Cred's founder Kunal Shah: Angel Investor in Nearly 80 Fintech Startups

Kunal Shah, the founder and CEO of fintech unicorn Cred, has made a significant impact on the Indian startup ecosystem as an active angel investor. Over the past two years, he has held the title of the most active angel investor in India and has played a pivotal role in supporting and nurturing the growth of fintech startups in the country.

Shah's investment portfolio is impressive, with approximately 80 fintech startups in his investment basket. His average ticket size for investments hovers around $50,000, showcasing his commitment to fostering the startup ecosystem rather than solely seeking financial returns.

In a recent conversation with CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan at the Global Fintech Fest 2023, Kunal Shah shed light on his investment philosophy. He emphasized that his investment choices are not driven by a desire for financial gains but by a genuine passion for contributing to the progress of the startup ecosystem. Shah's altruistic approach is evident in his decision to invest exclusively in startups, forgoing traditional investment options such as mutual funds or stocks.

Among his notable investments, Shah has been an early supporter of fintech unicorn Razorpay, a leading player in India's digital payment space. Additionally, he has backed companies like M2P Fintech, Jupiter, and Coinswitch, all of which have made substantial contributions to India's fintech landscape.

Kunal Shah's role as an angel investor has evolved over time. While he initially met with startup founders to make investment decisions, he now conducts discussions primarily through email or WhatsApp. This shift in his approach reflects the changing dynamics of the startup ecosystem and the need for streamlined communication.

Shah's vision extends beyond his individual investments. He is a strong advocate for creating a robust entrepreneurial culture in India. He believes that by nurturing and supporting high-quality founders who, in turn, pay it forward, India can transition from a nation of job seekers to one of job creators. This transformation would be a monumental milestone for the country's economic growth.

Although Kunal Shah has consistently been recognized as the most active angel investor in India, he noted a slight decrease in his investment activity compared to the previous year. In 2022, he participated in about 96 deals, but this year, he has been more selective. Nevertheless, his impact on the startup ecosystem remains undeniable.

Shah's bullish outlook on new-age financial services startups is indicative of his belief in their pivotal role in driving India's fintech growth. He stressed that these loss-making startups have been instrumental in propelling the ecosystem forward, even as the startup landscape has shifted its focus from growth to profitability.

Kunal Shah's commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem as an angel investor reflects his dedication to fostering innovation, supporting risk-takers, and ultimately contributing to India's emergence as a global entrepreneurial powerhouse. His approach to investing not only brings financial support to startups but also inspires the next generation of entrepreneurs to pay it forward and continue the cycle of growth and innovation.



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