Unacademy, Slice, RazorPay, ChefKart, Khatabook, and Digit Insurance are all companies that have two things in common. They are all a part of the Indian startup ecosystem and they are all a part of the Kunal Shah Investment Portfolio.
Who is Kunal Shah
He is a man with many adjectives – an active angel investor, serial entrepreneur, mentor, and advisor. The Indian startup ecosystem recognizes Kunal Shah as the Founder & CEO of CRED, a fin-tech Indian unicorn. He fulfills the advisory role in multiple well-known organizations like Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd., AngelList, Sequoia Capital, and the Indian division of Y Combinator. The enigmatic man has an investment portfolio that is more than 200 startups strong. In 2021, Hurun India said Kunal Shah held the most number of investments in startups that may become unicorns in the next few years.
A source close to Kunal Shah said - “Kunal really wants to do what he can for the ecosystem. If that one random founder can sell his company’s story to investors because Kunal Shah’s name is on his pitch deck, he does not mind that. This is his version of philanthropy.”
Most Successful Kunal Shah's Investment
Over the years many startups that have been funded by Kunal Shah have seen phenomenal success. Of course, some have missed the mark but the successful one have been on a growth and expansion journey that is inspirational.
Unacademy is an ed-tech platform that was founded in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Hemesh Singh, and Roman Saini and is headquartered in Bangalore. It began unconventionally as a YouTube tutorial channel of short videos by Gaurav Munjal, then an engineering student n himself. By December 2015, Hemesh and Roman joined him to launch the Unacademy app which aimed at creating free interactive content.
It quickly gained popularity and by 2017 more than 5000 educators, 1 million learners, and more than 40,000 classes were launched. In January 2017, Unacademy raised USD 4.5 million in Series A funding and a year later it acquired the Jaipur-based online exam preparation and learning platform WIFIStudy for USD 10 million. Its growth continued as it launched its subscription-based model Unacademy Plus in 2019. In the same year, it also secured funding of approximately USD 87 million from investors. 2020 saw Unacademy achieve the coveted unicorn status and was named as one of the official sponsors of the Indian Premier League for 2020-2022. It also raised a Series G funding in November 2020 at a valuation of USD 2 billion. A year later, in 2021, it raised USD 440 million in a series of H funding. The beginning of this year saw Unacademy become one of the founding members of IAMAI’s India Edtech consortium.
Shashank Kumar and Harshil Mathur founded the fintech company Razorpay in 2015 which is headquartered in Bangalore. It was the fintech startup’s aim to provide frictionless transactions for online businesses with clean, developer-friendly APIs and hassle-free integration.
It earned unicorn status in 2020 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic through its October 2020 funding round and raising USD 100 million. In December 2021, it raised USD 375 million in Series F funding and became the most valued fintech startup in India at USD 7.5 billion as of December 2021. Razorpay’s total funding as of June 2022 is USD 815.7 million.
The growth trajectory of Razorpay has been consistent throughout the years. In 2017 it launched four products namely Route, Smart Collect, Subscriptions, and Invoices allowing businesses to manage multiple aspects of money movement. It also launched a subsidiary named Razorpay Capital, a lending platform supporting SMEs with easy and quick access to lenders. As technology is evolving, Razorpay is adding more and better features including introducing Razorpay X. Razorpay X is a unique solution allowing businesses to conduct every activity that is offered by banks.
3. Digit Insurance
Headquartered in Bangalore, Digit Insurance was founded by Kamlesh Goyal in 2017. As the name suggests, the company primarily deals in insurance products and financial services. Digit Insurance’s product portfolio includes health insurance, car insurance, commercial vehicle insurance, 2-wheeler insurance, and travel insurance.
The insurance firm has gone through eight funding rounds and raised a total funding of USD 530.8 million. It reached unicorn status in 2021. As of January 2022, Digit Insurance was valued at approximately USD 3.54 billion.
Since its inception, Digit Insurance’s growth has been consistent and it witnessed its highest growth in 2020 with 31.9% and earning a premium of USD 186 million between April 2020 and December 2020. This growth amidst the Covid-19 lockdowns and subsequent restrictions was owed to two of their products – Covid Health Insurance and Fire Insurance. In FY 2021-2022 Digit Insurance recorded its total gross recorded premium since inception at USD 52.68 billion. The insurance company is considering an IPO in a bid to raise USD 500 million to be listed by January 2023.
It is popularly known as Digital India’s Digital Khata. It was launched in 2018 in Bangalore by Ashish Sonone, Dhanesh Kumar, Vaibhav Kalpe, and Jaideep Poonia and has emerged as India’s fastest-growing SaaS company. Khatabook is a business management app, operating on an Android platform that enables MSMEs to keep a digital log of their financial transactions and digitize their accounting. The app also supports online payments and is available in 12 regional languages which cater to a diverse audience.
By the year 2020, Khatabook had a user base of merchants from 95% of Indian districts recording USD 100 billion in transactions and more than 150 million customers. The business has witnessed a phenomenal growth trajectory by registering more than 5 crore businesses spread over more than 4000 cities across India.
Khatabook has raised a total of USD 186.5 million in its four rounds of funding. As of August 2021, Khatabook was valued at approximately USD 600 million. Going forward, Khatabook intends to grow its business two or three times by remaining committed to the MSME segment and simplifying the traditional way of doing business. Its app is already widely accepted within the MSME framework of the country. Khatabook is now looking forward to offering disbursement of financial services through its tech platform.
Over the years, there are many startups that Kunal Shah has funded. The success stories that have emerged from these investments are proof of the ingenuity of the Indian entrepreneurial mind. These companies have grown and expanded and show every sign of marching forward into the future with their focus firmly on making their businesses better and more innovative. Some of the new startups that Kunal has invested in are AntWalk, BimaPlan, Bundle-O-Joy, Coffee and many more within the time this article was framed. The future looks promising and it will be interesting to see which of these startups make it to the next generation of unicorns.
Is Kunal an angel Shah investor?
Kunal Shah has topped the list of angel investors with more than 200 investments done across startups such as Razorpay, Unacademy, Khatabook, Mensa, Digit Insurance, and more.
What is the qualification of Kunal Shah?
Kunal Shah graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Wilson College, Mumbai, and briefly pursued an MBA from SVKM's NMIMS before dropping out.
How many companies has Kunal Shah invested in?
Kunal Shah has made investments in 210 companies.