Angel investments are generally earliest equity investments made in startup companies. Angel investors are often former entrepreneurs or professionals and they enjoy working with companies at the earliest stages of business formation. Sometimes angel investors fund startups before the company has a significant number of employees and before there is a completion of a proof of concept of the idea that they intend to commercialise. When you are starting a new business and looking for angel investment, then this post will help you in finding one. Here we have compiled a list of most active angel investors in India.
Top 15 Active Angel Investors In India
This is the country’s oldest network of angel investors, which started in 2006. Last year, it signed 18 term sheets and completed 11 deals in a broad range of companies from food tech startup Mukunda to an online marketplace for co-operative and community-based producersGoCoop. It runs an incubator too and ventured into Sri Lanka and the UK recently.
This one too dates back to 2006 when angel investing was still a new phenomenon in a conservative Indian setup. Adtech company InMobi and fashion eStore Myntra, recently acquired by Flipkart, were some of its early bets. One of its first members was Sasha Mirchandani, who went on to found venture capital firm Kae Capital. Mumbai Angels made 14 investments last year.
India-based Harvard alumni formed this network in Bangalore in 2011. They have been mostly focused on tech startups in Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi. What differentiates them is the strength of the alumni network, which has chapters in several countries. The HBS Angels annual conference in Silicon Valley brings together global chapter leaders for sharing and collaboration.
This is another angel network with a proven track record. It has become more active recently, with seven startup investments last year, from bus ticketing platform TicketGoose and edtech startup Skyfi Labs to bioinformatics company Xcode. Chennai is also the home of IIT Madras, (Indian Institute of Technology, Madras) which acts as a hub for technopreneurs.
Another regional angel network growing fast is in Hyderabad, the capital of the recently formed state of Telangana. The Telangana government is committed to promoting a startup hub in a part of Hyderabad that is known as Cyberabad. Local activity and tour discovery platform Thrillophilia is one of the companies Hyderabad Angels invested in last year.
This one is an institutional investor but its focus on pre-revenue early stage startups makes it more like an angel. Started by Anand Lunia, who was earlier with Seedfund, India Quotient has made recent investments in consumer-oriented companies like property portal Grabhouse and pet network Dogspot.
Again this is a venture capital firm that is focused on early stage investments, and it had some big-ticket ones like RedBus. One of the co-founders is Mahesh Murthy, a familiar figure in the Indian startup ecosystem and prolific writer. He went from selling vacuum cleaners to becoming a creative director in advertising before striking it rich in Silicon Valley.
Talking of individual angels, one of the best known is Sharad Sharma, former R&D head of Yahoo! India. Investments in rising data backup and analytics firms like Druva and PeelWorks show his tech focus. He is also one of the most active evangelists in the Indian startup ecosystem, being a co-founder of iSPIRT (Indian Software Product Industry Round Table).
The Google India MD – who is of Sri Lankan origin – is also one of the most experienced individual angel investors in India. He has backed more than 40 Indian startups, the most recent one being SocialCops, which provides data analytics for a better administration of welfare schemes. A number of companies in his portfolio have a social focus.
He chairs the product council of NASSCOM, the country’s biggest software industry association. Gururaj has been a successful entrepreneur himself with two exits from startups that were acquired by US companies. He is now a leading member on several angel platforms. His current focus is on driving the 10000 Startups program backed by NASSCOM and Google.
After retiring as the chairman of the $100 billion Tata Group, India’s one of the most respected businessmen Mr. Ratan Tata is building a different avatar as India’s newest angel investor for startup companies. He has already invested in Grameen Capital, Paytm, CarDekho, Swasth India, Urban Ladder, Bluestone etc.
Founding member of the People Group, that owns established business entities like shaadi.com, makaan.com, Mauj Mobile and People Pictures. Anupam likes to back businesses that have huge market potential backed by a strong experienced core team. His key interest areas are SaaS, consumer internet, mobile, and marketplaces
He is an active member of Indian Angel Network, Mumbai Angels, B2B 1K Ventures and Venture Nursery. Sanjay Mehta is sector agnostic and generally invests in the idea and the team. Sanjay is also the founder of CIO Angel Network (CAN). He brought almost 50 IT Heads of prominent Indian companies on the common platform to invest and mentor in their individual capacity. His key interest areas are marketing automation, productivity, consumer services, and technology.
He is a member of Indian Angel Network and founding member and Board of Governor, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES). His key interest areas are technology, education, healthcare, logistics, eCommerce, and mobile
Rajesh is the co-founder of InnerChef, India’s fastest growing food tech platform. Rajesh is also the founder of GSF, India’s leading multi-city Tech-Startup Accelerator for the brightest tech startups in India. GSF provides tech startups mentorship from celebrated digital founders, initial capital, and global exposure. His key interest areas are technology, internet, mobile, digital media and ad-tech.