Women have been trying to make a huge impact on the startup circuit. With names like Sheryl Sandberg, and Vandana Luthra making a huge impact on the daily life of the people, women from different sections of the society have been coming up with their ideas and are trying to revolutionize the startup sector. Among the women entrepreneurs, Vani Kola is a big name. Vani is an Indian venture capitalist and has been listed as one of the most powerful women in Indian Business by Fortune India. Vani is the founder and Managing director of Kalaari Capital, which is one of India’s leading venture capital firms. Read this article to know about the story of Vani Kola.
Vani Kola- Quick Facts
|Born||1964, Hyderabad, India|
|Education||Bachelor of Science from Osmania University and|
|Master of Science from Arizona State University|
|Title||Founder and Managing director of Kalaari Capital|
Vani Kola- Kalaari Capital
Vani is a successful entrepreneur. She was successful during her time at Silicon Valley and she peers to work with first-time entrepreneurs. Hence, her main aim is to help the budding entrepreneurs to grow as mature businessmen and individuals. Vani has a high success ratio in the filed of venturing and investing in startups. Therefore, she has built a solid reputation for picking the best young minds and guiding them to build successful companies.
Vani aims at the technology companies in India. Her company Kalaari Capital has funded more than 50 companies across the subcontinent in the e-commerce category. Some of the most popular investments include Myntra, Snapdeal, VIA, Urban Ladder, and Power2SME.
Vani Kola- Beginning
Vani was born and brought up in Hyderabad. After completing her Electrical Engineering from Osmania University, she moved to the United States to pursue her Master’s degree. After completing her studies, she began working in the technological sector and went on to work with some big names like Empros, Control Data Corporation, and Consilium Inc.
Vani, after working as an employee for 12 years, took a giant leap in her career and founded her first venture which is an e-procurement company. The company was founded in 1996 and was named RightWorks. After successfully controlling the company for more than four years, she sold 53% of the share of RightWorks for $657 million to the Internet Capital Group. After that, Vani decided to jab entrepreneurship in the face and started with another company maned NthOrbit in 2001. During her four year stint with the company, the company went on to become a leader in the financial compliance market with a global customer base of 70.
In 2005, the organization announced that PepsiCo had purchased its Certus international controls and assurance software and in the next few days, Vani moved to India. This started a new chapter in Vani’s life!
Vani Kola- Becoming a Venture Capitalist
After a successful stint in Silicon Valley, Vani started her journey as a Venture Capitalist in 2006. In India, instead of taking up the entrepreneur job, she decided to start a new course by becoming a Venture Capitalist. After returning from the United States, Vani spent all of her time researching, traveling, meeting people, visiting malls, and understanding the Indian market. As Vani was preparing to start the firm, a variety of questions seemed to be tougher than Vani had thought. Some of the questions which were tricky and were more of an obstacle in her path were, whether there would be enough entrepreneurs in the startup ecosystem? And was the Indian start-up market-ready? Adding on to that, the country wasn’t ready or favored for Silicon Valley type. Therefore, a lot of difficult questions were haunting Vani!
But, after wandering across the market sector in the country, Vani had noticed a lot of pf signals hinting at a change in the startup ecosystem in the country. As per Vani, a huge transformation was on its way to India.
Vani Kola- Venture Partners
Vani moved ahead on her path with positivity. And to make a big mark in the ecosystem, she in collaboration with Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur Vinod Dham and Kumar Shiralagi launched a $189 million India fund. This fund was backed by NEA and was named NEA Indo-US Venture Partners. During those days, NEA was one of Silicon Valley’s most influential capital firms. This partnership ran for around four years, after which the latter organization decided to move out of the joint venture and directly enter the Indian startup market.
One of the reasons behind the collaboration was that NEA did not have any big presence in the Indian market and therefore, they agreed to back the NEA Indo-US Venture Partners, But, when the organization decided to have a direct presence, Vani seemed that a big confusion was coming up on its way! Therefore, NEA Indo-US Ventures became Indo-US Ventures in 2010. And this was more of an identity evolution than a strategy evolution of the company.
Vani and Kalaari Capital
So, to start a Venture Capital, Vani along with her partner Shiralagi rebranded their firm and named it Kalaari Capital. It is a Bangalore based capital fund team. The Kalaari Capital focused on investing in an early stage on the technology-oriented companies across India. The name is inspired from Kalaripayattu, which is a form of martial arts originated in the Southern state of Kerala. The idea of the team was to create an entrepreneur from a smart brain. Now, within four years, and with 55 investments, Kalaari Capitals has become India’s leading investor in the early-stage business. The team takes care of the entrepreneurs and guide them in every aspect of growth. The fund gets around 2000 proposals per year and is still growing!
Vani Kola- As an inspiration
The ideology to serve the startup ecosystem after becoming successful in a big stage has enabled Vani to become an inspiration for many entrepreneurs in the country. Her sheer determination and willingness to help the smart brains if the country has inspired millions of people to come up with ideas that may bring on a revolutionary change in the way we live. Hence, Vani Kola is an inspiration for many aspiring entrepreneurs.