Shaping Indian Startup Ecosystem- Top 10 Women Investors to watch out for in 2024-25

Shaping Indian Startup Ecosystem- Top 10 Women Investors to watch out for in 2024-25

The world is celebrating ‘International Girls in ICT Day 2024’ on 25th April this year. Although, women now fill 40% of high-skill occupations globally, their participation in ICT-related fields continues to be low.

India, which has the world’s 3rd largest Startup Ecosystem, has seen exponential growth in recent years. In startups also, technology is pervasive and is playing a key role in most of the startups irrespective of its service and industry.

The bedrock of a thriving startup ecosystem and community apart from founders are the investors, who play a critical role in building and shaping these startups. There is always a limelight on startup founders, however, investor community is not often talked about and in that, also women. It would be interesting to notice that there are many talented and committed women investors working on building the Indian Startup Ecosystem.

We present a list of 10 Women Investors working tirelessly in building the Indian Startup Ecosystem:

Aarti Gupta

Aarti Gupta, is an accomplished investment strategist who has been heading her family office, DM Gupta Family, Jagran Group, for over a decade. She is also the Chief Investment Officer at Anikarth Ventures, an angel-investing firm committed to supporting early-stage startups which aim to provide transformative solutions.

Aarti feels strongly for women founders and entrepreneurs and strives to support them through initiatives for women’s financial literacy entrepreneurship and job readiness. She also serves as the the National Head for FICCI FLO Startups, which focuses on women investors and founders. She is also associated with Jindal Stainless Steels as an independent director.

Having completed her PhD in Economics from IIT Kanpur, Master’s in Economics from Northeastern University and a post-graduate diploma course in business studies from Harvard University, she uses her knowledge and investment strategy skills to contribute to several boards of her her family business and startups.

Archana Jahagirdar

Archana Jahagirdar is at the forefront of changing the game for entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem in India. As the founder and Managing Partner of Rukam Capital, an early-stage consumer-focused VC fund, she is one of the solo general partners, having carved a niche among a handful of women founders of venture capital in India and globally.

Top additions to Rukam Capital’s portfolio of startups include Sleepy Owl Coffee, upliance.ai, GoDESi, Burger Singh, Curefoods, Yoho, among others.

Having over 2 decades  of experience in the industry, Archana has recently launched Rukam Sitara, a 100 Cr tech fund. Through this fund, she aims to create an ecosystem in India which will position it as a leader in next gen tech globally.

She has previously headed companies like Angelworks, Textron, Espace Corporate. In the past, she has also been associated  media organisations such as Business Standard, The Times of India, Zee News, Outlook, and India Today as a journalist.

Debjani Ghosh

Debjani Ghosh is the President of the National Association of Software & Services Companies (NASSCOM) and the first woman to hold the position in nearly 30 years. She actively engages with the Government and industry stakeholders to accelerate growth and strengthen India’s position as hub for Innovation and Digital Talent. Her role was instrumental in developing ‘Think Digital, Think India’ strategy.

Over the years Debjani has worked with organisations like CISCO, Intel Corporation and Yes Bank after completing her MBA from S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research and graduation in political science from Osmania University.

Debjani has also received several accolades for her exceptional work in the industry. She was felicitated by the President of India under as part of the ‘First Ladies’ program, was recognised by Vogue as the Tech Leader of the year 2020 and was also listed among India’s most powerful women in tech by Business Today.

Namita Thapar

Namita Thapar, the Executive Director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals Limited, is also the India Head of Young Entrepreneurs Academy, Inc. She is also an Angel Investor and a popular Shark from Shark Tank India. She has previously invested in startups like Brandsdaddy, Girgit, STAGE, Very Much Indian, and Skippi Ice Pops to name a few.

