Ronnie Screwvala, cofounder of upGrad, and Radhika Gupta, CEO, Edelweiss Mutual Fund, Acko’s Varun Dua have joined Shark Tank India as the new sharks
Season three, currently in production, also features OYO’s Ritesh Agarwal, Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal, and Azhar Iqubal of Inshorts as sharks
Besides, returning sharks include boAt’s Aman Gupta, Anupam Mittal of Shaadi.com, SUGAR’s Vineeta Singh, Peyush Bansal of Lenskart and Amit Jain of CarDekho
upGrad cofounder and chairperson Ronnie Screwvala, Edelweiss Mutual Fund CEO Radhika Gupta, and Acko’s Varun Dua, have joined Shark Tank India as the new sharks, for the upcoming third season. This brings up the total number to 12 this season.
Season three, currently in production, also features Ritesh Agarwal (founder and Group CEO of Oyo Rooms), Deepinder Goyal (founder and CEO of Zomato), and Azhar Iqubal (cofounder and CEO of Inshorts) as sharks.
Gupta serves as the CEO and managing director at Edelweiss Mutual Fund since 2017. Under her leadership, the company has grown into one of India’s leading mutual fund houses.
On the announcement, Gupta tweeted, “Founded a company. Building another one. And investing in many others that are building the India of tomorrow. Love everything about entrepreneurship and want to do everything to cheer for those who are building this country. This weekend at Shark Tank India is just about that. Super excited to learn, share and be part of the magic of new.”
She further clarified on X that her investments in Shark Tank will be in a personal capacity.
Meanwhile, upGrad has garnered support from prominent investors, including Temasek, Lupa Systems led by Murdoch, the International Finance Corporation, and IIFL. Established in 2015 by Screwvala, the edtech unicorn has raised over $650 Mn in funding to date.
The edtech startup has lately been in the news for all the wrong reasons. In July, GST officials visited upGrad’s office, which the startup termed as a routine survey. Prior to that, it laid off 40% of workforce at its subsidiary Harappa Education. It also fired 120 employees at its video learning arm upGrad Campus in March this year.
On the other hand, the Bengaluru-based insurtech unicorn Acko, founded in 2016 by Varun Dua and Ruchi Deepak, is a digital insurance policy provider. It entered the coveted unicorn club in 2021 after raising $255 Mn in Series D round led by General Atlantic and Multiples Private Equity Fund.
Acko, which sells automobile, health, and travel insurance on its platform, has raised around $458 Mn to date.
Acko saw its net loss more than double in the financial year ending on March 31, 2023. The startup reported a loss of INR 738.5 Cr for the fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23), marking a 53% increase from INR 482.3 Cr in FY22, primarily due to an increase in expenses.
Other sharks in season three include — Aman Gupta (cofounder and CMO of boAt), Anupam Mittal (founder of People Group), Namita Thapar (executive director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals), Peyush Bansal (cofounder and CEO of Lenskart), Vineeta Singh (cofounder and CEO of Sugar Cosmetics) and Amit Jain (cofounder and CEO of CarDekho).
The former Shark Tank judge and BharatPe’s Ashneer Grover recently expressed his thoughts on the latest season of Shark Tank.
In response to a promo video for the third season of this popular reality show, Ashneer Grover humorously criticised the show for its emphasis on quantity over quality.
“Shark Tank 3 feels like an ‘audition’ for Shark Tank 4! There’s a life lesson – don’t change something that’s already working well and create unnecessary problems. Let’s hope that the increased quantity doesn’t compromise the quality!” he tweeted.
Shark Tank India has transformed its judges into celebrity CEOs, a phenomenon detailed in a recent Inc42 story. Our analysis found a 68X surge in Instagram followers for the Sharks, spotlighting not just the individuals but their businesses as well. However, experts caution that the companies run by these celebrity CEOs must offer substantive value beyond their newfound stardom to sustain growth.