Indian venture capital industry today doesn’t boast of many women entrepreneurs. However, listed as one of the most powerful women in Indian business by Fortune India, Vani Kola is one name that resonates.
Managing Director at Kalaari Capital, an early stage venture capital firm based in Bangalore, Vani Kola has been a successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley for 22 years. She uses her vast experience to help build Indian start-ups into strong scalable companies. Her focus lies on enabling domestic growth and she has successfully led investments in e-commerce, mobile services, education and healthcare. Some of her notable venture capital successes include VIA, Urban Ladder, Zivame, Snapdeal, Bluestone etc and last but not the least, Myntra.
As a woman pioneer, Vani has carved out a niche in the Indian e-commerce ecosystem. With 15 investments in 6 companies, her firm Kalaari Capital, launched Kstart in 2016, which is a seed fund and an accelerator program for early stage start-ups in the country. It also counts thought leaders such as Ratan Tata, Padmasree Warrior,Zia Mody and Rajan Anandan among mentors for the start-ups that are part of its portfolio.
Ms. Vani’s Kalaari team was Myntra’s early investor, backing the company in 2007. In an interview in which she recalls anecdotes from the early days of Myntra, she has this to say about being a board member for the top three Indian e-commerce companies: “We are very lucky to be shareholders and get to know the three top CEOs of e-commerce in India — Myntra, Flipkart and Snapdeal. We are the only ones who have the privileged distinction to be shareholders in three of the best e-commerce companies in India, and we are very pleased about it. We had the option to sell out if we wanted to, but as investors, we absolutely believe in India’s e-commerce story the way we believed it six years back.”
She says, “Indian ecommerce industry is for the bravehearted’. And we completely agree.
Watch out this space to know more about other key driving forces in e-commerce!