VCs on Panel
Karan MohlaPartner, Chiratae Ventures
Karan Mohla is a Partner at Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures India) as well as the Head of Consumer Technology & Media where he heads the sector focus and strategy. He also leads fundraising and partnerships for the firm in the Asia region. Karan was recognised by BusinessWorld Magazine as one of the 40 under 40 leaders for 2018, as well as one of the 40 under 40 Alternate Investment Professionals by the Indian Association of Alternative Investment Funds (IAAIF).
Karan has been part of the technology and startup ecosystem since 2003 with experience spanning investment advisory, finance, portfolio management, fundraising and M&A. he has worked on investments in companies including Bounce, FirstCry, HealthifyMe, Xpressbees, Peel-Works, POPxo, LittleBlackBook, CropIn, Tripoto and Yatra.com (NASDAQ: YTRA).
Prior to IDG Ventures, Karan worked with QVT Finance LP, a US based hedge fund and was a founding member of their Asia-Pacific practice. He earlier worked in the TMT investment banking group at Jefferies & Company (formerly Broadview International) in Silicon Valley, where he advised several technology companies in Internet, Mobile and Enterprise Software on capital raising, M&A as well as strategic partnerships. Later, Karan helped start the India office for Jefferies where he advised and executed financing strategies for companies in the Technology, Media, Telecom, CleanTech and Education sectors. He has successfully completed over 20 transactions covering M&A and helped raised over $1 Billion in capital for corporates across India and the US.
Karan holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration (BBA) from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and an EMBA from INSEAD, where he was the youngest graduate in the program's history.
Shailesh Vickram SinghManaging Partner, Massive Fund
Shailesh Vickram Singh is the Managing Partner - Massive Fund and founder - GoMassive - The Impact Investment Network.
Both the organizations have been set up to build ecosystem and promote investment in areas of Agriculture, Clean Mobility, Clean energy, Clean Water & Waste Management.
Shailesh has over 20 years of experience in Entrepreneurship / Venture investing with SeedFund (a $54 million VC fund based in India), GVFL, UTI and has been an angel investor as well. He writes extensively on Agriculture, Farmer income, Economics, Venture capital, and Entrepreneurship. His blog fringenotes.in has been regularly published in leading newspapers of India.
Shailesh is a regular speaker at various Industry forums both internationally & in India. He recently spoke in international event such as EIIES China, FT Climate Asia-Hong Kong, Transforming Asia Pacific Summit Bankok, Cleantech Forum Singapore, UN regional Climate summit- Bangkok, and in Indian events such as Sankalp Global Forum, UNEP World Environment Week- New Delhi.
Shailesh has done his MBA from IIM Lucknow and B.Tech from GB Pant University.
Hemendra MathurVenture Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund
Hemendra has over 23 years of experience in venture capital, private equity, management consulting and investment banking.
Hemendra in his career has invested in several early stage agritech and mid-sized companies in the agricultural supply chain. He is a mentor, investor and board member in many food and ag-tech start- ups working on innovations in agri-inputs, market linkages, mechanization, food nutrition and farmer financing.
He is working as Venture Partner with Bharat Innovation Fund –investing in deep-tech start-ups across sectors. Hemendra is also co-founder of ThinkAg – a platform for accelerating the adoption of innovations in agriculture space.
In his previous assignments; he has worked with SEAF, Yes Bank, Rabobank, KSA Technopak and ORG- MARG.
He has authored many papers on the subject and speaks regularly at conferences pertaining to food and agribusiness sector as well as start-up ecosystem. He is a management graduate from IIM (Ahmedabad) and Agricultural Engineer from Rajasthan Agricultural University.
Mukul SinghalPravega Ventures
Mukul Singhal is Co Founder and Managing Director of Pravega Ventures – an early stage venture capital firm. Mukul focusses on investments in Internet, Mobile and Software Products. Mukul has been investing in India since last 12 years. Prior to finding Pravega, he was with leading venture firms like SAIF Partners and Canaan Partners.
He has led investments and served on board of several internet companies in India like Proptiger, UrbanClap, Zovi, IndustryBuying, Travel Triangle and NoBroker. At present, he is on board of Pravega portfolio companies – Workex, Grubox, CroFarm.
Dhruv KapoorSistema Asia Capital
Dhruv Kapoor has been associated with Sistema Asia Capital (SA Cap) Advisory since July 2016. At SA Cap Advisory, Dhruv leads mid-stage investments in ecommerce, travel/transportation, fin-tech, media & content. Since joining the fund last year, Dhruv has led investments in Wooplr, Licious, Mobikon, LendingKart and Kissht. Prior to joining SA Cap Advisory, Dhruv was Vice President at Helion Venture Partners, a $600M India focused fund. Dhruv joined Helion as one of its early employees in 2008 and spent the next 8 years with the fund. During his long stay at Helion, Dhruv helped source over 1000 deals across multiple sectors and stages. Some of the marquee investments that Dhruv was part of included – Azure Power (AZRE), Ezetap, RailYatri, Shubham and Wooplr. Prior to working with Helion, Dhruv spent 4 years with McKinsey & Co. as a research and strategy consultant and 2 years with ABN Amro Bank across multiple roles. Dhruv holds a Bachelors in Commerce (Delhi University) and a Masters in International Business (Symbiosis International University). He has also completed an executive program in Private Equity from The Indian School of Business (ISB).
