Rajeev Madhavan

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Rajeev Madhavan
Alma materQueens University, National Institute of Technology Karnataka (MSEE 1987)
Occupation(s)General Partner, Clear Ventures
Known forFounder of Magma
WebsiteClear Ventures

Rajeev Madhavan is a serial entrepreneur and investor, and a founder and General Partner of Clear Ventures.[1] He is perhaps best known as the founder of software company Magma Design Automation,[2] where he served as chairman and chief executive officer from its founding in 1997 through its acquisition by Synopsys in 2012.[3] He also co-founded software companies LogicVision (acquired by Mentor Graphics) and Ambit Design Systems (acquired by Cadence Design Systems).[4] Red Herring magazine named Madhavan to its "Top Innovators" list in 2002.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Madhavan was born in India and founded his first company as a teenager when he created a comic book rental business, conducting transactions on the school bus.[6] He earned a bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communications from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, India, and later earned a master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Queen's University in Canada. After graduation Madhavan worked at Bell-Northern Research and later at Cadence Design Systems.

LogicVision and Ambit[edit]

In the early 1990s, Madhavan was involved in founding his first two software companies. In 1991, he left Cadence to co-found LogicVision, an Electronic Design Automation (EDA) company offering chip, board and system-level design for testing (DFT) solutions and support to ASIC vendors. Madhavan also served as the company's first Director of Engineering. LogicVision went public on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LGVN in October 2001, raising $40.5 million.[7] It was acquired by Mentor Graphics in 2009.[8]

In 1994, Madhavan founded Ambit Design Systems, an EDA company which offered synthesis technology. He served as President and Chairman.[9] Ambit was acquired for $260 million by Cadence in September 1998.[10]

Magma Design Automation[edit]

In 1997, Madhavan led a team which founded EDA company Magma Design Automation, where he served as Chairman and President from the company's inception.[11] Magma initially competed with Cadence and Avanti Corporation in physical design, but it eventually broadened its product portfolio to compete with all three of the largest established EDA companies (Cadence, Mentor Graphics and Synopsys).[12] Magma had a particularly strong presence in the convergence device segment through key customers such as Qualcomm, Broadcom and Texas Instruments.[13]

Magma completed an initial public offering on Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol LAVA, on November 20, 2001[14] — the last EDA company to go public[15] — and achieved its peak annual revenue of $214.4 million in its 2008 fiscal year.[16] Magma was the fourth largest EDA company by revenue.[17]

In 2002, Magma was named to the Red Herring 100 for innovation and business strategy.[18] In 2005, Forbes ranked Magma No. 2 on its list of fastest-growing technology companies.[19]


Magma conducted a number of acquisitions under Madhavan,[20] among them: Moscape, 2000;[21] Silicon Metrics, 2003;[22] Mojave, 2004;[23] ACAD Corp., 2006;[24] Knights Technology, 2006;[25] and Sabio Labs, 2008.[26]

Patent dispute[edit]

Magma was involved in a legal dispute with Synopsys beginning in September 2004, when Synopsys sued Magma for allegedly infringing two patents.[27] Claims and counter-claims accelerated, resulting in separate court cases in California and Delaware, and a number of disputed patents. On March 29, 2007, Magma and Synopsys announced the companies had agreed to settle all pending litigation between them. As part of the settlement Magma made a $12.5 million payment to Synopsys and each company cross-licensed four previously disputed patents to the other.[28]

Synopsys acquisition[edit]

Magma was acquired by Synopsys at a cash valuation of about $523 million in a transaction finalized on February 22, 2012.[29]

Clear Ventures[edit]

Madhavan began to work with Christopher Rust in 2014 to create a new technology venture capital firm, Clear Ventures.[1] Clear Ventures was publicly announced in 2016 with $120 million in committed capital, exceeding the founders' capital formation target of $80 million.[30] Clear Ventures' active portfolio companies at the time of the public launch included Cyphort, Espresa, Falcon Computing, Paysa, Reflektion, Robin Systems, Swift Navigation and Vera.[31]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Red Herring magazine named Madhavan to its "Top Innovators" list in 2002.[5]

Madhavan was named to the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean's Advisory Council in 2005.[32]

In 2008, Madhavan was elected to the Electronic Design Automation Consortium board of directors.[33]

Investments and board seats[edit]

Madhavan makes investments in and sits on boards for startup companies in a range of industries, including data science and machine learning, mobile technology and social media.


