Arjun joined NEA in 2021 as an investor on the Technology team, where he focuses on consumer and enterprise technology investments. Prior to joining NEA, Arjun was a merchant banker at The Raine Group, in New York, where he worked on M&A transactions and growth equity investments across the technology, media, and entertainment landscapes globally. Prior to Raine, Arjun worked in Sales & Trading at J.P. Morgan. Arjun graduated from Princeton University with a BA in economics.
What are you most passionate about when it comes to your work?
I love trying to solve tough, complex, multifaceted problems using a mixture of outside-the-box thinking and deep analysis. Playing even a small role in helping founders and portfolio companies through tough times and emerging on the other side is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.
In your opinion, what qualities should a founder look for in an investor?
The relationship between a founder and investor can span many years—in some ways mimicking a marriage. A lot of the qualities a founder should look for in an investor are similar to those you’d look for in a personal relationship: reliability, work ethic, ambition, integrity, and a sense of humor—even in tough times.
What makes NEA’s point of view unique in the venture space?
At NEA, we talk a lot about the concept of striving for a clean “karmic balance sheet.” It’s about always doing the right thing for our limited partners and founders, because we’re relentlessly focused on long-term value over short-term gain. We’re always willing to spring into action in service of our founders during tough times, and we pride ourselves on being dependable partners through the highs and lows.
How do you recover from a mistake?
I think it’s about quickly acknowledging the error, taking a deep breath, fixing it, and mentally moving forward so it doesn’t affect the quality of my work. Later, once the dust has settled, I’ll then go through the details in an attempt to better understand what went wrong, with the aim of never making the same mistake again.
What are you interested in outside of work?
From as long ago as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with aircraft and aviation. I got my basic pilot’s license a few years ago in a charming old 1962 Cessna 172C, and I’m currently learning how to fly more modern high-performance aircraft and working on my instrument rating. I love every aspect of aviation, including the history, engineering, and sense of adventure related to it. I’m also very passionate about all forms of music and enjoy DJing house and techno—sometimes even playing at NEA events.
What keeps you grounded?
My family. Family is the most important thing to me, and they keep me grounded and true to myself through all of life’s ups and downs. I’m fortunate to have been brought up by parents who were first-generation immigrants to the West and taught me appreciation and gratitude for things that many don’t have. They taught me the importance of a strong work ethic, and instilled in me a desire to help and serve others.