India's Top 100 Digital Stars 2023

Avinash Ramanathan: The long-term strategist

Kalaari Capital's Vani Kola says he has a high emotional quotient and the ability to make choices that will meet long-term objectives over short-term incentives

Neha Bothra
Published: Feb 14, 2023 11:44:58 AM IST
Updated: Feb 14, 2023 12:18:20 PM IST

Avinash Ramanathan: The long-term strategistAvinash Ramanathan Photo: Mexy Xavier; Light Painting: Neha Mithbawkar and Hemal Patel

Avinash Ramanathan | 29
Vice president, Kalaari Capital

Avinash Ramanathan is part of the investment committee at Kalaari Capital and is responsible for sourcing deals, managing, and exiting companies; he leads investments in SaaS, gaming, deep tech, climate, and Web3. “From being part of the fundraise as an analyst to sitting on boards, handling conflicts of all flavours, and investing in sunrise sectors which are really early in their maturity, I’ve done it all,” he says.

Ramanathan worked with the leadership team on raising $220 million for Kalaari Fund IV with Reliance as an anchor LP. Vani Kola, founder and managing director at Kalaari Capital, appreciates the integral and highly supportive role Ramanathan played in the year-long fundraising process. She says Ramanathan has a high emotional quotient and the ability to makes choices that are in line with meeting long-term objectives and not short-term incentives. “He is smart, hardworking, and has the intellectual horsepower to research, understand, and map white spaces,” she says.

Ramanathan has been involved with more than 15 investments, which include an acquisition and five markups. These investments include a $10-million investment in Guardian Link, (acquired by Gupshup), Climes, Dream Sports, Digantara and Swift.

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Ramkumar Subramaniam, co-founder and CEO, Guardian Link, closely works with Ramanathan. He fondly remembers meeting him in 2021 when the new-age company was in talks with Kalaari Capital for raising series A. At that time, Web3 and NFTs were relatively new to the ecosystem, and not many investment professionals were familiar with the industry dynamics in these niche areas. Subramaniam says, “Avinash quickly understood our business and was able to resonate with us and support us with feedback.”

View the full list of Forbes India 30 Under 30 2023 here

Ramanathan wants to climb the ranks at Kalaari and lead fundraising for Kalaari Fund V and subsequent funds, and he believes featuring in the Forbes India 30 Under 30 list will help him stand out. “In venture capital, if you’re out of sight you are out of mind. Being on the list gives me a platform to build a varied set of connections and relationships,” he adds.

Avinash Ramanathan: The long-term strategist

Ramanathan joined Kalaari Capital in August 2018. Prior to this he was a decision scientist at Mu Sigma between 2015 and 2018. He studied electronics engineering at SSN College of Engineering and founded the Wall Street Club, an investment club of SSN College.

(This story appears in the 10 February, 2023 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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