Kalaari Capital has hired three top-level executives, including one partner, as the venture capital firm expands its early-stage investment activity.
The firm, which manages assets worth $650 million across 60 startups through three funds, is led by managing directors Vani Kola, Rajesh Raju and Kumar Shiralagi and partners Bala Srinivasa and Sumit Jain.
It has now appointed Prashant Aluru, a former partner at Bain & Company, as a partner; former Myntra HR head Pooja Gupta as head of portfolio HR; and former SpencerStuart consultant Muthiah Vekateswaran as partner of its seed investment programme KStart.
Aluru has consulting and operational experience of 18 years. Aluru told VCCircle he would be involved in tech startup investments of Kalaari and that enterprise IT is his priority area. He joined Kalaari last month. Including Aluru, Kalaari now has three partners.
Gupta, who headed HR operations at Myntra for five years, will help in senior recruitment, leadership development and talent strategy at Kalaari’s portfolio companies. Prior to joining Myntra Pooja had worked with IT giant SAP in Germany and India.
Venkateswaran will take care of seed investment and accelerator programme KStart, which Kalaari launched recently.
“I am confident that they will help us and our portfolio companies,” said Kola, co-founder of Kalaari, about the executives.
Founded in 2006, Kalaari’s portfolio includes Snapdeal, Urban Ladder, Simplilearn and Zivame. It has exited a number of companies including Myntra and Medplus.
Kalaari has Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata as an adviser. Bank of Baroda chairman Ravi Venkatesan and Castiron Systems chairman Ram Gupta are other advisors of Kalaari.
Kalaari plans to invest $20 million in seed funding in 40 startups in two years, The Economic Times reported earlier this year. Last year, it launched two funds to raise $275 million.
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