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Women’s Day Special: Trailblazing Women in Startup Investments

Breaking Barriers and Igniting Change in the Startup Ecosystem

8 March 2023


Jayashri Ghorpade

India produced 3X more unicorns than China in 2022.png
  • Today, many of these women investors, who bring years of experience to the table, have emerged as role models for the youth of the country.

  • With their sights set on the stars and their feet firmly on the ground, these modern-day female investors are as sharp as knives

  • We have collated some of the names making waves in the startup investment world on this International Women's Day here at Xartup.

The high-octane arena of the Indian startup space is witnessing a never-before-seen shift in the investment landscape, with a significant increase in the number of women founders and investors. From Swati Nangalia Mehra of Sixth Sense Ventures, who ventured directly into investing, to founders-turned-investors Ghazal Alagh and Vineeta Singh, these trailblazing women have made their mark in the homegrown startup ecosystem. This is in addition to the veterans such as Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Rekha Menon who have already set examples for many in the past.

According to Anisha Singh, founder of She Capital, several of these women investors have years of experience and are now serving as role models for the youth in India. However, just a few years ago, it was challenging for her to convince people that women could be successful entrepreneurs. She explained that now, after delivering significant returns to investors, people are more excited and accepting of the fact that women can be great business people.

These new-age women investors, as sharp as a knife, have their eyes on the stars while keeping their feet on the ground, charging through with great perseverance and achieving numerous successful exits. They are setting templates to be followed by many in the years to come in India's startup investment space. However, what's truly significant is that women founders and investors possess a crucial element when it comes to building an enterprise and navigating the world of investing.

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On International Women's Day, we at Xartup have compiled a list of women who are shaking up the startup investment world with their unyielding determination to create a fairer tomorrow. As Ruchi Kalra, the cofounder and CFO of B2B building material marketplace OfBusiness, explains, these women are known for their straightforwardness and unwavering commitment to telling it like it is, rather than sugarcoating the truth. Meet the 30 women torchbearers of India's startup investment space who are leaving no stone unturned in their quest for change.

Spearheading the startup investment game in India are these women investors leading the way –

1. Namita Thapar

Namita Thapar, Executive Director of India Business for Emcure, a pharmaceutical company, gained widespread recognition after becoming one of the Sharks on TV show Shark Tank India. With 11 startup deals under her belt, including investments in Medulance, Ubreathe, Snitch, JhaJi Store, and TagZ Foods, among others, Thapar has proven to be a savvy investor. Recently, she invested in ePharmacy when the startup secured INR 2 Cr in funding from multiple investors on Shark Tank India. Namita is a chartered accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and holds an MBA degree from the Fuqua School of Business.

2. Anisha Singh

Founder of women-focused VC firm She Capital, Anisha Singh established the firm in 2020 with the aim of encouraging more women founders to join India's startup ecosystem. Some of the portfolio companies of She Capital include Samosa Singh, Spark Studio, Elev8 Sportz, and Nova Nova. Prior to this, she founded the ecommerce platform MyDala and served as the CEO of B2B startup Kinis Software. Additionally, she worked as a manager with Centra Software. Known for her advocacy for women empowerment and supporting women-focused businesses and startups, she is a prominent voice in this field.

3. Debjani Ghosh

Debjani Ghosh, the current President of NASSCOM - an industry body representing the IT-BPM space, has worked for nearly three decades with Intel Corporation and Yes Bank. In addition to her impressive career, Ghosh has also served as an advisor to FICCI S&T/Innovation Committee and sat on Cisco's India Advisory Board. Ghosh holds an MBA from S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research and completed her graduation in political science from Osmania University.

And many more….

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