Rajan Anandan, who currently leads Internet behemoth Google’s India operations, has over 20 angel deals under his belt. Around half of his investments have been done through Indian Angel Network, along with a number of other investors.
Anandan has also co-founded Blue Ocean Ventures, a first-venture fund for seed-stage investing in Sri Lanka. Prior to Google, Rajan was managing director of Microsoft India, responsible for Microsoft’s software, OEM and services business in the country.
According to Anandan, “A start-up should focus on a real need and build a product that users will love. And you should also focus on the team – hire people who are better than you. Learn fast, iterate and pivot. And finally, have endurance.”
Preferred Sectors: Internet, Cloud, e-commerce, mobile and software, as well as some ITeS and business services.
Preferred Location: Invests in India. Investee companies are located in Gurgaon, Delhi, Noida, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, etc.
Involvement: Hands-on investor; helps with strategic decision-making and networking within industry segments.
Key Investments: Cloud computing start-up Capillary Technologies, mobile e-tailer Buytheprice.com, Chandigarh-based authorGEN Technologies, online tax filing service Taxspanner.com, survey and feedback tools maker Webklipper Technologies Pvt Ltd, Druva Software, luxury e-commerce site Exclusively.in, dating site Ignighter, managed IT services domestic start-up eTechies.in, Bangalore-based boutique investment bank Viedea Capital, online food ordering and table booking site Hungryzone.com (acquired by Jus tEat), Gurgaon-based digital brand communications service Digilogue Communications and Pune-based Innovize Tech.
Hits & Misses: Capillary, Exclusively.in, JustEat.in (Hungryzone) and Buytheprice.com are taking off in a big way. Again, Digilogues is a hot digital marketing start-up. Data protection solutions provider Druva raised $12 million in its series B from Sequoia Capital and Nexus Ventures in August 2011. Taxspanner.com is well on its way to getting 20 million of the 40 million tax payers in India online. Chandigarh-based authorGEN Technologies has an online learning portal called WizIQ.com that was acquired by Educomp.