Namita is the recipient of the ET ‘40 under Forty’ award and was also featured in ET’s 2017 Women Ahead List and Business Today’s Most Powerful Women in Business list. She completed her MBA from Fuqua School of Business and is a Chartered Accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Vani Kola

Vani Kola, the founder and managing director of Kalaari Capital a VC firm that invests in early-stage technology-focused startups, is also a board member of CXXO.  The firm typically invests in e-commerce, gaming, digital content and healthcare brands like Dream11, Myntra, Cure.fit, and Snapdeal.

Having successfully led more than 30 investments at Kalaari, Vani has been identified as one of Fortune India’s ‘Most Powerful Women in Business’. She is also involved in supporting organizations for fostering entrepreneurship and women’s leadership. She has previously led companies like Certus Software and RightWorks.

Kanika Mayar

Kanika Mayar is a partner of Vertex Ventures, which invests in companies like Licious, FirstCry, AsianParent, Warung Pintar and Grab, to name a few. The firm typically infuses money in seed to Series B-stage startups in Southeast Asia and India.

Kanika has almost twenty years of experience in the industry and has previously worked with organisations like TechnoServe, Goldman Sachs and Ernst & Young.

An alumna of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Lady Shree Ram College, Kanika has participated in startup deals like Karkhana.io, Chatty Bao, Onato and Proactive For Her.

Padmaja Ruparel

Padmaja Ruparel is the Co-Founder of the Indian Angel Network & Founding Partner at IAN Fund, which is a SEBI-registered category II venture capital fund, worth INR 1,000 Cr.

Indian Angel Networks’ has invested in companies like Indium Finance, Elctrifuel, Crest, Sirona Hyginene,  Huddle, and Zypp Electric to name a few of the 180 in the company’s portfolio.

Padmaja has been an integral part of the startup ecosystem since 2006. Before starting her journey as a venture capitalist, she has worked as the head of corporate communications at Xansa.

Falguni Nayar

Falguni Nayar is the founder and CEO of the beauty focused retail brand Nykaa. Today, the business has emerged as one of India’s leading beauty retailers playing a critical role in developing the beauty market in India.

She has previously been associated with organisations like AF Ferguson and Co., Kotak Securities and Kotak Mahindra. She completed her MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Bachelor’s of Commerce from Sydenham College.

Pearl Agarwal

Pear Agarwal is the founder and managing director of Eximus Ventures, which invests in pre-seed stage companies with an equity cheque of up to $ 500k. The firm has invested in startups like Oyela, Flux, Stan, Fleek, Jar, iTribe, Fego, Zorro, KalaGato, Skydo and Eka.Care.

Pearl is also an Angel Investor who typically invests in gaming, fintech, edtech, SaaS and web3. So far she has invested in over 15 startups including GroMo, Redwing Labs, BluSmart Mobility, Trell and InFeedo.

Pearl has been a part of the industry since 2012 and has worked with organisations like UTIMCO, Merrill Lynch, Global Infrastructure Partners, and DotReview.

Renuka Ramnath

Renuka Ramnath is the Founder, MD and CEO of Multiples Alternate Asset Management. Founded in 2009, Multiples is an independent, India focused private equity firm that manages a USD 2 billion private equity capital. The firm has mad investments  in businesses like Tata Infomedia, VA TechWabag and Air Deccan.

Renuka has an experience of over four decades in the industry. She has held multiple positions at ICICI Group and ICICI Ventures after completing her Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School,  Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Mumbai and Bachelor’s of Engineering from Veermata Jeejabai Technological Institute.

She has been recognized in Business Today’s Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business list, Economic Times’ India’s most Powerful CEO’s and Forbes’ Asia’s Women in the Mix: The Year’s Top 50 for Achievement in Business. She is also the recipient of Bombay Management Association’s Management Woman Achiever of the Year Award 2015.

About the author

Hardik

Hardik Mitra

Hardik’s expertise in digital media and search engine optimization ensures that PC-Tablet’s content reaches its intended audience. His strategies and innovative approaches have played a pivotal role in the growth and online presence of the platform.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment