Sanjay Wagle is co-founder and Managing Director of The Lightsmith Group. He has over 20 years of experience in investing, company management, and government focused on clean energy, resources, and climate.
Sanjay’s investing experience includes eight years in venture capital and growth equity. He was the first Principal in the CleanTech Group at VantagePoint Capital Partners, which invested over $1 billion in 25 companies in electric vehicles (most notably Tesla Motors), solar, storage, smart grid, green building, water, and sustainable agriculture. Earlier in his career, Sanjay served as an Investment Officer at the International Finance Corporation, where he led financings of private sector transport, power, and water infrastructure projects in developing countries.
Sanjay has served in senior executive roles with several sustainable technology companies, including: Diamond Foundry, a technology company making flawless, jewelry-grade diamonds in an ethical and sustainable manner; Ubiquiti Networks (Nasdaq: UBNT), a publicly listed global technology company where he co-led the launch of a new worldwide solar business; Soligent, the largest US solar distributor with over $200 million in revenues, where he led the acquisition and integration of Soligent’s #2 competitor; and TerraVia (Nasdaq: TVIA), a biotechnology company converting plant-based feedstocks into tailored, high-value food oils.
In the first three years of the Obama Administration, Sanjay served as a senior official at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), overseeing the implementation of $15 billion in programs for clean energy and climate, including investments in renewable energy, electric vehicles, battery manufacturing, industrial efficiency, and biofuels. Sanjay also helped in the formation of DOE’s advanced research agency (ARPA-E) and served as the agency’s first Associate Director for Commercialization, founding and running a “technology-to- market” program to commercialize high-risk, high reward energy technologies funded by the agency.
Sanjay holds a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.