Top 20 Most Active Angel Investors in India’s Startup Ecosystem
Angel investors have helped India’s startup ecosystem grow rapidly. High-net-worth angel investors fund and advise early-stage firms in exchange for stock. Startups’ earliest investors shape their direction. Angel investors in India have helped start and grow startups. In this post, We’ll talk about the Top 20 Most Active Angel Investors in India’s Startup Ecosystem.
Startups require a steady flow of funds to establish themselves, beyond just having a promising business idea and a well-crafted growth plan. However, obtaining sufficient funding for a startup can be challenging, as personal savings and crowdfunding can only provide a temporary solution. Angel Investors can help entrepreneurs secure external funding to innovate and expand their businesses. With their extensive business expertise and broad professional network, Angel Investors are financial experts who can provide the necessary growth capital to help cash-strapped startups in India establish themselves globally.
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These Angel Investors have valuable hands-on experience and exceptional business skills in various sectors, including Health-tech, Edu-tech, and Fin-tech, among others. They offer funds and expertise to help startups take their first steps in the business world. Review their profiles to learn about their funding capabilities, investment structure, preferred industries, and existing portfolios, and connect with them to be the “next billion.”
Here is the list of the Top 20 Most Active Angel Investors in India’s Startup Ecosystem
Kunal Shah, who started CRED, has put money into dozens of companies so far. In 2022 alone, he invested more than 50 startups, such as Driffle, EekiFoods, and OSlash. In 2021, Shah backed 62 startups, bringing his total investments to $200.
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Among his notable investments are Zilingo, Toplyne, RazorPay, Leap, and MensaBrands. Additionally, he has already exited from 11 startups, such as Avail Finance (acquired by Ola), Flyrobe (acquired by Rent It Bae), and DailyNinja (acquired by BigBasket).
Ashneer Grover, the co-founder of BharatPe, invested in five firms in 2022, including Big Bang Food Tech, Freadom, and Get-A-Whey, bringing his portfolio to 22. The Whole Truth, Rupifi, YAP, Fello, India Gold, and Kredmint among his other ventures.
Grover, Shashvat Nakrani, and Bhavik Koladiya founded BharatPe, India’s most popular payment app, in 2018. Grover’s BharatPe scandal has also made headlines. He judged Shark Tank India’s prior season.
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Grover graduated from IIT Delhi with a B.Tech in civil engineering. He was one of six IIT Delhi students chosen to study at the University of INSA Lyon in France, where he won an Rs. 5 lakh scholarship from the French Embassy. He earned an MBA in Finance from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in 2004.
Grover joined Mumbai-based Kotak Investment Banking as Vice President in 2006. He was American Express Director for two years in 2013. Grofers hired him as CFO in 2015. As Business Head at PC Jewellery, he came up with BharatPe.
The founder of Zerodha, Nithin Kamath, is an active angel investor. He supported five Indian businesses in 2022, including AssetPlus, GalaxEye, and Kalvi. Up to now, Nithin has provided financial support to 14 businesses, among them Even, Climes, Licious, Stoa School, and The Whole Truth. Nithin had held positions with Manipal Infocom and Kamath Associates before founding Zerodha. He currently holds the position of CEO at Rainmatter.
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Nithin Kamath’s quest began when, at the age of 17, he began trading stocks after learning about the markets from his friends. By the time he finished earning his engineering degree from the Bangalore Institute of Technology, he had amassed a sizeable sum of money after beginning with penny stocks. But when the markets plummeted between 2001 and 2002, he lost every penny of his winnings, totaling Rs 5 lakh. Unfazed, he continued to trade stocks to replenish his trading account while working a night job at a contact centre. This went on for a few years until he met a wealthy American who trusted him with looking after his finances. Nithin finally established Kamath & Associates, a brokerage firm, then in 2006 he joined Reliance Money as a sub-broker. Nithin created Zerodha in 2010 during a slump in trading, taking one of his largest risks to date.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma invested in seven startups in 2022, including Curelink, Daalchini, and Evenflow. Around 80 startups have received his support to this point, including Ola Electric, Karkinos, Truly Madly, and Unacademy. In order to aid startups, Sharma also founded the investment companies VSS Investco and VSS Holdings.
