An Infosys veteran is India’s most prolific angel investor

All smiles.
All smiles.
Image: AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi
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Mohandas Pai first made a name for himself during the 17 years that he spent at Infosys, where he rose to become the Indian information technology giant’s chief financial officer.

Now, the straight-talking chartered accountant is making his mark in India’s booming startup ecosystem.

In 2015, according to data compiled by Singapore-based DealStreetAsia, Pai is India’s most prolific angel investor.

Between January and September this year, Pai invested in nine startups. These include undisclosed funding into companies such as tax information portal Taxsutra, online news portal YourStory and Pune-based restaurant discounts startup Ressy.

Pai is followed by Ratan Tata, the former chairman of the Tata Group, who in his new role as a venture capitalist, invested in eight companies in 2015. The veteran business leader’s list features companies such as online taxi aggregator Ola, YourStory and Jaipur-based car portal CarDekho. Tata had retired as the chairman of the $100-billion Tata Group in December 2012.

Others among the top ten angel investors in the country, according to DealStreetAsia, include the founders of homegrown e-commerce majors, Flipkart and Snapdeal. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, the founders of Flipkart, invested in news app News in Shorts and Tracxn, a startup that’s focussed on compiling data about other startups.

The list also includes Google’s India head Rajan Anandan, who invested in seven companies in 2015. Anandan—who started out as a part-time angel investor in 1991—is estimated to have a portfolio of 40 investments across India, Sri Lanka and the US. This year, he invested in online city and lifestyle guide portal Little Black Book and crowd funding website Wishberry.

Here’s a list of investments made by India’s leading angel investors in 2015, according to DealStreetAsia:

In the first six months of 2015, Indian startups received more funding from venture capitalists than during the whole of last year according to VCCEdge, a financial research firm. Until June 2015, investors had pumped in some $2.46 billion (Rs15,700 crore) into the startup ecosystem, compared to $2.34 billion (Rs14,950 crore) in all of 2014.

India is currently the world’s third largest startup ecosystem with over 3,000 new companies in 2014. By 2020, this number is expected to more than triple to around 10,500 startups, according to information technology industry body Nasscom.