Navin Honagudi, the managing director of Kae Capital, is aiming at the next 500 Mn Internet users who are set to emerge from India as it is in line with the venture capitalist’s philosophy of backing strong entrepreneurs who can cater to the needs of consumers in large markets.
Kae Capital has raised over $78 Mn since it launched six years ago and is sector agnostic. It picks startups from areas as varied as consumer Internet, marketplaces, fintech, logistics, healthcare, and SaaS-enabled business.
Navin says the Kae Capital fund prefers to enter a startup at a time when it has the product-market fit established and is looking to raise the first institutional capital to scale up the business.
Navin also sees an inflection point in the current landscape when it comes to how VCs are perceived in India. He says people are increasingly now understanding the need for venture capital and for creating strong brands and large companies in a relatively shorter period of time.
Some of the active investments pf Kae Capital include Porter, which got an investment of INR 65 Cr from Mahindra and Mahindra as part of a merger agreement; Fynd, which is just the second direct investment made by Google for Indian startup; 1MG; and Healthkart. Navin earlier invested in startups such as Greendust; Inmobi, the first Indian startup to turn unicorn; and Myntra.
Navin has previously worked at Reliance Ventures for over three years and led the investment in Paytm. At Kae, he oversaw seed investments in Numberz, a cash flow management platform; dating App TrulyMadly; intra-city logistics mobile app Porter; and pre-owned car marketplace Truebil.