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He was reappointed as the managing director and CEO of Paytm in August 2022 for an additional five years. Sharma, a multibillionaire businessman from India with a background in technology, founded Paytm in 2010. In January 2022, the ICANN-supported Universal Acceptance Steering Group selected him to serve as the country of India’s UA Ambassador. His net worth was $1.1 billion as of September 2022, according to the Forbes Real Time Billionaires Index.
After leaving his position as CEO of Flipkart due to personal misconduct allegations in 2018, Binny Bansal has become an active angel investor, backing a total of seven startups in 2022 and 12 in 2021.
He has also founded fintech startup Navi and SaaS startup xto10x and has invested in a total of 55 startups with five exits. Bansal, an Indian billionaire internet entrepreneur, co-founded Flipkart in 2007 with Sachin Bansal (no relation) and served as its chief operating officer before being promoted to CEO in 2016 and Group CEO in 2017.
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Before co-founding Flipkart, he worked briefly for Amazon and was rejected twice by Google. Bansal graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi with a degree in computer science and engineering, and before joining Amazon, he worked for Sarnoff Corporation where he developed a lane sensor device for cars. Following Walmart’s acquisition of a 77% stake in the Flipkart group, Bansal assumed the role of chairman and continued as Group CEO until his resignation in 2018. He is currently an anchor investor in venture firm 021 Capital, which focuses on investing in biotechnology, agritech, and the internet.
Like her husband Varun Alagh, Ghazal Alagh, a co-founder of the Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) unicorn Mamaearth, is an active angel investor. Ghazal made investments in 14 startups in 2022, including Wishlink, unscripted AI, and Humpy Farms.
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She has also supported UnScript.ai, Uvi Health, and BlissClub over the years. Ghazal founded diet expert.in, a fitness platform, prior to co-founding Mamaearth. According to her LinkedIn profile, this platform shut down in 2013.
Sandeep Nailwal, is the founder of Polygon, a popular cryptocurrency network. In 2022, Nailwal has been busy backing startups in a variety of sectors, including fintech and sports, investing in 12 startups such as Flint, Pillow, FanTiger, Buk Technologies, and Juno.
But that’s not all. Nailwal has also joined forces with Kenzi Wang, the founder of Cere Network, to launch a new $50 million venture capital fund called Symbolic Capital. This fund is aimed at supporting startups in the fast-growing Web3 space, which focuses on blockchain and other emerging technologies.
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Before becoming a successful entrepreneur and investor, Nailwal had experience working with renowned companies such as Welspun Group and Deloitte. In 2016, he co-founded ScopeWeaver, but he exited the company a year later to focus on building Polygon.
Curefoods founder Ankit Nagori made investments in more than five startups in 2022, including Xeno, GetSupp, and SuperK. Supertels, Mojocare, Groww, Rapido, Zeno, and Doubtnut are just a few of the 14 startups Nagori has supported so far. Nagori is an active investor in Indian startups. Nagori is currently in charge of the Simply Sports Foundation in addition to leading cloud kitchen startup CureFoods. He was the chief business officer of the massive e-commerce company Flipkart for six years prior to this.
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After graduating from ESCP Europe as a Marketing Intern in 2007, he started working in the business world. He started his own business, Youthpad 2007, following a three-month internship. He managed Youthpad, a social media site, for two years and four months. Then, in February 2010, Nagauri became a chief business officer at Flipkart, where he oversaw business operations for six years. After working at Flipkart for a while, he left to start cur. fit in 2016.
Varun Alagh, the founder of Mamaearth, a Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) unicorn, is an active angel investor. In 2022, he supported 30 startups in various sectors such as pet care, edtech, and travel tech, investing in startups like Supertails, Mokobora, and AlmaBetter. In 2021, Alagh invested in over 40 startups, including Cuvette Tech, BeepKart, and Shiprocket.
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Before founding Mamaearth, he worked with major companies such as Coca-Cola, Smirnoff, and Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL).
