With the hope of creating a women-only community that supports other women founder-CEOs over the course of their startup journeys, founded by Vani Kola, Kaalari Capital has launched an initiative CXXO by which will provide women founders-CEOs unbiased access to capital, mentorship, and a community of other women founders and entrepreneurs.
Kalaari has earmarked $10 million to support between eight to 10 digital startups, where women are the key decision-makers and ideally CEOs, the VC firm announced in a press conference. With CXXO, Kalaari hopes to drive inclusive growth in India and propel the investing and startup community towards considering women-led companies on a level playing field, devoid of any biases stemming from the founder’s gender.
The cohort of these female founder-CEOs will be supported by successful women entrepreneurs in the industry, including Vani, along with the likes of Ankiti Bose (CEO and Co-founder, Zilingo), Priyanka Gill (Founder and CEO, POPxo and Co-founder and President, MyGlamm), Paroma Roy Chowdhury (Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer, Dream Sports), Lathika Pai (Country Head of Microsoft, Venture Capital and PE partnerships), and Shradha Sharma (Founder and CEO, YourStory).
Industry leaders such as CNBC-TV18 Managing Editor Shereen Bhan, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Bank Priya Rajan, Gazal Kalra — Co-founder of Rivigo, and Sindhu Gangadharan — the first woman to lead SAP Labs India — among many others, will also be involved in the investment committee and provide mentorship to the cohort.
Detailing about the vision behind the initiative, Vani Kola, said, “We want to enable more women to participate in India’s digital future. It’s necessary for our startup ecosystem to have more women so that there is inclusive growth. Supporting companies that have a woman in key decision-making roles is also important to bring about a cultural shift in the ecosystem at large, and our hope is that this change ripples out to the rest of the industry too.”