The Tata Group has proved the presence in almost every sector from automobiles to FMCG. Whether it be technology, fashion or telecommunications, Mr. Ratan Tata has his footsteps printed over the markets. And, it’s not a surprise that the chairman of the esteemed Tata Group has entered into the angel investment culture. Be it Paytm or Yourstory, Mr. Tata has put his money into various startups as a source of motivation.
In a country which is witnessing a tremendous digital revolution, ranging from demonetization effect to heavy fundings from Alibaba and Microsoft into the e-commerce market, it is crucial to have a wise opinion on what startups to invest. And Ratan Tata’s style of putting cash into the market inspires many angel investors and his list of investments in startups is no different.
Startups Funded By Ratan Tata
It does not matter if you raised hundreds of millions already; when Ratan Tata invests, the world sits down and takes note: cab aggregator Ola, which is now worth $3 billion (almost), saw its share prices rising from Rs 15,87,392 to Rs 29, 44,805, according to Livemint report in November 2015.
So here are 39 startups that raised funds from Ratan Tata. (Ratan Tata investments)
1. Snapdeal [August 2014]
Snapdeal received funds from Mr. Ratan Tata back in 2014. However, the exact amount was never disclosed. Snapdeal is India’s first online marketplace for multiple categories, which has also been funded by majors like eBay and Alibaba. Tata is believed to have invested less than Rs 5 crore, buying 256 shares from Snapdeal’s angel investors including Kenneth Glass
2. Urban Ladder [November 2014]
The five-year-old startup which has raised $77 million has three consumer-facing apps and is a curated furniture seller. In July 2012, Ashish Goel and Rajiv Srivatsa decided to start Urban Ladder, an online furniture site with over 1000 products across 25 categories carefully designed to align with anyone’s idea of a ‘beautiful home.
3. CarDekho [February 2015]
After starting branches like BikeDekho, TrucksDekho, and TyresDekho, CarDekho forayed into southeast Asia as Carbay.com and acquired Zigwheels. Ratan Tata made a personal investment in auto classifieds portal CarDekho, reaffirming his bullishness around India’s rapidly growing digital consumption story. However, the amount was not disclosed.
4. Paytm [March 2015]
Paytm was started by Vijay Shekhar Sharma as an online mobile recharge portal, but grew to an online marketplace for various categories ranging from movie tickets, bus reservation, recharges, bill payments and e-commerce platform. Paytm was licensed by RBI as the first payments bank in India last year.
5. Kaaryah [June 2015]
This startup holds an interesting story as the founder, Nidhi Agarwal was rejected by 113 investors before being backed by Mr. Ratan Tata. The brand offers 18 different sizes of women formal wear, as opposed to a maximum of 6 by other major players. The amount of investment is still undisclosed.
6. Blue Stone [July 2015]
Bluestone.com was founded in 2011 by Gaurav Singh Kushwaha and Vidya Nataraj. The company raised $5 million in 2012 from Accel partners and another $10 million from Kalaari Capital and Accel Partners and Saama Capital in 2014
7. Firstcry [January 2016]
Baby products retailer FirstCry raised an undisclosed amount in a fresh round of funding by Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd. The company was started by Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha in 2010 and is an omnichannel platform for baby and maternity products in India.
8. Zivame [September 2015]
Online lingerie retailer Zivame became the cool startup to get funded by Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata. Zivame also closed a Series-C funding round of Rs 250 crore from Zodius Technology Fund and Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment fund of the government of Malaysia.
9. Abra [October 2015]
Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, joined a clutch of investors, including American Express, First Round Capital and Jungle Ventures, in a $14 million (Rs 91 crore) series A fundraising by US-based digital cash transfer company Abra. This was the first investment in digital payment services for Tata, who has previously shown interest in consumer-facing online ventures.
10. Cashkaro [January 2016]
Cashback and coupons site CashKaro joined industrialist and angel investor Ratan Tata’s rapidly growing portfolio of startups back in 2016. Gurgaon-based CashKaro was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur couple Swati and Rohan Bhargava. The same year it raised angel funding of $750,000 from a group of London-based investors.
