The angels have come down to Earth for us all a chance at something better. With their guidance and support, we can reach higher than ever before! Let’s have a look for top angel investors in India.
India is one of the prime budding startup ecosystems globally, with more than 50K startups in various stages of growth. The Indian startup scene boomed in 2021, with as many as 42 startups turning unicorns and 11 getting listed, giving extremely profitable returns to early-stage investors. These developments have increased the lure of angel investing for cash-rich investors in India.
What is Angel investing?
Angel investing refers to the funding raised in the early stages of a startup. It is usually led by individuals, angel investors, or early-stage funds to provide financial backing to an early-stage startup in exchange for equity in the company.
It can be a one-time investment, or it can be in the form of ongoing support, with the smaller amounts being invested in achieving certain milestones. Though angels can invest money at any stage of the business, this often happens at the early stages — seed round and pre-seed funding rounds.
Angel investors take higher risks and expect higher returns than traditional investment options. Many angel investors are actively involved with the business on an everyday basis. They may help the business in not just funding but also in networking, setting up business processes, and providing guidance.
Who are angel investors?
The profile of an angel investor is transforming and changing. Angel investors don’t just fall under the bucket of wealthy individuals. Bankers, lawyers, startup employees with cash, and even salaried corporate employees are joining the bandwagon. An angel investor could be anyone — from family and friends, a serial entrepreneur looking for an investment opportunity to an angel investor via an angel network Also investors should explore how to raise funds for startup business in India.
People like Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal, who have successful startups, are backing other startups as top angel investors in India and providing finance and expertise. Additionally, top corporate executives like Anand Mahindra, as well as celebrities like M.S. Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, and Ayushman Khurana among others are investing in multiple startups mostly in the E-commerce industry.
Advantages of angel funding
- As a startup, you won’t have to worry about returning the money as the angel investors are your partners in profit and loss and will support you throughout.
- Since most angel investors are sophisticated investors, they are in it for the long term and won’t just quit on you early on. They will only seek to invest in opportunities they consider worthwhile having the experience and insight required to deem it so.
- One of the additional advantages as a startup founder is that in addition to the financial backing, you get the advantage of their network and expertise. This is quite helpful to make your business grow.
It is important to understand that all the benefits mentioned also come with a loss of control over your own business. Though, it is a small cost for giving your business a chance to grow at a fast pace.
Currently, India is home to over 50,000-plus startups spread across the country, and the count is only growing. More pertinently, 2021 saw a record 44 startups becoming unicorns. Thus there is a pressing need for angel investing or seed investing in the country amid a growing increase of startups.
India’s top angel investors
- Kunal Shah – Kunal Shah is one of the finest and most successful Entrepreneurs from India. He is the Founder and CEO of Cred. He is an active angel investor and has more than 200 investments in his portfolio, such as Innov8, Spinny, Zepo, Unacademy, and Bharat Bazaar.
- Ramakant Sharma- Ramakant is a seasoned tech entrepreneur and active angel investor with over 15 years of experience in technology-based startups (SaaS, consumer internet, deep tech), and early-stage investments. His strong belief in description through technology and problem solving has been his true guiding star throughout his career. He has been an immensely involved participant in the Indian startup ecosystem — co-founding notable companies such as Livspace — being an angel investor as well as mentoring over forty new startups.
- Binny Bansal – Binny Bansal, the co-founder of e-commerce firm Flipkart, which is now part of the US retail major Walmart, has said that he is more focused on mentoring and investing in startups than being an entrepreneur. Since his time at Flipkart, Bansal has made more than 30 angel investments. Some of his recent investments include a $12.5 million Series-B round in Mobikon, a seven-year-old software startup focused on restaurants and the food and beverage industry. Bansal has also invested in gold loan startup Rupeek and has also backed insurance platform Acko, image-processing firm Terraview, and health startups SigTuple, Niramai, and Pandorum Technologies.
- Varun Alagh – Varun Alagh is the Founder of Chief Dad, and Get Stuff Done Officer at Mamaearth. Additionally, Varun Alagh has had 1 past job as the Senior Brand Manager at The Coca-Cola Company. Varun Alagh has made many investments. Their latest investment was in Nastasia as part of their Series A on December 12, 2021.
- Anupam Mittal – Mr. Anupam Mittal is a Co-Founder and serves as Chief Executive Officer at Shaadi.com. He is a Co-Founder and serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Mauj. He serves as the Board Member and StayAbode. He served as Investment Committee Member at India Quotient. He is the Founder of Shaadi.com. and also serves as its Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director. Valuations of companies where he has invested are booming as Indian e-commerce is hitting the roof with profits. With over 40 investments in Interactive Avenues, Ola Cabs, Druva, Sapience, Pretty Secrets, Café Zoe, and others.
