George Babu is a Canadian-born artificial intelligence and robotics executive working as a board member of Kindred.ai, based in San Francisco, California. Babu is also a partner of Sweat Equity Ventures and a sitting member on the University of Toronto Board of Advisors, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Division of Engineering Science.
George Babu was born in Canada and attended the University of Toronto from 1995 to 2010, achieving three degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science (Major in Electrical Engineering)
- MBA, Finance & Entrepreneurship
- JD, Law
Babu would later join the University of Toronto's Board of Advisors, in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Division of Engineering Science, where he is still seated.
While in college, Babu began working as an intern at Research in Motion Ltd in May 1998, later known as BlackBerry Limited, before taking a full time position in the Radio Frequency (RF) Research & Development team, designing new radio components and systems. In 2003 he transferred to the Intellectual Property team, building RIM's patent portfolio and helping to debunk infringement lawsuits.
Following his work at RIM, Babu co-founded Rypple, a web-based social performance management platform, and served as the Head of Finance & Operations. In that role, he helped raise $13 million in funding to scale the company and oversaw Rypple's $60 million acquisition by Salesforce in 2012. Afterwards Salesforce changed Rypple to Work.com, and Babu worked as a post-acquisition integration consultant for Salesforce, helping transition and integrate finance and operations systems.
Babu joined Wrapp, a Swedish-based social gifting service in March 2012 as general counsel and Vice President of Operations for the company's San Francisco office. In this role, Babu helped grow Wrapp's US-based team and negotiate customer and partnership deals.
Omers Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of the OMERS pension plan, announced hiring Babu as Director on March 6, 2013. In the role, he identified and executed early-stage investments in Canada. He worked on the deal teams responsible for OMERS' participation in InteraXion's Series A round, Shopify's $100 million Series C round and Wattpad's $46 million Series C round.
Babu held board seats at a variety companies between 2012 and 2014, including:
Babu co-founded Kindred AI, also known as Kindred Systems, in 2014 with D-Wave Systems' founder Geordie Rose, and employees Suzanne Gildert and James Bergstra. He is a board member of the San Francisco, California headquartered startup and serves as the company's Chief Product Officer.
Under Babu, Kindred AI has raised $80 million in three funding rounds and was acquired by Ocado Group for $262 million in November 2020. Kindred's flagship product, SORT, is an autonomous learning machine mainly used in retail fulfillment centers, which uses machine learning algorithms in conjunction with physical sorting robots to automate repetitive tasks. Kindred has stated SORT robots have picked at least 100 million lifetime retail units, and have been used in fulfillment centers belonging to Gap Inc., American Eagle Outfitters and more.
Starting in November 2020, Babu also joined as partner of Sweat Equity Ventures. The venture capital group is self-described as a "Value Accelerator", and claims to work with founders to create value and rapidly achieve their company's mission and key milestones.