#Asia Angel@77: Meet the 27 cool startups Ratan Tata has invested


Tata has invested in companies across e-commerce, Big Data, hardware, digital media, payments, healthcare, electrical, digital media, and energy



According to Astrology, 77 is an angel number. It indicates that you are being congratulated and your efforts have been well noted by the angelic and spiritual realms.

For Ratan Tata, too, 77 was a ‘turning’ point, literally. It was when he decided to turn ‘angel’ investor. Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, one of the largest business conglomerates in India, started investing in startups and high-growth companies in 2014.

Till date, the business tycoon has backed 27 (a number close to our heart) companies across various domains, including e-commerce, Big Data, hardware, digital media, payments, healthcare, electrical, digital media, and energy.

Most companies he has invested in are multi-million-dollar ventures, some of which are Unicorns (Snapdeal and Ola). Technically, none of these firms actually required Tata’s money, but they wanted to get associated with him. He doesn’t write fat cheques like other VCs; his investment ranges from US$16,000 to US$160,000.

On a side note, Tata still remains a bachelor – no wonder he was successful in building his multi-billion dollar business conglomerate!

Here we brings you the list of the 27 companies he has backed so far:


One of the two poster boys of Indian e-commerce industry, Delhi-based Snapdeal is the second largest online marketplaces after Flipkart. Snapdeal was Tata’s debut investment in the startup space. Japanese Internet giant Softbank is also an investor in Snapdeal. With close to a billion dollars in its pocket, Snapdeal never needed his money, but it want to learn a lot of things from him.

Urban Ladder

Urban Ladder is a leading online furniture and home decor company, with over 4,000 products and 35 categories listed on its platform, such as wardrobes, sofas, beds, dining tables and storage shelves.


Launched in March 2008, CarDekho is an online marketplace for users to buy and sell cars (old and new ones). It also provides information on car insurance and finance.


Paytm-LogoPaytm is probably India’s largest m-commerce platform. It started by offering mobile recharge and utility bill payments and today it offers a full marketplace to consumers on its mobile apps. The firm has over 100 million digital wallet users and users carry out over 75 million transactions every month. This is yet another company backed by Softbank.


Kaaryah is an apparel brand that caters to women’s non-casual wear. It offers wardrobe solutions that help discover not just the perfect fit but also what flatters different body types.


BlueStone is an online jewellery destination that showcases fine jewellery with exquisite designs.
It houses more than 4,000 unique designs.


FirstCry store-690x390

As the name suggests, FirstCry is a baby products e-tailer with over 90,000 products from 1,200 brands. It covers an age range of zero to six years old. The company claims 2 million customers, with more than half of its users coming via mobile. It also owns 150 FirstCry-branded brick-and-mortar stores in 100 cities across India.


Zivame is a leading online lingerie retailer in India. It features over 5,000 lingerie styles, 50 brands and 100 sizes that range from everyday lingerie essentials, plus size lingerie, maternity, sports, shapewear to bridal lingerie, leisure wear, nightwear and swimwear for women.


Based in the US, Abra is a digital cash P2P transfer network. Users can use the app to store their digital cash and send money to any smartphone. It also offers human ATMs called Abra Tellers — who are individuals or businesses earning money by buying and selling digital cash to and from any consumer via the app.


From L to R) Vani Kola of Kalaari Capital and Ratan Tata, along with CashKaro Founders Rohan Bhargava and Swati

From L to R) Vani Kola of Kalaari Capital and Ratan Tata, along with CashKaro Founders Rohan Bhargava and Swati

Founded by entrepreneur couple Swati and Rohan Bhargava, CashKaro is a cashback and coupons site that works on an affiliate model. It works with over 1,000 online retailers, including Amazon, Paytm, Jabong and ShopClues. Users can get up to 30 per cent extra cashback when they visit their favourite e-commerce sites through CashKaro and shop.


UrbanClap enables users to find and hire trusted service providers like plumbers, beauticians, yoga trainers and wedding photographers. The platform currently lists services across more than 80 categories.


Holachef is an online marketplace for chef-cooked food. It offers new menus for lunch, snacks and dinner prepared by some of the best chefs in Mumbai and Pune on an everyday basis. One can place the order through Holachef’s website or mobile app. The deliveries are made in one-person meal format at a time slot pre-selected by the customer.


LetsVenture is an online platform for startups and investors to facilitate angel and seed investments. Founded in 2013 by Shanti Mohan and Sanjay Jha, the platform has created 5,000-plus connections to date. Over 53 companies have raised funds through LetsVenture, aggregating to nearly US$17 million.