Padmaja RuparelCo-founder, IANFounding Partner, IAN Fund
Padmaja Ruparel is the Founding Partner of the IAN Fund, a uniquely differentiated Rs. 450 crores (~$70mn) Fund which along with IAN, is set to create the largest horizontal platform in India for investing in seed and early stage ventures. She is also the Co-Founder & President of IAN, India's first & one of the world’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who's who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas.
Padmaja is a Co-Chair of Global Business Angel Network. She also operationalised TiE Delhi, which has been ranked as the number one chapter globally for the last 4 consecutive years. She played a key role as Executive Director in building the Indian Venture Capital Association, India's oldest and largest association of VC and PE firms. In addition, she helped the creation of Lankan Angel Network in Sri Lanka. She contributed actively in the Planning Commission’s Committee on “Angel & Early Stage Investing in India” which resulted in a seminal report: “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”. She is on the Committee of Telecom Centre of Excellence, Selection Committee of MSME and is actively engaged with the various committees of Ministry of Finance, SEBI, etc. Padmaja is nationally recognised as a key player in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and has helped co-found many of the relevant institutions, besides being an active Angel investor herself. Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and start-ups/early stage companies. She has been awarded as one of the 'Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business' by Fortune India and has been listed in Forbes India’s W-Power Trailblazers and ‘30 Most Powerful Women in India’ by Business Today.
Sajith PaiDirector, Blume Ventures
Sajith is a long-time media executive turned VC. At Blume, Sajith supports investments in media, edtech & commerce, while simultaneously helping Blume build a research and knowledge platform. He is a prolific writer - his writings cover startups and ecommerce to culture and education, and have been published in Scroll, Quartz, Buzzfeed & The Times of India. He is based in Noida.
Sanjay MehtaFounder Partner, 100X.VC
Sanjay Mehta is the Founder Partner at 100X.VC. He has invested in over 100+ startups in India and US through his family office Mehta Ventures. Few of the portfolio companies are Block.One, Box8, LogiNext, Consure Medical Devices, RepUp, Wow Momo - Exited Oyo Rooms, Faballey, Unbxd, Instasafe, Talview, 47Line, Allizhealth.
Sumit KeshanManaging Partner, Wipro Consumer - Venture
Sumit Keshan has more than 2.5 decades of experience in a variety of areas like Private Equity, M&A and Corporate roles. He heads Wipro Consumer – Ventures as Managing Partner, investing in disruptive consumer brands, consumer tech, innovative distribution models, etc. Prior to this he was managing a USD 200 million fund at CDC UK as Director for South Asia, did portfolio operations for Blackstone India. As part of M&A and Corporates, he was a long timer at Wipro leading M&A initiatives and finance, as well as COO role at Deutsche Bank. He has done multiple deals and managed many investments in the PE space in healthcare, logistics, and initiated & led many cross border and domestic M&A deals.
Girish ShivaniExecutive Director and Fund Manager, YourNest Venture Capital
Girish is a co-founder of YourNest and has varied experience of over 23 years in the across domains like of IT consulting, Telecom, Media and Financial Services. He specializes in Early Stage Venture Capital investing, Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence and Analytics. With a strong process centricity and expertise in analytical and decision support systems, Girish is responsible for evolving the investment strategy and recognizing emerging trends and venture opportunities at YourNest. Speed and focus is his mantra, for the initial stages of a start-up. An avid traveller, Girish is tech-savant, and has an in-depth understanding of emerging technologies. Tracking disruptive technologies and able innovators are his passion. He is an Alumnus of St Stephens College, Delhi and IMT, Ghaziabad
Jaspreet BindraFounder, Digital Matters
Sunil KalraVenture Partner, Stride Ventures
Sunil Kalra has been investing in startups since 2002. He is someone who is known for his determination and adaptability to venture into sectors, for which he might possess very little know-how. His first venture was in real estate sector and currently, his portfolio of 50 startups is spread across technology, education, healthcare, logistics, mobile, and e-commerce sectors. Indicating a “fairly sector-agnostic approach,” Airwoot, Orange Scape, Crayon, Culture Alley, Wooplr, and My Shaadi.in have all been funded by him. However, this is changing now as he points out in one of his interviews: “I am not from a tech background. However, tech-based companies have the ability to prove their concept with less capital. They are also leaner and far more scalable. Therefore, I am concentrating more on tech for now.”
Vikas KuthialaFounder & MD, First India Assistance
Vikas Kuthiala has held leadership positions in large international organizations in India and overseas before turning into an entrepreneur. He is now a mentor to early-stage ventures and an independent angel investor.
Dr. Bhaskardas GuptaAssociate Director, Market Development, ADGM.
Dr. Bhaskar Dasgupta is the Associate Director of Business Development at ADGM focusing on financial services across emerging markets and Europe. Dr. Dasgupta is responsible for overseeing the development of the banking, asset management, private banking sectors including key areas such as Crypto Assets, FinTech, Re-Insurance, Sustainable Finance, Digital Banking and Digital Investment Management in ADGM. Prior to joining ADGM in 2019, Dr. Dasgupta was the Chief Operating Officer of UK Export Finance at the Department of International Trade in the UK Government. His 25-year career included senior level business development and transformation roles in investment banking, transaction banking, technology and consulting in firms such as HSBC, ABN AMRO, Citigroup and PwC. Dr. Dasgupta holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Bhopal, an MBA in Finance from Indore University, a Ph.D. in Financial Modelling & AI from the University of Manchester, and a PhD in Politics from Kings College London. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in Food History from Brunel University.