Shamillah Bankiya

Shamillah focuses on early-stage companies across dev ops, data, infrastructure, and automation, and is involved with our investments in Ably, Fonoa, Lokalise and Minute Media.


Shamillah found her passion for B2B software as an investor at Softbank Vision Fund, where she worked on multiple investments across software and healthcare, and managed two portfolio companies, influencing and supporting decision making through her board roles. Before Softbank, Shamillah was with Bain & Company, advising private equity firms on their diligence of technology targets and corporations on strategy and operations.


Shamillah holds an Economics & African Studies degree from Yale University, graduating with Honours. 


She also founded and runs a labour-matching business in the B2B software space, and in 2021 was listed on Forbes 30 under 30 for Finance.

Dev Ops & Infrastructure
In conversation
Why B2B software VC?
The transition to cloud-based systems from legacy on-prem is actually still relatively nascent. Cloud infrastructure providers are still growing rapidly, and the pandemic has pushed all of us to remote work, further accelerating the need for distributed cloud computing. As a result, downstream cloud applications and tools are growing fast, and excitingly, ne...w applications are also being created. A lot of these startups serve businesses that want to run better. As B2B software VCs, we have the incredible opportunity to find the next generation of startups and support their growth.
What do you think is the most interesting trend in the industry, and why?
I am currently excited about all the tools easing and simplifying software development and shipping. While the need for software has grown exponentially, the potential for growth in corresponding engineering talent is naturally limited, leaving white space for tools that enable technical users to build more quickly and more easily, as well as tools that enab...le non-technical talent to quickly develop relevant applications. Dawn’s investments in Dataiku and Bryter showcase both of these trends, and I’m excited about finding even more opportunities in the space.
And the quick fire round…
Book you’d recommend
I’m a huge fan of everything written by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Recipe for the perfect weekend
Yoga or pilates and, always, brunch!
Company you’d build
A tool that converts Twitter into an outbound sales & research platform. There’s an incredible amount of rich and textured information on Twitter, but not enough tools to mine and capitalise on that depth.
Favourite SaaS metric
Net Revenue Retention. It captures a lot of what we need to understand the traction a business has. I especially appreciate the inclusion of upgrades or downgrades, as this gives us a pulse for whether users are truly advocates for a product in their organisations.

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