur. She is the President of Athena SPACs and the co-founder and CEO of Virtualness.
Kirthiga Reddy was born in 1971 in Nagpur, India. From 1988 to 1992, she pursued a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Engineering degree at Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s College of Engineering and Technology, Nanded, affiliated with Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, and secured the second position in her class. Following her graduation, she relocated to Nagpur with her parents and briefly collaborated with Yashavant Kanetkar, assisting with programming examples for his books to demonstrate fundamental concepts. Subsequently, she decided to pursue higher education in the United States, obtaining a Master’s in Business Administration from Stanford University and an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University. Linkedin
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Parents & Siblings
Husband & Children
Kirthiga Reddy got engaged to Devanand Reddy just four days after their initial meeting and tied the knot a year later. The couple have two children named Ashna and Ariya.
Kirthiga Reddy has an accomplished work history, having held positions at renowned companies like Silicon Graphics and Motorola. At Silicon Graphics, she made a mark as the youngest director of engineering and the sole woman at that level within her team. In 2008, she returned to India and commenced her journey with Phoenix Technologies, a US-based company.
In July 2010, Reddy joined Facebook, becoming its first employee in India. She played a pivotal role in establishing and leading the India operations from scratch, even physically opening the office on its inaugural day. Under her guidance, Facebook India experienced remarkable growth in its user base that significantly contributed to the company’s global business through successful ad sales, forging essential partnerships with major companies like Coca-Cola India and Yepme. However, after the ‘Free Basics’ program was discontinued in India, Reddy made a decision to step down from her position. She revealed her plan to relocate back to the United States within six to twelve months through a post on Facebook on 12 February 2016. She wrote,
When my family relocated to India, we knew that we would move back to the US some day. It’s a bittersweet moment to share that the return timeframe is coming up in the next 6-12 months. Our two daughters start high school and middle school this coming year— which serves as a natural transition point to make this move back.”
After her eight-year tenure at Facebook, where she worked both in India and the United States, Kirthiga Reddy joined SoftBank Investment Advisers. In her new role as a partner at the $100 billion Vision Fund, she focused on frontier and enterprise technology on a global scale. The Vision Fund manages the world’s largest pool of technology investments and has made substantial commitments, investing over $65 billion in companies like Uber Technologies Inc., WeWork Cos., and China’s Didi Chuxing. To put this into perspective, in 2016, the entire US venture capital industry invested a total of $75.3 billion, according to the National Venture Capital Association. Mint
In addition to her diverse roles as a CEO and founder of various ventures, Kirthiga Reddy is actively involved in several impactful initiatives. She co-founded Laddrr, a social impact project dedicated to empowering ten million mothers in their careers. Furthermore, she serves as a Founding Investment Partner at the F7 seed fund. Beyond her entrepreneurial pursuits, Kirthiga is also a prominent board member in several ventures, including WeWork, Fungible (which was acquired by Microsoft), Collective Health, Pear Therapeutics, and Alcatraz Communications within the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). Moreover, she holds positions on esteemed boards such as the Stanford Business School Management Board, the Dean’s Leadership Council at Stanford University, the Syracuse University College of Engineering, and the Teach For India US Advisory Board.
Honours & Achievements
- In 2011, she was named one of Fortune India’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women.
- She was listed in Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business.
- She has also been named as one of India’s 25 most influential women.
- Kirthiga also received Lifetime Stanford Associate’s recognition as the university’s most dedicated volunteer.
- Kirthiga is SoftBank’s first female investment partner.
- In 2021, Kirthiga announced her first book draft titled The Opportunity Engine. It is a semi-autobiographical book that speaks about her journey on Facebook, reflections on building a sustainable business, and her current venture as an investor.
- Before Kirthiga Reddy’s birth, her family believed she would be a boy and had already decided on the name ‘Karthik’ in honour of Lord Karthikgayen, a deity revered within their family. However, after her birth, they decided to name her Kirthiga. The WFY