Investing in Change: 5 Women Investors Driving Innovation in 2023

Women Investors

Venture capital is seeing a refreshing change as more and more women step up to the plate and reshape the investment landscape.

In India, where the startup ecosystem is thriving, we’re witnessing the rise of incredible women investors who fearlessly envision and drive innovation, paving the way for a brighter entrepreneurial future.

Let’s dive into the stories of six remarkable women investors who are making a significant impact in the Indian venture capital industry this year.

1. Anisha Singh- Founding Partner, SheCapital

Anisha Singh is a visionary entrepreneur and venture capitalist,who’s making waves in India’s startup ecosystem.

She is the brain behind SheCapital, an initiative that aims to foster a space for women investors and support businesses with great potential for growth.

Back in 2020, she established SheCapital – a women focused venture capital fund dedicated to nurturing and investing in women led-startups, where one co-founder is a woman or an executive with an equity interest.

Her goal is to level the playing field and ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive in the business world.

Anisha’s impressive portfolio comprises notable companies such as Samosa Singh, Spark Studio, Elev8 Sportz, and Nova Nova, exemplifying her dedication to endorsing innovative businesses with a women-centric approach.

With a proven track record as the founder of MyDala, a flourishing e-commerce platform, and her leadership positions at Kinis Software and Centra Software, Anisha brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role as a venture capitalist.

She is a vocal advocate for women’s empowerment, consistently inspiring and supporting businesses and startups with a focus on women through her initiatives and public engagements.

2. Seema Chaturvedi- Founder & Managing Partner, AWE Funds

Seema Chaturvedi, the Founder and Managing Partner of Achieving Women Equity Funds, strongly advocates for the importance of investing in women.

She firmly believes that supporting and funding women is not only a morally sound decision but also a wise investment strategy.

With a rich experience spanning over 25 years in capital markets and financial management, Seema recognizes the significance of achieving gender equity in the realm of entrepreneurship.

She firmly emphasises the importance of ensuring equal opportunities and representation for all genders in the entrepreneurial landscape.

Seema’s mission is crystal clear: she aims to foster gender equity in India by empowering 30 million women to gain autonomy and control over their lives by the year 2030.

This noble objective led to the establishment of AWE (Achieving Women Equity) Funds, a platform dedicated to supporting and uplifting women in their pursuit of economic empowerment.

Seema suggests that women in leadership positions should seek out a reliable network of individuals who can assist them in accomplishing their objectives.

She advises surrounding oneself with trustworthy individuals who possess strong values and sound judgement.

Additionally, she encourages finding mentors with relevant experiences that can provide guidance and assist in expediting one’s progress.

3. Vani Kola – Founder & CEO, Kalaari Capital

Vani Kola is actually a well-known Indian Venture Capitalist and entrepreneur. She’s the founder and CEO of Kalaari Capital, a venture capital firm based in Bangalore, India.

Vani has had a remarkable track record, both in India and Silicon Valley, USA, where she has been involved in successful entrepreneurial ventures. 

She’s also passionate about mentoring budding entrepreneurs, especially in the tech industry in India. Kalaari Capital, under the leadership of Vani Kola, has emerged as a prominent player in the investment landscape.

Their impressive portfolio boasts over 50 successful companies in the domains of E-commerce, Mobile Services, and Healthcare.

With a remarkable track record, Vani Kola has successfully secured a staggering $650 million in funding and holds significant stakes in over 60 start-ups.

Notable names among their portfolio include industry giants like Flipkart and Snapdeal, solidifying their position as key players in the investment ecosystem.

Vani Kola’s passion for entrepreneurship, her keen eye for disruptive technologies, and her commitment to empowering founders have established her as a prominent figure in the Indian venture capital industry.

Her contributions continue to shape and elevate the startup landscape, inspiring entrepreneurs and fostering innovation across the country.

4. Aarti Gupta- Chief Investment Officer, DBR Ventures

Aarti Gupta serves as the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) at DBR Ventures, a venture capital firm. She manages the family office of DM Gupta and holds the position of National Head at the FICCI FLO Startup Cell.

Throughout 2022, she actively engaged in investment transactions involving SpeakIn, an educational technology startup, and Medyseva, a healthcare technology startup.

Aarti Gupta previously held a prominent position as the Senior Chairperson of the FICCI FLO Kanpur Chapter. She obtained a PhD from IIT Kanpur and completed her postgraduate studies in economics at Northwestern University.

Aarti embarked on her investment journey in 2017, and to date, she has made investments in four technology-driven startups that operate in various sectors such as healthcare technology, education technology, food technology, and waste management.

Aarti’s approach involves providing substantial support to startup founders, assisting them in building their ventures and securing funding.

She is also deeply passionate about promoting financial literacy among professionals and homemakers.

5. Anjali Bansal- Founder & Chairperson, Avaana Capital

Anjali Bansal, the Founder and Chairperson of Avaana Capital, has been actively involved in investment activities within the Indian startup ecosystem.

In 2022, Avaana Capital provided funding to four Indian startups, including BambooBox, Gold Setu, and Groyyo, as reported by Inc42.

Apart from these mentioned startups, Anjali Bansal has made investments in several other ventures, including Delhivery, Urban Company, Darwinbox, and Nykaa, among others.

Presently, Bansal serves as a member of the ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) steering committee.

She holds board positions in prominent Indian companies such as Tata Power, Nestle India, and Piramal Enterprises. Throughout her career, she has also gained experience working with TPG Growth, Spencer Stuart, McKinsey, and Dena Bank.

Boosting women’s presence in the venture capital ecosystem goes beyond just evening out the opportunities—it’s about unlocking the industry’s complete potential.

When we dismantle barriers, encourage more women to participate, back women-led startups, and foster mentorship and networks, the VC landscape gains access to a vast well of innovation, expansion, and profitability.

Embracing diversity and inclusivity isn’t simply a polite gesture—it’s a clever decision that will result in superior returns and build a more promising, fairer future for all involved.

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