Top 5 Angel Investors in India
Created on 05 Jul 2022
Wraps up in 5 Min
Read by 2.7k people
Updated on 12 Sep 2022
Some of the easy ways to recognise an Angel investor :
- Loves avocado toast with green juice
- Bullish on AI, may not necessarily understand it
- Hates a Financial Term called "Cashflow"
Yes, sometimes you can also recognise them with their Investment Portfolio!
A wave of entrepreneurship is going through our country right now. A place where people used to talk about cricket, politics, and household gossip, now they have started talking about building businesses, startups, capitalism, and entrepreneurship. Big entrepreneurs are gaining the status of rockstars.
At this point, we must understand and know some of the terms used in business and the startup world.
The most important and commonly used term that you will find here is "angel investing". Don’t take the literal meaning. No angel is interested in putting their efforts into a human-made business. 😛
Let’s educate ourselves about angel investing, how you can become one, and who are the top 5 angel investors in India so that you are not left behind in this wave of immense opportunities!
What is Angel Investing?
When businesses start, they generally don't have much capital to operate. So, in need of funds, they raise money in exchange for some percentage of equity in their startup. The initial funding or the seed funding is done by the angel investors.
While making such investments, an investor is usually at very high risk because if the business fails, they might lose their money too.
These high-net-worth individuals who help businesses scale up by providing the initial funding are known as angel investors. Worldwide, there are around 4 million angel investors who invest in early-stage startups.
Most businesses raising angel investments already have some MVP or minimum viable product, but they need funds to further develop their product, scale their business, and bring it to the next level. Angel investors also help the founder and the team with business tactics, strategy, etc.
In a way, an angel investor is also a mentor, and Angel investing is a way of giving back to the startup ecosystem.
But why is it called angel investing and how does angel investing work? Let’s find out.
Why is it called "Angel Investing"?
The term comes from the days when big theatres in the USA used to get monetary help from wealthy individuals to run the theatres and their operations. They used to call these individuals "angels".
The term "angel investor" was later coined by William Wetzel while conducting a study on how businesses gather capital.
When a business starts, these are the steps that it goes through in order to scale and grow:
First, it is Bootstrapped (You invest your money)
Seed funding rounds by Angel Investors
Series A, B, C, D, etc done by Venture Capitalists
Launch an IPO
Read another article on Startup Funding Stages to find out what each item on the above list means.
Top 5 Angel Investors in India
While angel investors in India are many, who have shown keen interest in startups, these are the top five angel investors in India, and the startups that they have invested in:
Kunal Shah is currently building CRED and is the founder of Freecharge. He has invested in 170+ companies, which is more than any other investor.
For him, growing his personal wealth through angel investing is not that important. His main purpose is to give back to the startup ecosystem. It’s philanthropy for him.
If you want to raise funds from Kunal Shah then his funding process is relatively simple; drop a message on his Whatsapp with your pitch deck or write him a short note about yourself and the product that you are building, ideally with a referral from one of his investor or entrepreneur friends, and done. He might end up investing in your startup.
This angel investor is from Sri Lanka but most of his investments are Indian, that’s why we have included him in this list.
He was the managing director of Sequoia Capital; a venture capital firm. According to CrunchBase, he doesn’t have any Sri Lankan companies in his personal portfolio, but he developed a venture firm called Blue Ocean Ventures in Sri Lanka to develop the startup ecosystem over there.
He has been an angel investor for more than 12 years now and has invested in more than 67 companies. Out of all the companies that he has invested in, 4/5 are Indian. He has made 16 significant exits to date, including Gamingmonk (acquired by MPL), POPxo (acquired by Myglamm), and Innov8 (acquired by OYO).
You might know him as the judge of the first session of Shark Tank India. Anupam is the founder and CEO of People’s Group; Shaadi.com, Makaan.com, and Mauj Mobile.
In Shark Tank India, he invested ₹5.4 crores in 24 startups. His investing journey started in 2011 when he invested in Ola’s seed funding round. Till now, he has invested in more than 65 companies.
He has made 12 exits to date, including Simsim (acquired by YouTube), Dailyninja (acquired by BigBasket), Truebil (acquired by Spinny), and HashLearn (acquired by BYJU'S). He is still holding on to his investments like Ola, Trell, Rapido, Letsventure, Animall, and Lido learning.
Kunal is the co-founder of Snapdeal and Tidal Capital; an investment firm that he founded along with his co-founder Rohit Bansal. Kunal is an engineer who has studied at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a business degree from The Wharton School.
He is from New Delhi. He has so far invested in more than 66 startups and has made 6 exits: Flyrobe, ANS Commerce, Zenatix, Betaout, Fynd, and Gigstart.
Some of his investments include MamaEarth, Rapido, Ola, indiagold, and Jugnoo.
In 2012, Ramakant co-founded Zing ecommerce. That's where he began his entrepreneurial journey. Violetbag.com is a parent company of Zing e-commerce. They mainly deal with women’s high fashion needs. In 2014, he started Livspace, which later became a unicorn in 2022.
He has so far invested in 61 companies like Toothsi, Conveni, Captain Fresh, Trell, Rupifi, and Wiz Freight.
The Bottom Line
Many risks are associated with angel investing for investors and business owners. The investors might lose all their money if the business fails, and the business owner could lose their entire equity or be kicked off their own company as well.
However, if done properly, angel investing could be the best way for any business to scale up. This term was popular in the USA earlier and is now catching up in India as well. Hopefully, we will be seeing a lot more angel investors and startups in the future.
We need more job creators than job seekers, that’s the only way for any country to prosper.