Secure mobile messaging for business.[34]


Predictive analytics platform for retailers and brands.[35] Madhavan serves on the Reflektion board of directors.[36]

Robin Systems[edit]

Infrastructure for big data and analytics.[37] Madhavan is chairman of the Robin Systems board of directors.[38]

Virtual Power Systems[edit]

Controls power and IT in data centers to increase utilization and reliability. Madhavan serves on the board of directors.[39]


  1. ^ a b "Longtime Silicon Valley co-investors launch Clear Ventures with $120M fund", Silicon Valley Business Journal, June 1, 2016
  2. ^ "Founder of Ambit and LogicVision Launches Magma Design Automation, Inc.", September 29, 1997
  3. ^ "Rajeev Madhavan". Forbes.
  4. ^ Wall Street Transcript CEO Interview
  5. ^ a b "Rajeev Madhavan of Magma Selected as Top Innovator by Red Herring Magazine", August 19, 2002
  6. ^ "Rajeev Madhavan: Kochi comics to California chips", The Times of India, November 22, 2011
  7. ^ "LogicVision's IPO Raises $40.5M," EDN, November 1, 2001
  8. ^ "Mentor Graphics Acquires LogicVision; Unites BIST, ATPG and Test Pattern Compression Technologies"
  9. ^ Bloomberg Business
  10. ^ "Cadence Says It Will Pay $260 Million for Ambit Design", The New York Times, September 4, 1998
  11. ^ Securities and Exchange Commission Form S-1, Amendment No. 7, November 19, 2001, (page 49)
  12. ^ EDA Confidential, July 14, 2005
  13. ^ "EDA Industry Update", March 24, 2009
  14. ^ "Magma IPO up 46%", CNN Money, November 20, 2001
  15. ^ "The First EDA IPO in a Decade," Seeking Alpha, May 16, 2011
  16. ^ "Magma Reports Revenue of $214.4 million for Fiscal 2008, 20.4 Percent above Prior Year", May 1, 2008 at SEC archive
  17. ^ Based on Annual Reports on Form 10-K filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  18. ^ "Magma Named to the Red Herring 100; Recognized by Red Herring Editors for Innovation and Business Strategy". May 13, 2002
  19. ^ "Technology's Growth Champs", Forbes, February 14, 2005
  20. ^ Semiconductor Engineering
  21. ^ Semiconductor Engineering
  22. ^ Semiconductor Engineering
  23. ^ Semiconductor Engineering
  24. ^ Semiconductor Engineering
  25. ^ Semiconductor Engineering
  26. ^ Semiconductor Engineering
  27. ^ "Synopsys sues Magma for patent infringement", EE Times, September 17, 2004
  28. ^ "Patent resolution removes cloud over Magma", EE Times, March 30, 2007
  29. ^ "Synopsys Completes Acquisition of Magma Design Automation", February 22, 2012
  30. ^ "Palo Alto, CA-Based Venture Capital Firm Clear Ventures Closes $120M Fund", FinSMEs, June 1, 2016
  31. ^ "Clear Ventures, run by veteran investors, launches debut fund with $120 million", TechCrunch, June 1, 2016
  32. ^ UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean's Advisory Council
  33. ^ "EDA Consortium Elects Officers and Board Members," April 2, 2008
  34. ^ TechCrunch, "With $6.3M In Funding, Former TIBCO Execs Launch Enterprise Mobile Messaging App Avaamo", October 8, 2014
  35. ^ "Reflektion raises $8M to hypothesize about what you want to buy", VentureBeat, March 4, 2014
  36. ^ Bloomberg Business
  37. ^ Angel List
  38. ^ Robin Systems website
  39. ^ Virtual Power Systems Board & Advisors

External links[edit]