Venture Capital

Chai Angels – Investing in Iconic Female Founders

Interview with Rajiv Kapoor, Founder of Chai Angels

As CEO of Chai Angels, Rajiv Kapoor invests in the companies of tomorrow and is proud to have made investments in 27 female founders and counting! His aim is to bring a breath of fresh air to VC with a unique portfolio approach and a unique mission. His interest in supporting female founders is a result of having 3 daughters. Rajiv has a career that combines a long history of investing and entrepreneurship. He had a successful IPO exit as an early
employee of Marketo in 2013.

Tell us more about Chai Angels, and how is your firm different from
traditional venture capital firms?


RK: “At Chai Angels a big part of our
mission is supporting the female
ecosystem. We were not originally from
the VC industry and we started investing
in private companies and within a short
time realized that 2.7% of VC goes to
female only founded teams! So we
decided to focus on investing in female
founders and we have already invested in
27 female founders and counting. Once
we invest in a founder we try to do all we
can to help that founder – one way we do
this is by creating investment clusters
that help the founders – for example by
investing in multiple future of work
startups, our portfolio founders are able
to connect, learn from one another,
exchange insights and apply those to
grow better and smarter.”

“When we saw data
around the lack of
investment in female
founders, and that
information combined
with the fact that I have
3 daughters, made us
want to change that and
be part of making a
better future for female
founders and the whole
ecosystem.”

Why is your firm focusing on “iconic female founders” ? What are the key
advantages you have noticed when investing specifically in women-led
companies?


RK: “When we saw data around the lack of
investment in female founders, and that
information combined with the fact that
I have 3 daughters, made us want to
change that and be part of making a
better future for female founders and the
whole ecosystem. One of the big
advantages of investing in female
founders is that people are really
passionate about this mission and we are
able to attract amazing founders, talent
and other collaborators that are all
equally passionate about the mission.”

How is Chai Angels selecting which start-ups to invest in?


RK: “For us the starting point is hey here is
an amazing female founder working on a
problem that really makes sense. And she
has a great vision for a possible solution.
When we set out to invest in female
founders we quickly realized there are
many amazing female founders that may
not be VC ready right away so we decided
we would start collaborating early and we
found that is a key part of the startup
journey where we can really make an
impact and help that founder succeed. For
example one of our portfolio companies
was already doing well and was led by an
amazing female founder and they were
developing a new product that would allow
them to prosper and increase their growth
rate. We went ahead and made an
investment which is funding the new
product. When the product is launched in
the next few weeks we expect VCs will be
ready to follow our lead.”

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