NET WORTH: $2.2 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Sun Microsystems, Khosla Ventures
FUNDING AREAS: Microlending to combat poverty, hunger and education. K-12 education.
OVERVIEW: Vinod Khosla's philanthropy reflects his venture capitalist roots and has led him to support groups that provide microloans to entrepreneurs in his childhood home. He also supports his wife Neeru's education nonprofit, CK-12 Foundation.
BACKGROUND: Vinod Khosla grew up in New Delhi, India, and was inspired to work in technology by a story he read about the founding of Intel. He received his bachelor's degree from IIT Delhi before coming to the U.S. for a masters at Carnegie Mellon in biomedical engineering, and an MBA at Stanford. He founded Sun Microsystems two years after receiving his business degree, though he eventually left to join the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers.
MICROLENDING: One of Khosla's most famous investments was in SKS Microfinance, now called Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited, which specializes in providing microloans to poor women in India. Keep in mind that Khosla isn't just giving the money away--he's investing the funds in areas that he believes can turn a profit, thus giving him a continued stream of capital to invest in commerical poverty-fighting ventures.
In 2012, he and Zillow cofounder Rich Barton bankrolled Vittana, a nonprofit attacked childhood poverty through education microloans. The operation shut down in 2014.
Khosla also joined with several other tech titans to bankroll the Unitus Seed Fund. This organization will fund Unitus Labs, which is designed to help Indian entrepreneurs get new commercial ventures off the ground. The fund will focus its microloans on companies looking to develop consumer-oriented services that help low-income people in India.
EDUCATION: Khosla and his wife Neeru founded the Amar Foundation, which supports the CK-12 Foundation, an education nonprofit cofounded by Neeru. CK-12 provides free customizable K-12 open educational resources. The foundation's tools are used by tens of thousands of schools in the United States alone.
OTHER: Khosla's impact investing has led him to be involved with green initiatives such as the newly formed Breakthrough Energy Coalition, as well as the biofuel company KiOR. It was also reported near the end of 2015 that Twine Health had recieved funds from Khosla for its work in chronic-condition health coaching.
- Bharat Financial Inclusion general inquiries, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Khosla Ventures, 2128 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, 650-376-8500