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The Desi VC is a weekly podcast hosted by Akash Bhat, devoted to interviewing angel investors and venture capitalists investing in tech startups in India across all sectors and of all check sizes. Tune in to hear India's leading investors discuss current trends in venture capital and touch upon topics such as fund-raising, valuation, pricing, business models, exit scenarios, sustainable investing among others. About the host: Akash Bhat works on the investment team at Scrum Ventures, a San F ...
 
Hi, my name is Akash Kalra and I am a writer and the host of the freshest and the edgiest podcast of Delhi; Bear With Kalra. Tune in to laugh at my stories, learn from the star-studded guest lineup, and discover new up and coming musicians from Delhi and beyond at the end of every episode. If you think laughter is the best medicine, then I am bringing you the whole damn pharmacy!
 
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Monica heads the Wadhwani NEN and Inspire programs of the Foundation. An education entrepreneur (2000-2009), she completed her MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Prior to joining the Foundation, Monica was a Director at Omidyar Network, where she spearheaded the education/skill investments and grants in India. Monica has also been th…
 
Salone has 14+ years of experience as an interactive media VC investor, game entrepreneur and ex M&A banker. She has seen companies from different vantage points ranging from seed to IPO stage. Prior to Lumikai, she was a Principal at LVP, Europe’s pioneering seed stage games VC where she was involved with multiple companies in the gaming ecosystem…
 
Kunal is a serial entrepreneur & investor with 20+ years of global experience. His previous ventures include Carnation (exit to Mahindra Group), Laurus Labs (IPO NSE & BSE), Aptuit Inc., InfoPro Solutions Inc. (exit to Aptuit), Razorfish and Vodafone. Kunal has completed his Economic (Hons) from Delhi University, MBA from FSM and MS from Northweste…
 
Kiran is the Principal at UTEC (Japan), a $550M deep-tech VC firm affiliated with The University of Tokyo. Since joining UTEC in 2018, Kiran has led investments of close to $25M in frontier science & deep-tech companies incl. Tricog, OPALai (SG/FinTech AI), Bugworks Research, and Agara. Before joining UTEC, Kiran was the head of India/SEA Operation…
 
Empathy is going to become a key undertone of investing. Investors who have run companies and raised capital bring empathy that an investor coming from a consulting background just can’t. Founders are becoming smarter about who they raise capital from. On this panel, Siya Raj Purohit (General Partner, Pathway Ventures), Revant Bhate (CEO, Mosaic We…
 
The startup ecosystem in India remains robust and is rapidly growing. The Indian government introduced several regulatory programs to boost the Indian startup ecosystem. Flagship programs such as StartupIndia, Digital India and the Alternative Investment Policy Advisory Committee continue to improve the economic landscape for startups and investors…
 
Vinod Shankar is the Co-Founder and Partner at Java Capital, an investment syndicate investing in sectors such as healthtech, consumer internet, deep tech, SaaS and EdTech. Prior to founding Java Capital, Vinod was the Associate Vice President at Kalaari Capital and before that was the Head of Sales & Marketing at Just Books Inc. In this episode we…
 
Pratik Poddar is the Principal at Nexus Venture Partners. As an entrepreneur turned VC, Pratik is excited about working alongside technology entrepreneurs to create an impact on the lives of millions of people in India. He is most passionate about consumer, community/content, education, e-commerce, financial services, and healthcare startups. Prior…
 
Mayank Mittal, the lead singer of an indie rock band, KAPOW! is here for the very first purely guest based episode. Learn how to make it as an independent musician, why the grass isn't always greener on the other side, and why Mayank doesn't like to read music history and why selfish good deeds ain't so bad. End the episode with two spectacular liv…
 
Did you ever hear a Rap verse and just fell in love with Hip Hop? Well, then this episode is for you. Join me as I deep dive into the vast ocean of Hip Hop with my friend and music enthusiast Akshit Mathur. End the episode with 3 live songs from Dhanji who is an upcoming Independent artist with 5 mix tapes released in 2020. Stream episode 4 now!!…
 
In this episode of Bear with Kalra, hear why I think LinkedIn is probably the fakest social media platform there is. Hear about a real-life crazy Deja Vu moment that will probably affect you too. And finally, hear a full rant on why I am wary of technical innovation. At the end of the episode, we have an Independent artist, Trumpcard performing his…
 
