From F-1 Visa for MBA to a VC at Lightspeed Ventures on H-1B

Updated on April 25, 2024

About Raviraj

  • Raviraj is from Jabalpur, India. He describes it as a city in central India, like “Nebraska” in the middle of nowhere.
  • His father is an engineer who works for the government.

Visa Journey

  • F1 -> OPT -> H-1B


  • Indian


  • 2008: Raviraj graduated from IIT Bombay with a degree in engineering physics.
  • 2013: He then went to Harvard Business School for his MBA.

Arrival in the US:

  • Raviraj first came to the US for his MBA at Harvard Business School. Prior to that, he had never been to the US before.
  • When he arrived, it was his first time in the country with no family or extended family here. The US was completely foreign to him.

First Job:

  • After graduating from Harvard, Raviraj’s first job in the US was as a Product Manager at LinkedIn.

Subsequent Jobs:

  • After LinkedIn, Raviraj worked at FunBox, an earlier stage startup, to gain more entrepreneurial experience. Fundbox had around 40-45 people when he joined.
  • He worked closely with the Israel team at FunBox, gaining experience working with a remote, distributed team.

Visa Journey:

  • F1 to OPT to H-1B
  • Has been in the US for 11 years
  • Applied for H-1B at LinkedIn and continued with visa transfer to Fundbox, then went to Lightspeed Venture Partners
  • No Green Card

Current Job:

  • Raviraj joined Lightspeed Venture Partners in 2017 where he is currently a partner. He focuses on early stage enterprise and deep tech investments.
  • He was recruited to Lightspeed by Nakul, another partner who reached out to him about the role.


  • While at IIT Bombay, Raviraj co-founded two startups – hello intern and booked my cab. Both were acquired.
  • He also worked on 4-5 other startup ideas that didn’t end up going anywhere.

Countries lived in:

  • India (where he grew up and went to undergrad)
  • USA (where he did his MBA and has worked since)


  • Raghavendra Prabhu, Raviraj’s first manager at LinkedIn, has been an important mentor, advising him on product management and leadership.
  • Nakul, the Lightspeed partner who recruited him, continues to be a mentor and sounding board as Raviraj progresses in his venture career.


  • 2006 – Co-founded hello intern startup while at IIT Bombay
  • 2006-2008 – Continued working on hello intern until it was acquired
  • 2009 – Co-founded booked my cab startup
  • Worked at a strategy consulting firm for a period after IIT
  • 2017 – Graduated from Harvard Business School and joined LinkedIn as a Product Manager
  • Worked at Fundbox as after LinkedIn as a Product Manager
  • January 2017 – Joined Lightspeed Venture Partners, where he is currently a Partner

Advice for founders and immigrants

  • Recommends doing a Masters degree and spending time in Silicon Valley/Bay Area to build skills and networks in the tech industry.
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.

Get the Checklist