Mumbai-based angel investor Arjun Vaidya has backed a number of startups, including Contlo, Xeno, Praan, and One Impression. He made investments in eight regional startups in 2022, among them Eské Paris, ShoutO, and VAMA. Currently overseeing Verlinvest’s venture investments, Vaidya previously held positions with L Catterton, The De Beers Group of Companies, and Condé Nast India. Additionally, he oversaw Dr. Vaidya’s for a number of years before the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group bought it in 2021.
Arjun Vaidya, the CEO of Dr. Vaidya’s, earned a degree in international relations and economics from Brown University and then worked in private equity at L Capital Asia. He left his position in 2016 to carry on his grandfather’s 150-year-old family legacy of Ayurvedic treatments. With innovative products like LIVitup (Hangover Shield) and Chakaash (Herbal Health Toffees), which have captured the attention of many customers, Dr. Vaidya’s is India’s largest digital Ayurveda brand.
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As the first Ayurvedic entrepreneur, Arjun Vaidya has been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia List for 2019 and BW’s 40 Under 40 List. In addition, he supports social causes by mentoring at the Atal Innovation Mission and providing advice to Just for Kicks, an NGO that focuses on football.
Over the years, Maninder Gulati, an executive at OYO, has made investments in many Indian startups. He helped eight startups in 2022, including TradeX, SolarSquare, and Mistry Store. His other notable investments include the gaming marketplace Driffle, the e-sports startup Tournafest, and the ed-tech platform Bhanzu.
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Gulati has shut down three startups: simsim, Blink, and BabyChakra. He previously held positions with a number of businesses, including Lightspeed India, McKinsey, ITC Ltd., and Onelife Knowledge Services.
The CTO of Coinbase, Balaji Srinivasan, has supported more than five startups in 2022, including Questbook, Samudai, and Lysto. Balaji Srinivasan has been an active angel investor for the past ten years. Additionally, he has so far co-founded four businesses, including Counsyl, Earn, Teleport, and Coin Center. Dr. Srinivasan is an angel investor in addition to serving as the CTO of Coinbase and a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Along with Coin Center, he was a co-founder of Earn.com, Counsyl, Teleport, and Coin Center. Earn.com was acquired by Coinbase, Counsyl by Myriad, and Teleport by Topia.
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Dr. Srinivasan was CEO of Earn.com before joining Coinbase, which later acquired Earn.com. He was a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz prior to that. He won a Wall Street Journal Innovation Award for Medicine while serving as CTO of Counsyl, which he co-founded. In addition, he was named to the MIT TR35.
The CEO of the social media platform Koo, Aprameya Radhakrishna, has over seven years of experience in angel investing, according to his LinkedIn profile. He supported six domestic startups in 2022, including PensionBox, a startup in financial technology, Kofluence, an advertising technology startup, and Jovian, a platform for educational technology.
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Radhakrishna has invested in 32 startups in total, four of which he has left. He co-founded TaxiforSure in 2010 and also did work for JLL and Infosys before starting Koo. In the Indian state of Karnataka, Bengaluru, Radhakrishna was born in 1982. He graduated from high school and earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication from the National Institute of Technology in Karnataka. He then went on to the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad to earn a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in General Management. He is well-known for being the co-founder of Koo, an Indian app that acts as a Twitter substitute and lets users express their ideas in their native tongues. Koo had more than 6 million users as of May 2021.
The founder of Uni Cards, Nitin Gupta, has been an angel investor for seven years. He helped six startups in India in 2022, including GroMo, Locofast, and NAKAD.
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In addition to GroMo, Gupta’s investment portfolio also includes the fintech startups Cashflo and Bhanzo. Gupta founded Khojguru Infotech and PayU India in the past. Additionally, he has experience with Lehman Brothers and Ola Financial Services.
Bitespeed, Pepper Content, and Phyllo are among the five angel investments that Teachable founder Ankur Nagpal made in 2022. Among other startups, he has backed Stonks, EduRev, beehiv, Flume, and Eight Sleep.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Nagpal founded the wealth technology startup Ocho in October 2022 and is an active investor in the US-based investment platform Vibe Capital. The goal of Ocho, which can be accessed at ocho.com, is to help business owners increase their wealth. Nagpal is in charge of the venture capital fund Vibe Capital, which has more than 100 portfolio companies and more than $100 million in assets under management. Prior to selling it to Hotmart, he scaled Teachable to over $50 million in recurring revenue annually. Currently, Nagpal is a director on the board of Hotmart.
