|Education||Osmania University, Arizona State University|
|Known for||Venture capital in India|
Vani Kola is an Indian venture capitalist. She was listed as one of the most powerful women in Indian Business by Fortune India. She is the founder and Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, one of India's leading early stage venture capital firms.
Early life and education
Vani was born and educated in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana), India. She commenced her post-secondary education at age 16, and holds degrees in electrical engineering, having obtained a Bachelor of Science from Osmania University and a Master of Science from Arizona State University.
Silicon Valley career
During her 22-year career in Silicon Valley, Vani was the founder and CEO of Certus Software. Prior to establishing Certus, Vani was the founder and chief executive officer of RightWorks, an e-procurement company that was acquired by ICG and subsequently by i2 Technologies.
Venture capital in India
Having been an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley for 22 years, Vani returned to India in 2006. Her initial venture into venture capital in India, in partnership with New Enterprise Associates (NEA), was IndoUS Advisors (IUVP) which in 2012 was re-branded as Kalaari Capital without the participation of NEA. Kalaari Capital began operations as a US$150 million fund in September 2012. Under Vani's leadership, the firm has grown to have US$650 million assets under management as of 2017.
At Kalaari, she works with entrepreneurs to build global companies, focused on technology, leveraging India's domestic growth to create high growth enterprises. Vani has led investments in e-commerce, mobile services, education and healthcare. Some of Kola's notable venture capital successes include: Dream11, Cure.fit, Snapdeal, Myntra, VIA, Urban Ladder, Power2SME among others.
Kstart is Kalaari's seed fund initiative, designed for the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs. With a singular focus to enable visionary founders to build game-changing businesses, it seeks to establish long-term relationships with founders, by providing an integrated platform to maximize impact and reduce time to market. KStart has currently invested in AffordPlan, Active.ai, Vernacular.ai, Signzy, Stanplus, Perpule 1Pay among others.
In February 2015, Ratan Tata took an advisory role at the firm. To create differentiated value for portfolio companies, Kalaari also brought on industry stalwarts such as Ravi Venkatesan and Ram Gupta.
Awards and recognition
Won TiE Delhi-NCR 5th Edition of Women Entrepreneurship Summit Award on 20 July 2018, in Delhi. As part of the first ever startup awards launched by Economic Times, Vani was awarded the Midas touch award for best investor in 2015. She also won the NDTV Women of Worth award for leadership excellence in business and entrepreneurship.
Vani meditates daily and spends time with her husband and two daughters. She believes in sustainable living and grows enough produce in her garden to meet her family's needs. She was an avid hiker and runner who has tackled marathons and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Currently she practices yoga devotedly and aspires to teach it one day.
- "Vani Kola Listed in Fortune most powerful women in Indian Business" (November 2014). Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "ET Startup Awards 2015: Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital wins Midas touch award for best investor". 14 August 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Vani Kola: Executive Profile & Biography". Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "IndoUS Venture rebrands as Kalaari Capital; closes $150M fund" (VCCircle). 28 September 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
Though the investment strategy of IUVP fund and Kalaari will be similar, this is a rebranding for IUVP which would help it to bring in fresh ideas and focus on the Indian market, said Vani Kola, managing director, Kalaari Capital Advisors.
- Kola, Vani. "Women at Work: The Race Gets Easier" (20 November 2014). Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "Venture capital firm Kalaari Capital closes $150 mn fund" (September 2012). Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- Kola, Vani. "Meet venture capital pioneer Vani Kola" (March 2015). Business Standard. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "Portfolio". Kstart. 31 March 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- Capital, Kalaari. "Ratan Tata turns adviser to VC fund" (February 2015). Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "Ratan Tata joins Kalaari Capital's advisory board" (February 2015). Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- Capital, Kalaari. "Ratan Tata signs up with Kalaari Capital in advisory role" (February, 2015). Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "Global Newsletter – July 2018 – TiE – Global Entrepreneurship Organization". tie.org. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- "Midas Touch award for best investor Vani Kola Kalaari Capital" (12 October 2015). Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- "Meet venture capital pioneer Vani Kola". 7 March 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2018.