December 16, 2015 / 2:06 AM / 3 years ago

Ranadivé to lead fund to promote University of California innovations

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Vivek Ranadivé, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur whose software innovations helped automate Wall Street trading floors, will lead a $250 million fund aimed at promoting ideas hatched in the University of California’s educational system.

Ranadivé and a team plan to invest in the best ideas emerging from the 10-campus system, including advances in pharmaceuticals, food production, technology and energy. The fund will be temporarily dubbed UC Ventures, although the name is expected to change, university officials said.

A computer scientist from India and owner of basketball’s Sacramento Kings, Ranadivé said the University of California system, which also includes five medical centers and three affiliated national laboratories, is on the cutting edge of innovation.

The UC’s Office of the Chief Investment Officer will be an anchor investor with a $250 million commitment and Ranadivé contributing 5 percent of the overall fund, UC officials and Ranadivé said Tuesday.

Ranadivé said the $250 million is only a starting place for the fund, which he expects to grow significantly as his team uncovers new ideas and brings aboard some of the prestigious investors he said have already contacted him about investing in it.

“We are going to have as much money as we need to make the kinds of investments we get excited about,” he said during a call with reporters on Tuesday.

Ranadivé is known for his time as chief executive of Palo Alto, California-based Tibco Software Inc, which launched as a subsidiary of Reuters Holdings Plc. in 1997. Tibco went public in 1999 and, with Ranadivé at the helm, sold for $4.3 billion to a private equity firm in September. Thomson Reuters Corp is no longer a material shareholder in the company.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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