India based business investment firm Kalaari Capital today announced that Saurav Banerjee and Devneet Bajaj have joined the firm as Venture Partners.
Saurav, a Chartered Accountant, and Harvard Business School alumnus, was previously the Co-CEO of NDTV and brings with him two decades of experience in the media industry.
Dev Bajaj, in his previous role, was the founder of M.I.T.R.A., one of India’s largest Agri-tech startup’s building smart machines for horticulture, which was strategically backed by Mahindra & Mahindra. He is a former private equity executive and
Vani Kola, Managing Director, Kalaari Capital, described the appointments as strategic additions that creates more breadth and depth of leadership within Kalaari and brings diverse perspective to the investment team. In her statement, she said, “In line with Kalaari’s philosophy of empowering entrepreneurs, the venture partner program offers industry expertise and scalability knowledge to support our portfolio startups to succeed.”
Venture partners though common in Silicon Valley, is now gaining momentum amongst Indian VC funds, with Kalaari having made several high profile appointments.
On his recent appointment, Bajaj said, “Kalaari’s phenomenal brand recognition, 12+ years of rare and deep institutional knowledge, Vani’s leadership and a high potential team gives me a fantastic opportunity to support entrepreneurs to succeed.”
In his statement, Banerjee said, “Over the last few years, I had been working on creating and nurturing new initiatives at NDTV. I deeply enjoy identifying right investment opportunities, fundraising, managing growth and mentoring future leaders and Kalaari provides me a platform to do that and give back to the startup ecosystem.”
On the startup and digital India opportunity for the next decade, Vani shared her excitement: “By 2025, India is poised to grow into a trillion dollar digital economy and at Kalaari we believe this will be strongly accelerated by India’stechnology startups. Our view is that sectors such as fin-tech, health-tech, agri-tech, digital content, deep-tech and consumer Internet will influence this growth. We are excited to partner with entrepreneurs embracing and solving for uniquely India problems using technology.”
Founded in 2006, Kalaari, currently a 30-member team is a prominent venture capital firm in the country. In 2018, they actively led over 10-new early-stage investments. Continuing to maintain their early-stage focus, Kalaari intends to raise its next fund of $200M in 2019. The firm counts some of India’s fastest growing startups Dream11, Cure.Fit, Elastic Run, Shop101, and Milk-Basket as part of its portfolio.