11. Urban Clap [December 2015]
Continuing with his funding in startups, top industrialist Ratan Tata invested in services marketplace, UrbanClap. The value of the investment was not disclosed. UrbanClap allows users to book over 80 services, including plumbing, electrical work, beauty, wellness, tutorials, and wedding photography.
12. Ola [July 2015]
Ola is the India’s first homegrown and nourished cab aggregator service, and one of the nine unicorn startups in India. Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested in taxi firm Ola in his personal capacity. The transaction was the latest in a series of investments made by 77-year-old Tata over the course of that 12 months.
13. Holachef [September 2015]
“Ratan Tata’s name and body of work are synonymous with trust and consumer focus. With his guidance, Holachef is looking to become a leader in the food tech space,” Saurabh Saxena, co-founder, and Chief Executive Holachef said after the investment in 2015.
14. Lybrate [July 2015]
Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata, along with Tiger Global Management and Nexus Venture Partners (NVP), invested $10.2 million (about Rs 64.8 crore) in health care start-up Lybrate. The US-based firm offers a mobile and PC-based platform that connects doctors and patients.
15. Swasth India [December 2014]
The Mumbai-based affordable healthcare startup is focused on providing medical services to low-income population. The company was founded by former consultants and IIT Bombay graduates Sundeep Kapila and Ankur Pegu. The company received funds of ₹2 crores in December 2014.
16. Infinite Analytics [August 2015]
Infinite Analytics, a company out of MIT announced a fund raise from Ratan Tata in August 2015 to expand its predictive analytics technology to verticals beyond retail and e-commerce. Existing investors like Nikhil Vora of Sixth Sense Ventures and new investors from Silicon Valley and India also participated in the round.
17. Crayon Data [November 2015]
Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed amount in Singapore-based big data company Crayon Data. The investment was made in his personal capacity. Crayon, a portfolio company of Jungle Ventures, previously raised 10 million Singapore dollars in seed and Series A funding from angel institutional investors like Jungle Ventures and Spring Seeds.
18. Tracxn [January 2016]
Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed amount in Tracxn, a startup intelligence, and market research platform. Started in 2013, by ex-investors Neha Singh (ex-Sequoia Capital) and Abhishek Goyal (ex-Accel Partners), Tracxn leverages intelligent data analytics and a sector-focused analyst team to help venture global capital funds, private equity firms, corporate development, and strategy teams track the dynamic startup market and identify interesting investable companies and upcoming sectors.
19. Altaeros [March 2014]
Ratan Tata has also invested in a couple of foreign start-ups, including US-based Altaeros Energy and Singapore-based analytics firm Crayon Data. He has picked up minority stakes in early-stage start-ups and Indian Unicorns like Ola, Snapdeal and Paytm.
20. Xiaomi [April 2015]
Ratan Tata kept himself busy since stepping down as chairman of the Tata Group in 2012, investing in several promising technology startups in India. He took the activity to a whole new level, becoming the first Indian to pick up a stake in China’s largest smartphone maker, Xiaomi.
21. Ampere [July 2015]
Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested an undisclosed amount in Ampere, a Coimbatore-based electric vehicle start-up founded by a woman entrepreneur. Mr. Tata made the investment along with Ampere’s existing investor, Forum Synergies.
22. YourStory [August 2015]
YourStory, an online media entity that profiles startups and entrepreneurs, raised an undisclosed amount from Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons. The investment round saw participation from veterans, including Vani Kola, managing director of Kalaari Capital; Karthee Madasamy, vice-president and managing director, Qualcomm Ventures; and former Infosys board member T V Mohandas Pai.
23. Sabsebolo [November 2015]
Global telecom carrier Sabse Technologies Inc, started by Hotmail founder Sabeer Bhatia, announced that Tata Sons’ Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata has made a strategic investment in the company. The Silicon Valley-based company, which operates Sabsebolo — the popular communications cloud platform for small and medium businesses — did not disclose details of the investment.
24. Dogspot [January 2016]
Online petcare platform Dogspot raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Ratan Tata, existing investors and new angels. Ronnie Screwala, K Ganesh, India Quotient and five other angels participated in the round. The Gurgaon-based company claims to be the country’s most visited pet portal.
