Vani Kola emphasised that the two firms shared a “common enthusiasm” for investments in startups
Kalaari Capital also announced an investment in four startups, including Simplicontract, Muzigal
Reliance has acquired four of Kalaari’s portfolio companies, including Embibe, ZivaMe, Haptik and others
Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has come on as an anchor limited partner (LP) in Kalaari Capital’s fourth fund, the venture capital firm’s founder and managing director Vani Kola informed startup founders and investors in an email. Kola also highlighted that the VC firm has recently invested in SaaS startup Zluri and Simplicontract, music learning platform Muzigal and health and wellness company Chara.
The $2 Mn investment in Zluri was announced on January 15, 2021, while the other deals are still unannounced. Kola, in the email accessed by ET, also highlighted that Kalaari Capital has onboarded investment principals such as Kiran Vasireddy, Vamshi Reddy and Ravinder Singh.
While announcing Reliance’s position as an anchor LP, Kola said, “I [Vani Kola] felt it was important to discover and develop the Indian LP base for the long-term viability of our industry. My interactions with RIL [Reliance Industries Limited] senior management inspired me to request them to consider being an LP at Kalaari… Their thorough diligence, fair terms and transparent process met our expectations of a blue-chip LP.”
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Kola emphasised that the two firms shared a “common enthusiasm” for investments in startups and the digital development of India. She also elaborated that Kalaari’s limited partners (LP) are financial investors and have no special right in the portfolio companies. The fund offers standard investment terms to founders, removing any onerous burden on their path to building successful businesses.
Last month, ET reported that Reliance Industries’ digital venture Jio Platform is looking to invest 200 Mn in the fourth fund of Kalaari Capital and pour more capital into the Indian startups ecosystem. The report noted that Jio has already invested about $100 Mn so far and has committed to infuse another $100 Mn by next year.
The venture capital firm Kalaari Capital was founded in 2011 has made 92 investments to date across three funds leading to about 15 successful exits from companies like Myntra, Dream11, Medplus and Snapdeal. Interestingly, Reliance has acquired four of Kalaari’s portfolio companies, including edtech startup Embibe in 2018, online lingerie retailer Zivame in 2020, AI-powered chatbot Haptik in 2019 and online furniture startup Urban Ladder in 2020.
Reliance may also be on its way to make the fifth acquisition from Kalaari’s portfolio. After the venture capital firm’s forceful exit from the cap table, the hyperlocal and dairy delivery startup have no option but to resume talks with Reliance for an acquisition deal but at a lower valuation.