Tune in to the very first guest based episode of Bear with Kalra. In this episode, you'll get to know why I hate that the pandemic is now over. Why Akshat believes that Bollywood has made Indian dads look bad. Why Tamasha ruined an entire generation and why you should not think of making a career out of every passion you think you have. And finally…
 
Strap on (ladies calm down) your seat belts as the roller coaster ride has just begun. Welcome to the very first episode of Bear with Kalra. In this bonus, sort of a prologue episode of my series, join me as I explain why this podcast exists. Why this will be the highest-charting podcast by the end of this year and what can expect from future episo…
 
Adith Podhar is the Managing Partner at Gemba Capital, a fund which invests in angel rounds of tech firms focused on India consumption and cross-border SaaS. Prior to Gemba, Adith has worked at Motilal Oswal PE fund in Mumbai, and spent time at ICICI as a Product Manager. Follow Adith (@adithpodhar), host Akash Bhat (@bhatvakash) and our podcast (@…
 
Munish Randev is the Founder & CEO at Cervin Family Office. He brings in over 25 years of experience in investment management and family offices. He has advised over 80 families with over $3.2B in financial assets and has worked with many business families in structuring their family governance platforms. Well known in the Indian investment industr…
 
Kris Gopalakrishnan is the co-founder and former CEO of Infosys, and currently serves as the chairman of Axilor Ventures, an early-stage seed fund based out of Bangalore. He is recognized as a global business and technology thought leader and was voted the top CEO (IT Services category) in Institutional Investor’s inaugural ranking of Asia’s Top Ex…
 
Rahul Chandra is the Co-founder and Managing Partner at Arkam Ventures, an early-stage fund partnering aimed at Middle India –– the 400 million people just below the top of the pyramid. He was one of the earliest tech VCs in India, starting in 1998 as part of the team at Walden International's India-focused fund. He later moved to Palo Alto to inve…
 
Venk Krishnan is the founder of NuWare and NuVentures. NuVentures is an early stage venture fund based out of Bangalore which has backed companies such as MuSigma, BigBasket, Acko, Pocket Aces, Thrillophilia among others. Follow Venk Krishnan (@krishnanVenk), host Akash Bhat (@bhatvakash) and the podcast (@thedesi_vc) on Twitter. . . . The Desi Sta…
 
Rohit Goyal is the Manager Partner at Windrose Capital, a Pune based early stage VC firm investing in India’s fast-transforming economy. He has entrepreneurial experience in Manufacturing & Technology and has set-up companies in & outside India, with people from China, Sri Lanka, UK & Germany. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Engineering (Electronic…
 
Srikanth Sundararajan is the General partner at VenturEast, an India focused fund that helps tech startups looking to go global from India across segments like education, health, financial services, agritech, and Enterprise SaaS. Srikanth has 25+ years of international experience in the software product and services having worked at HP, Informix in…
 
Sasha Mirchandani is Managing Director and Founder of Kae Capital and Co-founder Mumbai Angels. Previously, he was at Blue Run Ventures as Managing Director for the India operations. Before joining Blue Run Ventures he was CEO and Founder of Imercius Technologies. Earlier he was at Mirc Electronics (Onida) where he was Head of Corporate Affairs and…
 
Utsav Somani is a Partner at AngelList India and General Partner at iSeed (a seed-stage fund looking to bridge successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and Indian founders in the search of money as well as the expertise and knowledge of scaling up a startup). Follow Utsav (@somani_utsav), host Akash (@bhatvakash) and our podcast (@thedesi_vc) on Twi…
 
Rutvik Doshi is the General Partner at Inventus Capital India, early stage Venture Capital firm that invests in Pre Series A and Series A. Rutvik has participated in India’s fast emerging internet ecosystem since 2007, first with Google where he launched several products including Voice Search, Google Mobile App, SMS Channels and managed Google New…
 
Vinay Bansal is the CEO at Inflection Point Ventures, an early stage angel investing platform. He is a finance professional and turnaround specialist with 20+ years of experience across Fortune 50 companies, private equity & startups. Last, he was Senior Advisor at TPG Global and before that CFO & CIO at Wildcraft India. He is a Chartered Accountan…
 
