Former Innov8 exec to head Oyo founder-backed VC firm Aroa Ventures
Ritesh Agarwal

Ritesh Agarwal, the founder of SoftBank Vision Fund-backed Oyo Hotels and Homes, has floated a venture-stage investment vehicle that will be led by a founding member of co-working firm Innov8.

Gaurav Gulati, the former chief operating officer of Innov8, will head Aroa Ventures, according to the investment firm’s website. Innov8 was acquired by Oyo last year.

Gulati also previously co-founded Purist, which was acquired by Cure.Fit, a fitness startup backed by several venture capital investors.

Aroa Ventures, which is based in Singapore, is sponsored by Agarwal’s holding company. It plans to invest between $500,000 and $5 million in growth-stage businesses in the consumer, technology and leisure infrastructure sectors.

Aroa Ventures says it will invest in companies with proven unit economics and high potential to scale.

Oyo, which was founded by Agarwal in 2013, itself has been a beneficiary of a slew of venture capital investment firms such as DSG Consumer Partners, Lightspeed, Sequoia and SoftBank.

Last year, Oyo also brought in Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing and Airbnb as investors.

Besides Agarwal, several other startup founders who have gained from VC investments have floated their own investment vehicles to make structured bets on startups.

Earlier this year, VCCircle reported that Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal had launched venture capital fund 3State Capital, which is likely to be based in Singapore. Bansal also co-founded xto10x Technologies with former Flipkart employees to help startups expand their businesses.

The other Flipkart co-founder, Sachin Bansal, started Navi Technologies with his IIT-Delhi batchmate Ankit Agarwal. Navi Technologies, known until recently as BAC Acquisitions Pvt. Ltd, is an investment firm with a focus on the financial services sector.

Sandeep Tandon and Kunal Shah, who co-founded the digital payments firm Freecharge, set up sector-agnostic VC firm Whiteboard Capital in 2016. Shah stepped down from the firm in 2017.

Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansa, co-founders of Snapdeal, have set up Titan Capital to house their personal bets.

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