Vani Kola

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Vani Kola
Vani Kola - Indian Venture Capitalist.jpg
EducationOsmania University, Arizona State University
OccupationVenture Capitalist
Known forVenture 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.[1] She is the founder and Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, one of India's leading early stage venture capital firms.

Early life and education[edit]

Vani was born and educated in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana), India.[2] She holds degrees in electrical engineering, having obtained a Bachelor of Engineering from Osmania University and a Master of Engineering from Arizona State University.[3]

Silicon Valley career[edit]

During her 22-year career in Silicon Valley, Vani was the founder and CEO of Certus Software.[3] Prior to establishing Certus, Vani was the founder and CEO of RightWorks.[3]

Venture capital in India[edit]

Having been an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley for 22 years, Vani returned to India in 2006. Her initial undertaking 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.[4][5] Kalaari Capital began operations as a US$150 million fund in September 2012.[6] Under Vani's leadership, the firm has grown to have US$650 million in 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,, Snapdeal, Myntra among others.[7]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Recognised as one of the Most Powerful Women in Indian Business (Forbes, 2014), she has won TiE Delhi-NCR 5th Edition of Women Entrepreneurship Summit Award on 20 July 2018, in Delhi.[8] As part of the first-ever startup awards launched by Economic Times, Vani was awarded the Midas touch award for the best investor in 2015.[9] She also won the NDTV Women of Worth award for leadership excellence in business and entrepreneurship. She has been identified as one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2016.[10] She has been profiled in numerous books and has been named as one of Fortune India's 'Most Powerful Women in Business' twice in 2018[11] and 2019.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Vani is married and has 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. She meditates daily and has been a Heartfulness meditation practitioner for over two decades.[13]. Currently, she practices Ashtanga yoga devotedly.


ACT Grants[edit]

In response to the Covid19 crisis, ACT Grants, a not for profit initiative coalition of entrepreneurs and VCs was setup in April 2020 to combat the crisis. Vani, along with other senior leaders have been spearheading this initiative. ACT Grants, which already has a corpus of ₹100 crores, has supported 50 different ventures. [14]

Heartfulness Foundation[edit]

Vani is also a Heartfulness trainer and is actively involved in supporting the Heartfulness Foundation, a non-profit organisation focussed on human transformation through yoga and meditation. [15]

Women Leadership[edit]

Vani is committed to helping more women along the path of entrepreneurship and enables them to be pathmakers in their own unique ways. Women leadership is a cause close to heart and Vani has been actively engaged in Women Entrepreneurship in India, Call for Women Pathmakers. She has such as "Together for Change" and collaborative discussions with SoftBank on role models for women and key success factors and lessons learned.


  1. ^ "Vani Kola Listed in Fortune most powerful women in Indian Business" (November 2014). Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  2. ^ "ET Startup Awards 2015: Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital wins Midas touch award for best investor". 14 August 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Vani Kola: Executive Profile & Biography". Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ Kola, Vani. "Women at Work: The Race Gets Easier" (20 November 2014). Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Venture capital firm Kalaari Capital closes $150 mn fund" (September 2012). Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  7. ^ Kola, Vani. "Meet venture capital pioneer Vani Kola" (March 2015). Business Standard. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Global Newsletter – July 2018 – TiE – Global Entrepreneurship Organization". Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Midas Touch award for best investor Vani Kola Kalaari Capital" (12 October 2015). Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  10. ^ "The Top 7 Influencers of LinkedIn in India this year you should start following today". Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  11. ^ "MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN INDIA 2018". Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  12. ^ "MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN INDIA 2019". Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  13. ^ "A DAILY HABIT". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  14. ^ "ACT Grants to offer financial muscle to hundreds of health-centric desi firms". Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  15. ^ "A DAILY HABIT". Retrieved 2 April 2018.

External links[edit]