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Facebook's first female engineer, Ruchi Sanghvi, is breaking the glass ceiling again as an angel investor and the founder of an 'anti-incubator

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 02 Apr 2021


<p><img src="https://static6.businessinsider.com/image/6047ff4edf53f8001802a616-2400/GettyImages-180288399.jpg" border="0" alt="Ruchi Sanghvi, Partner, South Park Commons Fund" data-mce-source="Getty" data-mce-caption="Ruchi Sanghvi, Partner, South Park Commons Fund"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Ruchi Sanghvi has broken the glass ceiling many times in her career. She was the first female engineer hired at Facebook at a time when the company only had 20 employees. In recent years, she has also become an angel investor, writing early checks for Asana, ClearTax, Forethought, Nervana, and Pilot.</p><p>Sanghvi is so successful as an investor that she's landed at No. 38 on our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/seed-100-top-early-stage-vc-investors-2021-4">Seed 100 list</a> of the top seed investors and at No. 2 on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/seed-25-best-female-early-stage-investors-2021-4">the Seed 25</a>, our list of the top female seed investors, which were compiled with data provided by Tribe Capital.</p><p>"Being a female, I had to do a lot of behavior adjustments, and in my case, I got more aggressive," <a href="https://www.livemint.com/Companies/XmqafmHKXq3U45sB3LdsYL/I-just-happen-to-be-a-woman-who-is-aggressive-Ruchi-Sanghvi.html">Sanghvi said in a 2013 interview</a> with Mint, a daily financial newspaper published by HT Media, a media group in Delhi, India. "I am not afraid to ask questions or ask for things. I was always raising my hand, asking for opportunities, and am very opinionated."</p><p>Sanghvi grew up in Pune, India, as the daughter of a second-generation businessman, she told the <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-23864189">BBC</a>.</p><p>She left India to study electrical computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and met her husband, Aditya Agarwal, while in college. She and Agarwal moved to California after graduating in 2004. The couple ended up working at Oracle together and then at Facebook.</p><p>As a 23-year-old, Sanghvi helped to launch Facebook's News Feed, which overhauled the user experience by putting photos and status updates front and center on the website. She also worked on other signature features for the social network.</p><p>Sanghvi <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ruchi-sanghvi-facebook-female-engineer_n_961148">told HuffPost</a> that in her first interview with Facebook, she waited two hours for the hiring manager, who had overslept, to arrive.</p><p>After five years at the social network, she left to start a company, Cove, with her husband. Cove was a communication and collaboration software company that sold to Dropbox in 2012 for an undisclosed sum. As part of the acquisition, both Sanghvi and Agarwal joined Dropbox.</p><p>Sanghvi spent two years as Dropbox's VP of operations before leaving the company to start South Park Commons, a community of founders, operators, and investors that calls itself the "anti-incubator." South Park is the section of San Francisco where many famous VC firms, including Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures, have set up a second office.</p><p>"The underlying theme across the companies that I invest in is essentially in the strength of the founders," Sanghvi said in <a href="https://www.livemint.com/Companies/XmqafmHKXq3U45sB3LdsYL/I-just-happen-to-be-a-woman-who-is-aggressive-Ruchi-Sanghvi.html">2013</a>. "Obviously, it depends on the product, and if it is good or not. But strength of the founders is very important."</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/meet-ruchi-sanghvi-founder-of-the-anti-accelerator-2021-4#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p>
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