SAIF Partners’ Alok Goel exits VC firm after over 5 years to become entrepreneur

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Updated: Oct 20, 2020 2:15 PM

Goel had joined the VC firm back in 2015 after serving as COO of redBus and CEO of now Axis Bank-owned financial services marketplace FreeCharge. He led SAIF's investments into Meesho, ShareChat, Toppr, Unacademy, FarEye, Factors.ai, and more.

Goel would not be part of the seventh fund closed at 400 million dollars that SAIF announced on Tuesday. (Image: Bloomberg)

Top tier venture capital firm SAIF Partners’ Alok Goel has quit the company after more than five years working as a partner to turn entrepreneur. Goel had joined the VC firm, which is now rebranded as Elevation Capital, back in 2015 after serving as COO of redBus and CEO of now Axis Bank-owned financial services marketplace Freecharge. “After awesome 5+ years at SAIF, I plan to pursue an independent entrepreneurial journey and hence will not to be part of the new @SAIFPartners Fund 7. Will remain a partner for fund 4/5/6 and help portfolio. Looking forward to sharing what i am planning next:),” Goel announced on Twitter on Tuesday.

“I won’t call it a debut in entrepreneurship. When I took over Freecharge, it was a seed-stage company. It was pretty much nothing, so I took that company completely and built it. I’m not sharing about it (idea) right now. Will take a month or two of break and then I will be developing on my concept,” Goel told Financial Express Online in response to foraying into entrepreneurship.

Meesho, ShareChat, Toppr, Unacademy, FarEye, Factors.ai, Goodera, Haber, MedTrail, SuperOps, Zomentum were among the companies in which SAIF’s investments were led by Goel. The investor would not be part of the seventh fund closed at $400 million that SAIF announced on Tuesday. However, he would continue to support SAIF’s portfolio from the last three funds. Before Goel, SAIF Partners’ two principals Mukul Singhal and Rohit Jain had quit the firm in 2016 to launch their own fund called Pravega Ventures.

Also read: Festive sales so far: 70+ Flipkart sellers turn crorepatis; 5k Amazon sellers clock Rs 10 lakh sales

However, investors turning entrepreneurs and often vice versa isn’t at all new. Canaan Partners’ Alok Mittal, Bessemer Venture Partners’ Subramanya SV, Nexus Venture Partners’ Manoj Gupta, Prime Ventures’ Bala Parthasarathy, and more had quit to launch ventures in lending, e-commerce, mutual fund investments, healthcare, food, etc.

SAIF Partners, which has more than $2 billion under management, had backed companies including FirstCry, Justdial, Makemytrip, Paytm, Swiggy, Urban Company, etc. Investments out of the new fund would be led and managed by the VC firm’s managing directors including Ravi Adusumalli, Deepak Gaur, Mayank Khanduja, Mridul Arora, Mukul Arora, and Vivek Mathur.

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