Vani Kola: One of the Most Powerful Women in India!

Yash Gupta Yash Gupta
Mar 28, 2021 6 min read
Vani Kola: One of the Most Powerful Women in India!

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 lives of people, women from different sections of the society have been coming up with 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 success story of Vani Kola.

Vani Kola - Quick Facts
Vani Kola - Kalaari Capital
Vani Kola - Beginning
Vani Kola - Becoming a Venture Capitalist
Vani Kola - Venture Partners
Vani and Kalaari Capital
Vani Kola - As an Inspiration

Vani Kola - Quick Facts

Name Vani Kola
Born 1964, Hyderabad, India
Age 56
Citizenship Indian
Education Bachelor of Science from Osmania University and
Master of Science from Arizona State University
Title Founder and Managing director of Kalaari Capital
Spouse Srinivas Kola

Vani Kola - Kalaari Capital

The Vani Kola biography starts with the fact that she is a successful entrepreneur. She was successful during her time at Silicon Valley and she enjoys working with first-time entrepreneurs. Hence, her main aim is to help the budding entrepreneurs 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 and in the e-commerce category. Some of the most popular investments include Myntra, Snapdeal, VIA, Urban Ladder, and Power2SME.

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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.

Business venture know-hows from Vani Kola

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 plagued her mind. Some of the questions were tricky and were more of an obstacle in her path such as whether there would be enough entrepreneurs in the startup ecosystem? And was the Indian start-up market-ready?

But, after wandering across the market sector in the country, Vani had noticed a lot of  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 a 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.

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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 guides them in every aspect of growth. The fund gets around 2000 proposals per year and is still growing!

Some of the most successful investments made by the company ar Snapdeal, Myntra, VIA, Apps Daily, Urban Ladder, and Zivame. Also, the team has Ratan Tata as the chief advisor!

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Vani Kola - As an Inspiration

Vani Kola is the epitome of women entrepreneurship in India. 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 of 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.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Who is Vani Kola?

Vani, entrepreneur, is the Founder and Managing director of Kalaari Capital, which is one of India’s leading venture capital firms.

Who is the Founder of Kalaari Capital?

Vani Kola is the kalaari capital Founder and Managing Director.

What is Vani Kola age?

As of 2021, Vani Kola is 56 years old. She was born in 1964.

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