Women play a very dynamic role in activities that once were considered to be the preserve of men in India’s continually evolving corporate market.


VC Startups led by women in India

1. Kalaari capital

There is a reason why the mother of venture capitalism in India is known as Vani Kola. As Kalaari Capital Managing Director, she has developed a reputation to select the best young men for successful companies, including Myntra, Urban Ladder, Zivame, Power2SME, YourStory, and Bluestone.

Vani Kola is known to be one of the Fortune Most Powerful Women in Business (2018 and 2019), she has been an entrepreneur for 22 years at Silicon Valley. Now, based in Bengaluru, it is developing influential global companies with first-time entrepreneurs. She focuses on technology companies that use domestic growth in India to set up high-growth businesses and focuses on providing jobs in Pune.


2. Qualcomm Ventures India

Varsha Tagare is Director for the technology, media, communication, mobile, and other related sectors at Qualcomm Ventures India, Mumbai. She currently manages investments at Qualcomm, Capillary Technologies, Housejoy, MapMyIndia, MindTickle, Portea, PropTiger, and YourStory.

Up to 20 years of operational and risk capital experience, Varsha is responsible for the Qualcomm Ventures India Funds, a 150 million Dollar venture capitalist devoted to India and cross-border investments, with the MS in Electric Engines of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives both in the Bay Area and in Bangalore.


3. IAN Fund

Padmaja Ruparel is the president of the Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s largest angel network, which she co-founded with her mentor Saurabh Srivastava in 2006. The experiences of Padmaja include studies in corporate companies, M&As, and startups. She has been with Xansa India for sixteen years.

Following a stint at NASSCOM, she played an essential role in creating India’s oldest and most significant VC-PE firms, the Indian Venture Capital Association. Padmaja is a member of the National Expert Advisory Committee on Innovation, Incubation and Technology Entrepreneurship, and the Telecom Center of Excellence Committee.


4. LetsVenture

In 2013, Shanti Mohan created a web platform called LetsVenture, which links Indian startups, including fintech companies in Pune to angel investors. The Bengaluru based platform with its portfolio includes 3,700 members, including Testbook, DailyNinja, Wishberry, MyUpchar, and Ketto.

Since its inception in 2013, LetsVenture has made more than $100 million in investment easier. LetsVenture’s 195 strong startup portfolio is now valued at $1.07 billion (as of November 2019) and has raised over $150 million in funding.


5. Saha Fund

Ankita is the founder and CEO of the first venture capital fund to promote female entrepreneurship in India, and Asia, the SAHA Fund. A first-of-kind, women-centered risk capital fund that monitors investment in India, Asia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

A graduate of the UK’s Cranfield School of Management, Ankita is an electronics and communication engineer and works for organizations such as Abraaj group Aureos capital, Tholons Capital and Tholons Consulting. Over eight years before SAHA Fund was launched, she worked in an investment area in India, the UK, the US, Singapore, and the Philippines.

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