25. Moglix [February 2016]
Moglix, an e-commerce company specializing in the B2B procurement of industrial products in February 2016 announced that Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus at Tata Sons, had made an undisclosed financial investment in the startup. Moglix was founded in August 2015 by Rahul Garg, a former Google employee with experience in building global products and running sales across Asia.
26. GOQii [October 2016]
Leading industrialist and serial investor Ratan Tata added one more entry to his startup funding list by investing in virtual fitness coaching platform GOQii. The size of the funding was however not disclosed. The company, which is a leading player in the Indian wearables market, is backed by angel investors like Shriram Nene and his wife and Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit Nene and Neeraj Arora (WhatsApp). It offers a fitness tracker band coupled with a personal coach.
27. IdeaChakki [September 2016]
Food-tech startup Idea Chakki Pvt. Ltd secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd. Idea Chakki was set up in 2013 by Monica Narula, Gunjan Mehrish, and Noopur Tiwari, all former executives of media house NDTV. It released Dash as a vertical in June.
28. Kyazoonga [June 2016]
Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons invested an undisclosed amount in his personal capacity in e-ticketing startup Kyazoonga, which planned to use the funds to expand into international markets including the United States, West Asia, Pakistan and the Caribbean Islands.
29. MadRat Games [June 2016]
MadRat Games, which launched a wearable gaming platform SuperSuit for kids & families last year raised fresh funds from a consortium of investors including Ratan Tata, Ola’s founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Flipkart’s founder Binny Bansal, and Girish Mathrubootham of Freshdesk confirmed the company.
30. MUrgency [May 2016]
Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons invested in San Francisco-based medical emergency response startup, MUrgency Inc. The mobile app makes emergency response available with one tap on a mobile phone in under 9.0 minutes in urban areas.
31. Niki [May 2016]
Niki.ai, an artificial intelligence (AI) based chatbot, announced in May 2016 that Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, had invested in the startup along with Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer, which did a follow-up round to their first seed investment.
32. Lenskart [May 2016]
Lenskart Solutions Pvt. Ltd, the online retailer that sells eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and eyewear accessories, in May 2016 announced that it has raised a Series D round of investment of Rs.400 crore from World Bank arm IFC, Ratan Tata and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrisnan, the firm said in a press release.
33. NestAway [February 2016]
Top industrialist Ratan Tata invested an undisclosed amount in home rental company NestAway Technologies, a statement said in February 2016. This was Tata’s eighth personal investment in a startup in 2016 till February. He has invested in over 20 startups till February 2016.
34. Bollant Industries [February 2016]
Hyderabad-based Bollant Industries raised funding from Ratan Tata. During December 2015, in an exclusive interview with Yourstory, the company had announced that after raising Rs 9 crore in its first round of funding, it was planning to raise another Rs 13 crore.
35. Snapbizz [February 2016]
Bengaluru-based retail technology startup SnapBizz raised an undisclosed round of funding from veteran industrialist Ratan Tata. SnapBizz solutions enable smart store management and a digital connection to consumers, FMCG companies and distributors. SnapBizz was founded in 2013.
36. Invictus Oncology [February 2016]
Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus Tata Sons Ltd., invested in Invictus Oncology Private Limited, an innovation-driven oncology company developing next generation cancer therapeutics, the company announced in a press release. This comes on the heel of the first B2B start-up, Moglix that was the latest investment of Tata.
37. Teabox [January 2016]
Siliguri-based startup Teabox, which caters to a worldwide market of tea-lovers, secured an undisclosed amount of funding from industrialist and prolific angel investor Ratan Tata in January 2016. Founded in 2012 by Kaushal Dugar, Teabox is a premium tea brand that is focused on vertical integration of sourcing, branding and distributing teas – while upending the traditional tea-retailing model in the process.
38. HolaChef [September 2015]
Ratan Tata made a personal investment of an undisclosed amount in the online marketplace for chefs Holachef. Launched in September 2014 by Saurabh Saxena and Anil Gelra, its services are available through the company’s website, and mobile applications on both Android and iOS.
39. LetsVenture [October 2015]
LetsVenture, an online platform for start-ups and angel investors to connect with each other, said Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd, and former Infosys board member Mohandas Pai, invested in a Series A round of funding, and have joined as advisers.