Vani Kola is the Managing Director at Kalaari Capital, an early stage venture capital firm based in Bangalore. She is a renowned investor and a visionary known for identifying emerging markets.
When Vani meets entrepreneurs, she typically shoots a rapid-fire round of questions that helps her grasp how well they understand the problem they are trying to solve. It was after one such encounter that a Wharton graduate felt that Vani did not understand his business or was not interested. Then he got a call from Vani with more questions. Soon a deal was signed, which was Kalaari Capital's only new investment in 2009. That entrepreneur was Kunal Bahl, who was then running online coupon venture - Moneysaver. His company has since morphed into Snapdeal.
When it comes to India's e-retailing sector, Vani boasts an enviable record of spotting entrepreneurs capable of building large companies. Kola bet on Mukesh Bansal of Myntra, which was initially a gifts and merchandise website. Myntra became an online fashion retailer and was acquired by Flipkart in 2014, giving Kalaari stake in two of India's largest e-retailers. Her other investments are online furniture retailer UrbanLadder, mobile app developer AppsDaily, and lingerie e-retailer Zivame.