Vani Kola is an Indian venture capitalist. She is the founder and managing director of Kalaari Capital, an Indian early stage venture capital firm. She was listed as one of the most powerful women in Indian business by Fortune India in 2014.[2]

Vani Kola
Vani Kola - Indian Venture Capitalist.jpg
Kola in 2020
Born1963 or 1964 (age 59–60)[1]
EducationOsmania University (B.Eng.)
Arizona State University (M.Eng.)
Occupationventure capitalist
Known forVenture capital in India

Early life and educationEdit

Vani Kola was born in 1963 or 1964[1] in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana), India.[3] She commenced her post-secondary education at age 16.[3] She attended Osmania University in Hyderabad, where she studied electrical engineering and was "one of six girls among 400 engineering students".[1] She earned her Bachelor of Engineering before leaving India in the late 1980s to pursue her Master of Engineering from Arizona State University in the United States.[1][4]


Silicon ValleyEdit

Kola had a 22-year career in Silicon Valley. A serial entrepreneur, she was the founder and CEO of the e-procurement company RightWorks, selling the company to ICG after four years for $657 million.[4][1] She was then the founder and CEO of Certus Software.[4]

Venture capital in IndiaEdit

Kola returned to India in 2006, after her successful career as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, to start a venture capital firm in India, drawn to the growing Indian opportunity. She and Vinod Dham founded Indo-US Venture Partners (IUVP) in 2006.[1] A partnership with New Enterprise Associates (NEA), it was her initial undertaking into venture capital in India. In 2012, it was re-branded as Kalaari Capital.[5][6]

Kalaari Capital began operations as a US$150 million fund in September 2012.[7] Under Kola's leadership, the firm has grown to have US$650 million in assets under management, as of 2017.[citation needed]

Kola is the managing director of Kalaari Capital. She is a technology-focused early-stage investor and works with entrepreneurs to build global companies, leveraging India's domestic growth to create high growth enterprises. Kola has led investments in e-commerce, mobile services, education and healthcare. Some of her notable venture capital endeavours include: Dream11, Urban Ladder, Snapdeal, and Myntra.[1]

Awards and recognitionEdit

Kola was recognised as one of the most powerful women in Indian business by Forbes in 2014. She was awarded with the TiE Delhi-NCR 5th Edition of Women Entrepreneurship Summit Award on 20 July 2018, in Delhi.[8] As part of the first-ever startup awards launched by The Economic Times, Kola was awarded the Midas Touch award for the best investor in 2015.[9] She also won the NDTV Women of Worth award for leadership excellence in business and entrepreneurship. She has been identified as one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2016.[10] She has been profiled in numerous books and was named as one of Fortune India's 'Most Powerful Women in Business' in 2018[11] and 2019.[12]


ACT GrantsEdit

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ACT Grants, a not for profit initiative coalition of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, was setup in April 2020. Kola, along with other senior leaders, has been spearheading this initiative. ACT Grants, which already has a corpus of ₹100 crores, has supported 50 different ventures.[13]

Heartfulness InstituteEdit

Kola is also a Heartfulness trainer and is actively involved in supporting the Heartfulness Institute, a non-profit organisation focussed on human transformation through yoga and meditation.[14][15]

Personal lifeEdit

Kola is married to Srinivas Kola and has two daughters.[citation needed] She ran marathons and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in the 2000s.[citation needed] Kola meditates daily and has been a meditation practitioner for over two decades.[14] In 2021 she was quoted in an article about "Zoom Fatigue" as an example of a person returning to the office to return to face-to-face communications.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Aravind, Indulekha (7 March 2015). "Meet venture capital pioneer Vani Kola". Business Standard India.
  2. ^ "Vani Kola Listed in Fortune most powerful women in Indian Business". Business Today. No. November 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b "ET Startup Awards 2015: Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital wins Midas touch award for best investor". The Economic Times. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Vani Kola: Executive Profile & Biography". Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  5. ^ "IndoUS Venture rebrands as Kalaari Capital; closes $150M fund". No. VCCircle. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2015. Though the investment strategy of IUVP fund and Kalaari will be similar, this is a rebranding for IUVP which would help it to bring in fresh ideas and focus on the Indian market, said Vani Kola, managing director, Kalaari Capital Advisors.
  6. ^ Kola, Vani. "Women at Work: The Race Gets Easier". No. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Venture capital firm Kalaari Capital closes $150 mn fund". No. September 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Global Newsletter – July 2018 – TiE – Global Entrepreneurship Organization". Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Midas Touch award for best investor Vani Kola Kalaari Capital". The Economic Times (video). No. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  10. ^ Singh, Anushree. "The Top 7 Influencers of LinkedIn in India this year you should start following today". Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  11. ^ "34: Vani Kola, 54: Most Powerful Women in India 2018". Fortune India. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  12. ^ "47: Vani Kola, 55: Most Powerful Women in India 2019". Fortune India. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  13. ^ "ACT Grants to offer financial muscle to hundreds of health-centric desi firms". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  14. ^ a b Kola, Vani. "A Daily Habit". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  15. ^ Bureau, Business (31 March 2018). "People who run after only profits falter: GV Prasad". Telangana Today. Telangana Today. Retrieved 1 May 2021. {{cite news}}: |first1= has generic name (help)
  16. ^ "Vani Kola returns to office two days a week, calls it a break from the 'endless Zoom doom'". The Economic Times. Retrieved 11 February 2022.

External linksEdit