The co-founder of Unacademy, Gaurav Munjal, invested in five startups in 2022, including MemeChat, Lissun, and CoinMint. Eleven startups, mostly in the edtech and health tech sectors, were backed by Munjal in the previous year, bringing his total number of backed startups to over 36, with two successful exits.
Prior to founding Unacademy, Munjal created Flatchat, an online real estate marketplace for Indian college students and recent graduates. Engineer by trade, Gaurav Munjal is currently the CEO of Unacademy.
Groww’s founder Lalit Keshre made investments in seven startups in 2022, including Flash, Neend, and Shoppr.TV. Over the years, he has built up a diverse portfolio of startups, making significant investments in B2B fintech startup Upswing, fitness platform Ultrahuman, and fintech startup Decentro.
Keshre founded Eduflix and worked in the product and engineering teams at Flipkart and Ittiam Systems prior to founding Groww. As co-founder and CEO of Groww, an Indian investing platform that provides people in India with a fee-free platform for accumulating assets, Keshre is an Indian businessman and industrialist.
In 2022, Livspace founder Ramakant provided angel investments to 13 local startups, such as Covvalent, EekiFoods, Glamplus, Jiraaf, The Souled Store, and Snapmint. To date, he has supported more than 60 startups, including Flora, a platform for e-commerce, Mokobara, a travel brand, and EekiFoods, an agritech startup.
Additionally, he has previously exited a social commerce startup called Shop101. Before this, Ramakant worked with companies such as Myntra, Zapak Digital, Jungle Ventures, SumTotal Systems, and Teradata.
A DoorDash executive named Gokul Rajaram supported eight Indian startups in 2022, including Dozee, Entri, and Filo. His portfolio also includes Cashflo, a fintech startup, Nirogstreet, a B2B Ayurveda startup, and Flora, a sustainable e-commerce platform. Rajaram has already left around 11 companies.
He serves on the boards of Coinbase, Pinterest, and The Trade Desk in addition to being an angel investor. He has worked for organizations like Square, Facebook, Chai Labs, Google, and June, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Sujit Kumar, the founder of Udaan, made investments in 12 startups in 2022, including Cofluence, Suite42, Tring, Vidyut, Vasoko, Ekunk Technologies, and Khelgali. They had already invested in 13 startups that would launch in 2021, among them Okipocky, Kapita, and The Whole Truth. Over 40 startups have received funding from Kumar so far.
In conclusion, it is impossible to overstate the importance of angel investors to India’s startup ecosystem. Their financial support and mentoring have aided a number of promising startups in growing and succeeding, generating employment and stimulating the economy. Active angel investors in India assist startups in navigating the difficulties of starting and growing a business by contributing not only their capital but also their knowledge and experience.
This was our selection of the Top 20 Most Active Angel Investors in India’s Startup Ecosystem. We hope this is useful to you. The order of this list is random.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Which are the Top 20 Most Active Angel Investors in India’s Startup Ecosystem?
Kunal Shah, Ashneer Grover, Nithin Kamath, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Binny Bansal, Ghazal Alagh, Sandeep Nailwal, Ankit Nagori, Varun Alagh, Arjun Vaidya, Maninder Gulati, Balaji Srinivasan, Aprameya Radhakrishna, Nitin Gupta, & Ankur Nagpal are the Top 20 Most Active Angel Investors in India’s Startup Ecosystem.
What is an angel investor?
High-net-worth individuals who support early-stage startups with funding and mentorship in exchange for equity are known as angel investors.
Why are angel investors important in India’s startup ecosystem?
Angel investors are essential in determining how startups develop. They assist startups in navigating the difficulties of establishing and growing a business by offering funding and mentoring.
How can startups attract angel investors in India?
Startups in India can attract angel investors by having a strong team, a solid business plan, and a distinct value proposition. Additionally, networking and developing connections with angel investors can be beneficial.
What is the investment strategy of angel investors in India?
Indian angel investors use a variety of investment strategies. While some concentrate on particular industries or technologies, others take a more general approach.