Prior to becoming a partner of Vela, Yigit Ihlamur worked in Google’s Cloud division, at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, on product strategy, management and startup partnerships.
Yigit’s tenure at Google also included several years spent in the company’s European headquarters in Dublin, where he was initiated into European business and technology working on technical operations for G Suite.
Yigit received his master’s degree in computer science with a focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning from the University of Oxford, and his industrial engineering degree from Koç University.
Yigit lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Eli Koen is the head of Emerging Europe Equities at UBP in London. He joined UBP in 2010 and has been managing its UBAM Turkish Equities fund since inception. He is also responsible for country allocation for the Global Emerging Markets fund.
Previously, Eli was the co-head of Emerging Europe Equities at Fortis in London, where he co-managed the Fortis Emerging Europe Equity fund, and managed the Fortis Turkish Equity fund. Prior to fund management, he was a research analyst for emerging markets at Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers in London.
With decades of experience in investment banking and fund management, having worked both on buy and sell sides, Eli brings crucial expertise to Vela Partners in analysis and valuation. He holds a graduate degree in international economics and finance from Brandeis University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boğaziçi University.
Sander Bogdan worked in Google’s Cloud division until recently, at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, as a product management lead focused on growth initiatives for Google’s G Suite products.
Sander brings Vela close to twenty years of software industry experience. He spent the first decade of his professional career with Microsoft, in Redmond, where he held engineering leadership and product management roles working on a variety of the company’s enterprise products, including Windows, SQL Server, and Office Communications Server. After leaving Microsoft, Sander held Director level product positions at Nokia where he assisted with the transition from mobile hardware to include software service offerings, and later acted as a co-founder and CEO to a bay area startup focused on location-based activity discovery and promotion.
Sander received his MBA from the Singapore Management University, and holds a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Case Western Reserve University.
Sander lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he is focused on Vela’s deep learning and artificial intelligence investments as a Venture Partner.
A career technology innovator and investor, Murat has founded, purchased, sold, and sat on the boards of numerous enterprises of different sizes and segments, all within the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. Most notably, Murat founded Netsis in 1991, and led the company for more than 20 years to become an international business software group, with presence in over ten countries. He acted as the Chairman and President of Netsis until 2013, when the company merged with Logo Software. Following the merger, he became a shareholder of Logo and acted as its Co-Chief Technology Officer until recently.
In addition to being a partner of Vela, he actively supports the development of the ICT sector in Turkey, in particular the Aegean region. He is a lecturer in the Industrial Engineering Department of Dokuz Eylül University and in the Computer Engineering Department of Ege University. He is also active in various ICT NGOs.
Murat obtained his industrial engineering degree at Dokuz Eylül University, and received his master’s degree in computer engineering from Ege University.
Murat primarily resides in the Aegean region and spends considerable time in Vela’s offices in San Francisco and Istanbul.
Fuat Alican has pursued an international career, both academically and professionally, with his pursuits taking him to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Latin America. He did his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral work in economic and administrative sciences, his alma mater being Millsaps College.
In addition to being a partner of Vela, Fuat works as a researcher, lecturer and management consultant. He is a leading expert in information and communication technologies (ICT), with a particular specialty in the software sector. His work background also includes multinational experience in the investment and corporate banking industry, having worked at Citigroup and Salomon Brothers with a particular focus on the ICT sector. Additionally, he served as the Vice Chairman and the Chief Strategist of Netsis until recently.
Fuat is the author of numerous well-received publications, including books and articles, in the fields of economics, technology, and international politics. His research interests encompass development informatics and software. He also serves as Vice President at CIFOCICA (Central American Scientific Research and Education Center).
Sadun Anık is the senior technology advisor of Vela. He participates in technical due diligence processes, and provides strategic guidance for Vela’s investments.
Sadun started his career as a software design engineer for HP Laboratories in Palo Alto. He continued with the leader of technology in the Turkish banking sector, as Garanti Teknoloji’s Software Development Director for credit/debit card payment systems and business intelligence. He further strengthened his financial sector expertise when he served as the Regional Sales Director of the financial services segment of Microsoft for the Middle East and Africa.
After Microsoft, he joined Netsis and Logo, the two largest enterprise software developers in Turkey. During his time at Netsis, he served as the VP responsible for business development, and at Logo, as EVP responsible for the ERP SaaS business unit. Through his tenure at both organizations, he gained a thorough understanding of the local enterprise application sector in Turkey and the region.
Sadun’s vast experience in information and communication technologies, which spans R&D, sales and business development across diverse geographic regions, including Silicon Valley, Europe and the Middle East, is a crucial asset for Vela Partners.
He holds a PhD in computer engineering from the University of Illinois and an undergraduate degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Middle East Technical University.