Not surprising that the most active angel investors are successful start-up or unicorn founders, right from India’s early unicorns, including Paytm and Flipkart, to more recent names. For instance, according to publicly available data, Kunal Shah of Cred has invested $7.1K to $55.8K in over 10 start-ups at the seed stage for stakes as low as 0.11% to 6.51%. Similarly, Snapdeal co-founder Rohit Bansal has invested in 37 companies at the seed stage, cutting cheques in the range of $13K to $100K. Anupam Mittal, founder and CEO of Shaadi.com, has invested in over 19 companies for stakes between 0.3% and 5.36%. Then there are professionals such as former Google India head and current MD of Sequoia Capital Rajan Anandan, who has invested in 22 start-ups in his personal capacity. Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan and former CFO Mohandas Pai have been active angel investors as well. Pai has invested in 26 start-ups, including the likes of meat brand Licious and Kapiva.
The Next Stage
But, while the buoyancy in the ecosystem is evident, not all investors are cutting cheques at the seed stage.
Pai, for instance, has stopped investing as an angel investor. “My last investment as an individual investor was around 2006,” he says. The reason behind the approach is that too many small investments make it difficult for investors to keep track. “In a lot of cases, founders don’t update on what is happening with the company and then you end up with a mess in your books, where you have to write off investments,” says Pai, who is also the chairman of Manipal Global Education.