About Us

Azcende is a venture capital and infrastructure advisory firm with a mission to advance humanity through the application of emerging technology. 


Azcende was originally founded by Alok Patel in Brisbane, Australia with a focus on Smart Cities.  After becoming frustrated with the lack of practical outcomes in the Smart Cities movement Alok further developed the thesis around Future of Cities, a pragmatic approach to advancing humanity that puts primacy on the foundational challenges and opportunities in our cities.

Advancing Humanity

We are champions of technology, yet even though it is transforming our lives and work, human potential remains paramount. 

This applies to our employees, founder and investor networks and the communities in which our investments operate.  We advocate several tangible and intangible values generated by populations alike, including cultural diversity, connectedness, resilience, collaboration, accountability, gratitude and growth.

A Smart Cities Foundation

Smart cities introduced us to the potential of tech and its ability to reinvigorate communities and the urban landscape. Whilst some progress was made, Smart City strategies and investment has only largely incrementally improved people’s lives.

Azcende collaborated with cities to understand infrastructure needs, improve existing assets and services, and seek to address urban challenges through adoption of emerging technology. With the implementation of emerging technology, we delivered transferable solutions that created meaningful impact for urban populations and their environment.

National Security and Critical Infrastructure

The prevailing circumstances caused by geopolitical shifts and the global pandemic gave rise to a renewed focus. The shifting sands in global trade policy in the Asia region with the geopolitical impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to priorities that reflect a change in national priorities. This in combination with the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Strategic Update 2020, there has been a recognition of the relevance of emerging technology as part its capability.

Through this evolution of the original mandate Azcende welcomed a new Managing Partner, Lani Refiti, who brings his extensive experience in Critical infrastructure and Cybersecurity. Lani and Alok recognise the demand being created by the increasing investment by governments into Defence capability including the adoption of emerging technology and this was a leading indicator to ensure that great technology with scalable business potential could receive meaningful investment.

Community: The Azcende Alliance

We believe the success of our startups comes from a community of engaged members that are seeking to deliver positive impact through entrepreneurial pursuits.

Our ecosystem of founders, entrepreneurs, veterans, and business mentors share their knowledge of building business from the ground up. We surround our community with industry leaders with successful experiences in technology, governance, and community engagement.

The Alliance will broaden existing technology and entrepreneurial ecosystems and bring them together with the Defence community that is seeking to increase its impact for itself and for sovereign capability.