- Sujeet Kumar – Sujeet Kumar is a co-founder of Udaan. Prior to founding Udaan, Sujeet was President of Operations at Flipkart where he built operations, supply chain and logistics which accounted for more than half of Flipkart’s sales. He was instrumental in setting up the backbone of the distribution network of eCommerce in India. Sujeet Kumar made 36 investments. Their latest investment is Series A – Third Wave Coffee in Dec, 2021. Sujeet Kumar invested $6M in Third Wave Coffee.
- Jitendra Gupta – Jitendra is the Founder and MD of Citrus Pay, a leading digital payments company in India. It was recently acquired by PayU (Naspers Group) for US$130m. He has more than 12 years of work experience in the banking and financial services industry and is considered an expert in the payments industry. Prior to Citrus, he was working with ICICI bank for 7 years, wherein he was part of the founding team of the Retail cross-sell and Investment banking division in the bank. Jitendra Gupta made 46 investments. Their latest investment is Seed Round – Zorro on Dec 9, 2021. Jitendra Gupta invested $3.2M in Zorro.
- Lalit Keshre – Lalit Keshre is a businessman and entrepreneur from India. He is the co-founder and CEO of the Indian investment platform Groww. He and his colleagues created a unique business that helps people from India with a tool that is used to develop investment portfolios without being charged a fee for using the services. Groww has become a disruptor in the fintech and financial industry that is changing the way people view and make investments. He has an experienced background that uniquely qualifies him for leadership of the company.
- Sanjay Bansal – Sanjay is an experienced veteran investment banker with over 25+ years and over 150+ transactions under his belt. Over the years Sanjay has developed an expertise in carrying out complex transactions that require an insightful perspective of the client’s business, as well as, the larger environment impacting the client’s decisions.
- Gaurav Munjal – Gaurav Munjal is Co-Founder and CEO at Unacademy and Founder at Flatchat, Unacademy, India’s largest learning platform. Gaurav holds a B.Tech degree in Computer Science from NMIMS University, Mumbai. Gaurav Munjal made 32 investments. Their latest investment is Series A – Trinkerr in Dec 2021. Gaurav Munjal invested $6.6M in Trinkerr.
- Sahil Barua – Sahil Barua is the Co-founder of the much-required E-commerce logistics company – Delhivery. He has done his Mechanical Engineering and then completed his Post Graduation from IIM-B in 2008. He is a former consultant at Bain & Company. He invested in Opinio worth $ 7M with Delhivery as a partner investment firm. Thus, he serves as the Board Member at Opinio. He is an Angel Investor and actively invests in startups. The parent company SSN Logistics Private Limited launched the logistics firm, Delhivery. Moreover, it is backed by Carlyle Group, SoftBank Vision Fund, Tiger Global, and other investors. The venture received the Startup of the Year Award 2019 and has a net worth of Rs. 333 crores.
- Kunal Bahl – Kunal Bahl is an Indian entrepreneur, investor, co-founder, and CEO of the Indian e-commerce company Snapdeal. He graduated from the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology at the University of Pennsylvania, earning two bachelor’s degrees in Entrepreneurship, Operation & Information Management from The Wharton School and Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He finished an executive marketing program at Kellogg School of Management. He has been an active early-stage investor in technology companies and has invested in over 150 startups in India, the US, and South East Asia including unicorns such as Ola, Razorpay, and Urban Company.
- Ritesh Agarwal – Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian entrepreneur Founder, and CEO of OYO Rooms. The 27-year-old entrepreneur from Odisha has been known as the youngest billionaire in the year 2021 in India. He has also received the Business World Young Entrepreneur Award. One of the striking facts about Ritesh Agarwal is that at the age of 25 only, he made many investments in early-stage startups working across the consumer, technology, and leisure infrastructure sector.
- Ashish Gupta – Dr. Ashish Gupta is an entrepreneur, advisor, and strategic angel investor. He co-founded Helion Advisors in 2006 and presently represents Helion Advisors, managing a corpus of $600 million across three funds. He also serves on the boards of several firms including Infoedge, Simplilearn, and Workspot. Before Helion, he was a Venture Partner with Woodside Fund and before that, had co-founded two companies – Tavant Technologies and Junglee.com, which was later acquired by Amazon. He has also worked at Oracle Corporation and IBM. Some of his other investments include RedBus, Mu Sigma, Daksh (IBM), Upwork (UPWK), MakeMyTrip, and Flipkart.
- Ashneer Grover – Ashneer Grover is the founder and CEO of BharatPe, a lending and payments startup that is now valued at over $2.85Bn. He studied B. Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT Delhi. He also went to the University of INSA-Lyon, France for one year. Grover is an active investor, whose portfolio includes at least 23 startups. He has invested in startups like LenDenClub, EasyRewardz, Recko, IndiaGold, and many more.
Angel investors continuously strive to primarily be the first investor in companies. It’s a philosophy that goes beyond investing — it’s about keeping the spirit of entrepreneurship alive.