The rest of the 50 (in alphabetical order): Kunal Jain, VC investor, JSW Ventures
Kunal Jain has been part of the investment team at JSW Ventures, the early-stage corporate venture capital (CVC) vehicle for India-based steel and energy conglomerate JSW Group, since mid-2017. His responsibilities include finding prospective deals, due diligence and deal negotiation as well as portfolio advisory. He contributes his technology and product expertise to all deals the fund evaluates.
Gaurav Sachdeva, chief executive and managing partner of JSW Ventures, said in his nomination of Jain: “Kunal brings strong product evaluation skills to the fund due to his prior experience as an entrepreneur building digital products. He has been instrumental in sharpening the fund’s product-market fit discovery process which allows us to invest in startups at earlier stages than before.
“Kunal has also done a phenomenal job in building our fund’s enterprise SaaS (software-as-a-service) investing ecosystem. This has included building our core thesis and stance on the space, creating multiple sectoral views as well as creating strong relationships with deal sourcing channels. He is also currently driving our thesis-led investment in the enterprise SaaS sector.”
Jain believes CVC funds have access to resources that independent funds often do not, such as the ability to tap into the sector and functional area expertise for deal diligence and portfolio assistance, as well as a larger base of stakeholders for deal sourcing.
Hoping to create a differentiated positioning for the fund by focusing on key areas where JSW Ventures team can add value to portfolio companies, Jain said: “For my upcoming investments, I plan to focus on a few sectors with a very tight thesis and view of the kind of companies we plan to invest in those sectors. I believe this will set me up to add strong value to my concentrated portfolio and the startup ecosystem as a fund partner in the future.”
Having been a technology entrepreneur in the past, Jain considers this experience helps him bring a founder’s perspective to JSW Ventures. He also enjoys immersing himself in key technology trends in his spare time and creating side projects that help him learn new technology skills. Jain holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering and economics from Northwestern University.