Melissa Frakman is the founder & managing partner of Emphasis Ventures (EMVC), a venture capital fund investing in early-stage fintech startups in India. She brings 15 years of experience participating in India’s digital revolution to bridge worlds for entrepreneurs and companies. Named on the “Global Fintech PowerList” by Innovate Finance, Melissa…
 
Pankaj Jain is an angel investor and Ex-Partner at 500 Startups, a California-based seed fund and accelerator program. Pankaj focuses on investing in early stage startups across India, United States, and South Asia and has led investments in over fifty companies. Pankaj spent over 12 years in the Financial industry at firms such as JP Morgan, Long-…
 
Ankur Warikoo is an angel investor, entrepreneur, mentor and public speaker. He co-founded Nearbuy.com in 2015, where he served as the CEO from 2015-2019. Ankur was previously the CEO of Groupon India + APAC, MD of at Rocket Internet India, Co-founder at Accentium Web, and a management consultant at A.T. Kearney. He also holds an MBA degree from Th…
 
Shruti Gandhi is the founder and General Partner of Array Ventures a data-driven venture capital firm. Six of her portfolio companies have exited to companies such as Apple, Paypal, and Samsung with 10x returns. Shruti spun Array Ventures out of True Ventures. She is also an adjunct professor in the CS department at Columbia University, featured on…
 
Chinnu Senthilkumar is the General Partner and CTO at Exfinity Venture Partners, an Enterprise Tech focused VC fund with an emphasis on startups in the US-India corridor. Prior to Exfinity, Chinnu held Senior Executive roles at Intel, SanDisk and Texas Instruments, both in the US and India. In the capacity of SanDisk’s Country Head, Chinnu spearhea…
 
Anup Jain is the managing partner at Orios Venture Partners, a VC firm investing in B2B and B2C startups with offices in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. Anup leads their FMCG and Retail investments and has over 20 years of experience of building brands across countries and categories. Follow Anup (@AnupOrios), host Akash Bhat (@bhatvakash) and the pod…
 
Sushma Kaushik is a Partner at Aavishkaar Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm currently deploying out of its 6th fund and has close to half a billion dollars in AUM. She has over 18 years of diverse experience in the field of early stage investing, small business incubation and consulting across sectors. She is an engineering graduate from…
 
Piyush Puri leads the Brand Capital International team in Silicon Valley as Vice President of BWI, the strategic investment arm of The Times Group – India’s largest multimedia conglomerate. Before leading Brand Capital’s US office, Piyush was an investment banker in Mumbai, India focusing on investments in the energy, ancillaries, and the environme…
 
Rohan Malhotra is the co-founder and Managing Partner at Good Capital, a Delhi-based early stage fund which takes a bottom-up approach to problem-solving and values first-principles thinking. Prior to Good Capital, he co-founded Investopad, a seed-stage technology incubator that focused on ventures that were centered on solving India-centric proble…
 
Vinod Murali is Managing Partner and Co-founder of Alteria Capital. Vinod has 15+ years of experience spanning Venture Debt, Mezzanine Capital & Structured finance, Corporate Banking and Branding. Prior to Alteria, he spent time as the Deputy CEO at InnoVen Capital India (prev. known as SVB India Finance), and before that, at Citigroup as part of t…
 
Alex Lazarow is the Investment Director at Cathay Innovation. Prior to joining Cathay Innovation, Alex was a Principal at Omidyar Network, a global philanthropic investment firm. While at Omidyar, he focused on investments in the global FinTech and financial inclusion space across the U.S., Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. He is also an a…
 
Pankaj Makkar is the Managing Director, Bertelsmann India Investments, a strategic investment arm of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA in India, focusing on investments in the digital, education, media and services sectors. He’s spent his career at Astro, Univision and has been at Bertelsmann for the last decade. He holds a B.Comm Hons. from Delhi Universi…
 
Ankita Vashistha is the Founder and Managing Partner at Saha Fund, a fund that invests in early stage tech-startups run by women entrepreneurs. Ankita comes with a background finance having spent time working in venture capital and private equity before co-founding Saha Fund along with her partner, Usha Amin. Follow Saha Fund (@sahafund) and host A…
 
