These Prolific Women Have Been Supporting India's Startup Ecosystem as Investors

These Prolific Women Have Been Supporting India's Startup Ecosystem as Investors

By: Rachita Sharma

The entrepreneurial and investment landscape across the globe is often thought of as a boy’s playground. But things are not the same anymore and the contribution of women in India’s constantly evolving corporate world has only been increasing. With more and more women turning entrepreneurs, the gender gap is gradually filling up.

Meet three prolific women who have been supporting the startup ecosystem as investors and paving the path for change.

Vani Kola, Founder & Managing Director, Kalaari Capital

Vani is the Founder & Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, a VC firm that invests in early-stage, technology-oriented companies in India. Vani was a successful tech entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley for 22 years having founded two tech ventures before she moved back to India in 2006.

She went on to establish Kalaari in 2012. She now works with entrepreneurs to build high-value enterprises. Her investment philosophy includes recognizing and mentoring young, ambitious first-time entrepreneurs and helping them scale up. Some of the most successful companies that Vani has worked with are Dream 11, CureFit, InstaMojo, Myntra, Urban Ladder, MedPlus, Zivame to name a few.

A well respected individual in the field, she has been featured as Fortune Most Powerful Women in Business in 2018 and 2019.

“What inspires me the most is creating impact, and making a difference, through innovation and entrepreneurship,” believes Vani.

Padmaja Ruparel, Co-Founder & President IAN

A recognized name in the Indian entrepreneurial world, Padmaja is the co-founder of Indian Angel Network, one of India’s largest angel network that invests in early stage businesses with potential to create disproportionate value.

Hailing from Kolkata, Padmaja began her career right from the bottom rung. She gradually become the head of corporate communications of the UK-based Xansa. She then went on to found the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). She co-founded IAM with her mentor Saurabh Srivastava, Founder, NAASCOM in 2006.

Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and startups/early stage companies. She has been awarded as one of the 'Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business' by Fortune India, listed in Forbes India’s W- Power Trailblazers and “30 Most Powerful Women in India” by Business Today.

Shanti Mohan, Co-Founder & CEO, LetsVenture

Shanti is a renowned entrepreneur and angel investor. She founded LetsVenture, an enabler of startups looking to raise seed / angel money to create investment ready profiles online, and connect to accredited Investors.

Shanti's specializes in consumer internet, embedded technology and enterprise verticals and has invested in a vast variety of startups including Aureus Analytics, Tripoto and Online RTI. She also serves as a mentor for many startups.