The face of the prospective ownership group hoping to buy and keep the Kings in Sacramento has changed yet again. Yesterday, the Sacramento Bee reported that lead investor Vivek Ranadivé has added Naren Gupta, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, and Andy Miller, a former Apple executive, to his potential team.
Gupta and Miller join a group that already includes 24-Hour Fitness Founder Mark Mastrov, the Jacobs Family of wireless tech company Qualcomm, Sacramento developer Mark Friedman and former Facebook executive Chris Kelly. Also part of the bid is a team of 20-plus local business people and former Kings great Mitch Richmond, who are committing $1-million each to the effort to buy controlling interest in the team.
So who are Gupta and Miller? Below, a few facts on both men.
- Miller founded Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising company, in 2006. It was later acquired by Apple in 2010.
- After Quattro became part of the Cupertino-based technology giant, Miller became Vice President of Mobile Advertising. He reported directly to Apple’s former CEO and late founder Steve Jobs. Miller on working with Jobs in a 2011 Q&A with tech news site SplatF: “I was super fortunate to have spent any quality time with him over the last couple of years. My Tuesday meetings were unbelievably stressful but unbelievably rewarding. And between buying the company and moving my family out here and changing the way I look at everything, there’s probably nobody who had a greater impact on my life, even though we only spent a day a week together.”
- Miller left Apple in 2011 to become a general partner in Highland Capital Partners, a venture capital firm.
- He left Highland Capital last year to take his current job as president and Chief Operating Officer of Leap Motion, “a Highland portfolio company that makes 3D motion-control and motion-sensing technology” according to Fortune.
- The Kings wouldn’t be his first foray into professional sports. Miller is co-owner of the Modesto Nuts, a Single A baseball franchise affiliated with the Colorado Rockies. ”The City of Modesto really supports our team,” said Miller in the 2011 interview with SplatF. “We set an attendance record for the second year in a row, and we were named California League Franchise of the Year.”
- Gupta is co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners. The company is a venture capital fund with offices in both India and the Silicon Valley.
- Gupta serves on the board of TIBCO, the software company run by Ranadivé.
- Gupta on the innovation potential of India, speaking to the Wall Street Journal last September: “Indians understand the enterprise space a lot better than the consumer space,” he said. “I think in the next five years we’ll see a billion-dollar company come out of India.”
- Gupta co-founded a company called Integreated Systems Inc., an embedded software provider, in 1980. It went public in 1990 then later merged with tech business Wind River Systems, Inc., which later was acquired by Intel in 2009 .
WATCH: Andy Miller on Leap Motion Technology at SXSW, the annual music, film and interactive conference held in Austin, TX.
WATCH: Naren Gupta’s Nexus Venture Partners spotlighted on CNBC India