Ola's Co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal

Ola’s Co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal

Ola is the market leader in the online cab hailing space in India. It integrates city transportation for customers and drivers onto a technology platform ensuring convenient, transparent and quick service fulfilment. Using the Ola mobile app, users across 100 cities can book from over 150,000 vehicles, including auto-rickshaws and kaali-peeli (local black and yellow) taxis.


It is a healthcare communication and delivery platform. Lybrate aims to solve the fundamental problem of healthcare delivery in India, namely inaccessibility of doctors compounded by the gap between supply of and demand for healthcare professionals. By connecting doctors with patients across geographies, Lybrate helps in solving the need for medical care in a country with a population of 1.2 billion.

Infinite Analytics

Founded by Akash Bhatia and Purushotam Botla, Infinite Analytics is a Big Data company. It specialises in Deep Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics and its platform merges data from multiple sources (customer demographic data, transactions data, loyalty program data, third party data, open data) to create a 360-degree view of the user.

Crayon Data

Another Big Data analytics startup. Unlike the conventional people-led model of analytics, Crayon builds tools that deliver real business solutions by bringing together enterprise, public, external internet and social data to a single platform. Its flagship product ‘Simpler Choices’ brings the power of Big Data and analytics to enterprises that help clients increase their sales conversions and improve returns from existing accounts. The firm’s key focus verticals are hospitality, finance, retail and technology.


(L to R) Tracxn Co-founders Abhishek Goyal (R) and Neha Singh (L), with Ratan Tata

(L to R) Tracxn Co-founders Abhishek Goyal (R) and Neha Singh (L), with Ratan Tata


Tracxn was started in 2013 by former investors Neha Singh (ex-Sequoia Capital) and Abhishek Goyal (ex-Accel Partners). It is a startup research platform that leverages intelligent data analytics to help VC funds, private equity firms, corporate development and strategy teams globally to track the dynamic startup market and identify interesting investable companies and upcoming sectors.



NestAway enables users in the discovery of homes as well as the fulfilment (closing the rental transaction) and post rental services (rent collection, home repair services, etc). At the same time, for owners who have no time or expertise to generate yield from their home, It essentially turns unfurnished houses into fully-furnished and managed apartments, and provides them at affordable prices to pre-verified tenants.


YourStory.com is an online media platform for entrepreneurs. It was started in October 2008 by Shradha Sharma. YourStory claims to have profiled stories of over 15,000 entrepreneurs, and has provided business networking opportunities to over 50,000 entrepreneurs via our conferences and meet-ups.


Xiaomi is a leading electronics company headquartered in Beijing, China. It is the world’s 4th largest smartphone maker. Xiaomi designs, develops, and sells smartphones, mobile apps, and related consumer electronics.


It is an electric vehicle startup founded by a woman entrepreneur. Ampere sells electric vehicles — cycles, scooters, trolleys — and special purpose vehicles for the differently-abled.


Altaeros is a wind energy startup. It is developing a breakthrough airborne wind turbine to produce abundant, low cost, renewable energy. Altaeros uses safe and reliable aerospace technology to lift wind turbines to operate at higher heights where winds are much stronger and more consistent than on the ground.


Sabsebolo is a cloud telephony company. It brings you audio conferencing services for free. Besides audio conference, it also offers the facility of a virtual IVR and voice blast to satisfy the needs of the ever growing number of SMEs of India.


The DogSpot team

The DogSpot team

Launched in 2007, DogSpot started out as a blog for to provide relevant information and content needs for pet owners. Five years later, it launched a separate portal called FishSpot.in, which was later merged with DogSpot.in.


It has developed an online platform to connect various stakeholders of the fragmented retail ecosystem in India. The retail technology solution comprises a tablet, barcode scanner, printer and an intelligent external large consumer-facing LED display for consumer engagement. On the other hand, it helps brands to contextually engage consumers in and out of stores, track promotions, analyse their business and connect directly with kirana (grocery in Hindi) retailers.


From Left: Teabox CEO Kaushal Dugar, Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and Teabox marketing manager Rohan Jahagirdar

From Left: Teabox CEO Kaushal Dugar, Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and Teabox marketing manager Rohan Jahagirdar


Established in 2012, Teabox delivers fresh, delicious teas from Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri and Nepal to most parts of the world. The startup sources high quality teas directly from over 200 growers and estates. Within three years of its existence, Teabox claims to have delivered over 30 million cups’ worth of tea to customers in countries including Russia, Korea, Japan, the UK and the US.

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