Ishpreet Singh Gandhi is the Founder and Managing Partner at Stride Ventures, a venture-debt fund focused on lending to growth-stage startups with investments in companies such as Bira and Stellapps. He brings over 13 years of experience encompassing Banking, Private Equity and Venture Capital. During his last stint as Regional Head (North & East) …
 
Ritu Verma is one of the co-founders at Ankur Capital. She is passionate about bringing innovation from lab to the market and did that for a decade across corporates such as Unilever and Philips. She has also worked globally investing in IP-led renewable technologies. She has a PhD in physics from University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from INSEAD. …
 
Bhaskar is the Founder and Managing Partner at Unicorn India Ventures. In the past decade, Bhaskar has established himself as a well-regarded early stage investor and advisor, especially in the UK and India. He has held senior corporate positions with Times of India, Zee Telefilms and Altavista UK. In 2000, he started his first entrepreneurial vent…
 
Mark Kahn is the Managing Partner at Omnivore, a venture capital firm which funds entrepreneurs building the future of agriculture and food systems. Mark co-founded Omnivore in 2010 with Jinesh Shah, ex-CFO at Nexus Venture Partners. Previously, Mark was the Executive Vice President (Strategy & Business Development) at Godrej Agrovet, and also had …
 
Abhishek Prasad is the Managing Partner at Cornerstone Venture Partners (CSVP), an early-stage fund focused on backing startups that are ‘technology enablers’ in India and abroad. A few of the companies within their portfolio include Intelligence Node, Wizgo, Credit Nirvana and Smart Ship. Abhishek is an IIM-B alumnus, committee member at NASSCOM a…
 
Sajith Pai is the Director at Blume Venture. Sajith is a long-time media executive turned VC. At Blume, Sajith supports investments in media, edtech and e-commerce, while simultaneously helping Blume building a research and knowledge platform. Before Blume, Sajith worked at The Times of India Group, across roles in strategy, business development an…
 
Rama Bethmangalkar is the Director at Qualcomm Ventures. He joined Qualcomm with 17 years of experience spanning technology investing, R&D and product management. Previously, he was Principal at Ventureast, a premier VC firm in India. His current interests include enterprise software, IoT, and machine learning among the emerging technologies. Prior…
 
Karan Mohla is Executive Director and Head of Consumer Media & Technology sector at Chiratae Ventures where he heads the sector focus and strategy on Consumer Media & Technology investments. He has been investing in Indian companies since 2009 and has over 15 years of experience in the technology industry across India and the US. Prior to Chiratae …
 
Dheeraj Jain is the Founder and Managing Partner at Redcliffe Capital, an investment firm focusing on innovative, technology businesses in global markets. Dheeraj has invested in over 32 startups including PeeSafe, LifCare, The Man Company, Drivezy, Coho, Coutloot and Qdesq, among others. He’s also had some notable exits along the way, namely Innov…
 
Anirudh Damani is the Managing Partner at Artha Venture Fund, an early-stage sector agnostic fund that has been investing in start-ups since early 2012. The fund is co-sponsored by Artha Group of Companies (the family office of Mr. Ashok Kumar Damani and Mr. Ramesh M Damani, both ex-Directors of the Bombay Stock Exchange) and Singularity Holdings. …
 
Pranav Pai is the Founding Partner at 3one4 Capital, an early-stage VC firm based in Bangalore focused on investing in select market categories such as D2C, Media & Content, Fintech, Enterprise Automation and Deep Tech. Some of their portfolio companies include YourStory, Tracxn, DarwinBox, FairCent, MagicCrate among many others. Pranav is deeply i…
 
Dev Bajaj is a Venture Partner at Kalaari Capital, an early-stage, technology-oriented VC firm headquartered in Bangalore, India. Prior to joining Kalaari, Dev founded MITRA, one of India’s largest AgTech startups. Dev built and led a team of 150 people to sell 4 different patented technologies. In 2018, Mahindra & Mahindra, the largest tractor com…
 
Naganand Doraswamy is the Founder and Managing Partner at Ideaspring Capital, a venture capital firm investing in early stage enterprise (B2B/B2B2C) technology startups. Naganand is a former entrepreneur with a successful exit under his belt. He previously co-founded and built Span Infotech before its acquisition by Evry, a Norwegian IT services co…
 
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