7. Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan – raising the Drawbridge

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan is on the product team at Microsoft’s LinkedIn, which acquired her company Drawbridge in 2019. She founded Drawbridge in 2011 and was its well-known CEO for eight years, making the case — largely successfully — for the validity of probabilistic methods of determining identity in marketing and advertising, where 100% accuracy is not only not requisite but almost never possible. Drawbridge was for some years the ad industry’s leading solution for determining and managing cross-device identity — i.e., determining that different devices belong the same person, household of account using some complicated math.

Before founding Drawbridge, Siviramakrishnan was Lead Scientist at AdMob, a mobile ad platform that served mobile app developers (starting in the WAP era of m.dot apps); it was acquired by Google in 2009. She has a Ph.D. from Stanford in Information Theory and Algorithms, making her the first “doctor” we’ve had on the show. She was born and raised in India in the former Bombay (now Mumbai) and is the first female Ph.D. in her family.

In this rapid-fire chat, Kamakshi shares about her childhood and her ambition to be a mathematician, her academic dreams and how they were sidelined by a successful courtship by AdMob, which started her journey in ad tech. Along the way, she shares what it’s like to shop for real estate in S.F. and how she managed to sell her company to Microsoft and give birth to her child at the same time.

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