Seven Indians make it to Forbes’ Midas List 2009

February 1st, 2009 - 11:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Feb 1 (IANS) Seven Indians have made it to the Forbes magazine’s coveted list of top 100 start-up investors who put their “Midas touch” to help grow adolescent companies into profit-making ventures in the midst of a global financial meltdown.The Midas List 2009 features at least seven India-born investors led by Ram Shriram in the third position. The list is topped by John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers followed by Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz in the second position.

Shriram, who made a fortune as one of Google’s original backers and board members, currently invests heavily in India and his bets include Mobile ad marketplace mKhoj and job-hunting site

He is followed by fellow venture capitalists like Navin Chaddha who was ranked 11th in the coveted list, Arjun Gupta at 32nd position, Deepak Kamra (70), Raman Khanna (72), Ravi Adusumalli (75) and Promod Haque (96).

“Venture capitalists are still the Johnny Appleseeds of the technology world,” said Forbes, noting in 2008 VCs raised $28 billion and poured roughly the same into companies.

“The contraction of the US economy, however, made it tough for new companies to reach the public market: Only six venture-backed companies had IPOs in 2008, down from 86 companies in 2007,” the US business magazine said.

“The new watchword of this past year: growth equity, which means investing in adolescent companies where managers have already figured out how to turn a profit,” it said.

Other Indian-origin people on the list that seeks to identify venture capitalists who generate profits for their investors and assist in building valuable, long-lived technology and life sciences companies include Navin Chaddha with successes like India Infoline (financial services) and Provogue (fashion).

In 2008 Chaddha invested in Gigya, which distributes widgets and content across the Web and attaches relevant advertisements.

Arjun Gupta (32) made successful investment in Omnipoint and Bombay Cellular and started his own firm, TeleSoft Partners in 1996. He made a big jump from his 2008 ranking (51).

Web and telecom investor Deepak Kamra had big hits with IPOs of Acme Packet and SuccessFactors. He has also invested in matchmaking sites like India’s BharatMatrimony and Zoosk, a US dating website.

Raman Khanna’s current portfolio includes Mixercast (advertising on social networks) and Permuto. Ravi Adusumalli, head of India investments for SAIF, racked up big payout from investment financial services giant IL&FS, which went public on the Bombay Stock Exchange in 2005.

Promod Haque’s investment plans include Indian tech firms that have outgrown the start-up phase.

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