40+ YEARS OF
215 Capital was founded by Rudy Karsan and Ajay Raju, a pair of friends, business partners and believers in the power of access to innovation.
Rudy and Ajay are passionate not just about connecting companies with capital, but about forging new cultures of entrepreneurship where investors and entrepreneurs alike share a stake in the next great idea.
Ajay Raju, Principal
Nothing excites Rudy Karsan more than a great idea which he can grow and, in doing so, help change the world. He personally did that with Kenexa, which he founded and grew over 25 years to a billion-dollar enterprise, ultimately acquired by IBM in a record deal. Having also started a bunch of other companies along the way—some of which were successful while others were not—Rudy believes that entrepreneurship is something to be cherished and enjoyed to the fullest, as it’s an exhilarating journey. He is also passionate about job creation through meaningful work for all, the key to a fabulous future for humanity.
A self-confessed geek, Rudy is inspired by out-of-the-box technology that is in sync with his constant endeavor to help make people’s lives better in some way. He possesses the rare combination of a strong background in actuarial science with the ability to dream big, which set him on a course for success as an entrepreneur. That path led him to his latest ventures, Karlani Capital, an operating fund that aims to “enable the growth and success of ideas that are original, interesting and potentially useful to people,” and the Exchange, his first investment and business incubation collaboration with Ajay Raju.
Rudy has been recognized extensively for his entrepreneurial and humanitarian achievements and is the author of a New York Times bestselling book, “We: How to Increase Performance and Profits through Full Engagement,” which illustrates many of his personal beliefs with respect to organizational and career success. Rudy attributes his personal success to the unconditional support of his family, which he considers his greatest achievement
Ajay Raju’s passion is his region. The philosophical mission guiding Ajay’s career, his investments, and his civic engagement is to re-introduce the world to Philadelphia, and Philadelphia to the world. As Chairman and CEO of Dilworth Paxson LLP, a preeminent corporate law firm founded by one of Philadelphia’s iconic mayors, Ajay has sought to leverage the firm’s institutional legacy toward a thoroughly 21st Century approach to the business and practice of law. Through its pioneering roles with the Exchange –a forum for investors and entrepreneurs to collaborate and consult – and now with 215 Capital, Dilworth Paxson is proving that a modern law firm can do more and be greater than the sum of its parts.
Ajay is a seasoned investor in a number of companies at various stages of growth and across a diverse array of industries. Consistent with his philosophy, Ajay keeps an eye out for investment opportunities with the potential to enhance in the Philadelphia region. Among these investments is a $350 million+ real estate portfolio including luxury Mainline and Center City apartment complexes and an innovative new student housing facility at one of Philadelphia’s leading research universities.
On the civic side, Ajay focuses on initiatives that seek to make Philadelphia a better place to live, learn, work and play. To that end, Ajay is an active member of the boards of various Philly-centric institutions including Philadelphia Works, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. Ajay’s own philanthropic efforts, conducted under the auspices of the Pamela and Ajay Raju Foundation, envision a strong, sustainable future for the region. Central to that vision are the Raju Foundation’s Germination Project, which is a leadership incubator for Philly’s next generation of leaders; the Philadelphia Citizen, a groundbreaking news outlet that promotes both information and action; and the IntXchange, a new transnational “spice trade” of arts and culture.