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Oneal Bhambani

Partner, TCW/Craton & CFO, Flywheel

Oneal Bhambani has the best of both worlds, bringing keen perspective to the VC Fund as both an operator and investor. He is concurrently CFO of Flywheel, a venture backed transportation technology company, and a partner at TCW/Craton, a technology-focused private equity arm of TCW, an investment firm majority owned by The Carlyle Group with $180 billion of assets under management.

Growing up in San Jose, California, then the heart of Silicon Valley, Bhambani found himself drawn to the tech industry at an early age. As an undergraduate, he wrote Charles Schwab & Co.'s very first cloud-based web application, which used Java server-side solutions for a consumer-facing product, and, after graduation, pitched merger and acquisitions strategies to tech companies as an analyst for UBS Investment Bank in San Francisco. Later, following a stint in the world of high finance, Bhambani reestablished his link to Silicon Valley in a unique way by combining his technical knowledge and financial acumen to lead international expansion efforts to India for Riverwood Capital, a $2 billion Menlo Park-based technology fund.

The amazing student body, faculty, and history of innovation at UCLA taught me a few lessons critical to all my endeavors after college: think big, work hard, have fun, and create a great culture to attract great people.

In 2013, he became a partner at TCW/Craton, and in 2014 he was appointed CFO of Flywheel after leading TCW/Craton’s Series C investment in the company. In addition to these roles, Bhambani serves on the Board of Directors of Flywheel and Whitehall Industries; as a Board Observer at Kabbage; and as Senior Advisor to both Nutek, Ltd., a publicly-listed Indian telecom company, and HarVa Foundation, an organization that provides distributed energy to Indian rural communities. With the good fortune of getting to know (and finance) a lot of great entrepreneurs over the years, Bhambani has seen the incredible impact of schools like Stanford, MIT, and the Indian Institutes of Technology in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, and he looks forward to helping enhance the ecosystem at UCLA.

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