Mumbai: Idein Ventures, a seed-stage VC fund with offices in the United Arab Emirates, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, has recruited David Back, co-founded of the first company in India to offer ‘self-drive’ car rentals Zoomcar, to advise the UAE-India Venture Capital Fund and its portfolio companies.
David will provide advice to Idein and to its portfolio companies on strategy, growth, hiring/compensation, legal structure, customer acquisition, monetization approach, fundraising, and other matters.
David Back commented, “There is tremendous opportunity in Indian start-ups right now. Idein has a strong mandate to increase its venture capital presence in India and the UAE; and Idein’s backers provide a network to help its ventures become global enterprises. It is also indispensable to have talented and experienced individuals on the ground in India, and Idein definitely has that in Ashwin, Mahesh, and their team.”
Idein was co-founded by Rajeshwar Prasad, Mahesh Vellaboyina and Ashwin Srivastava. Prasad founded two publicly traded companies in India, and serves as the CEO of RAK Sovereign Holdings; he is also the Ex-Officio Cabinet Minister and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau. Vellaboyina has deep experience in technology, as well as experience in investment banking, private equity, and venture capital in the United States and India; he studied computer science at Bangalore University. Srivastava is a serial entrepreneur with a history of building successful global companies in industries ranging from electronics, education, e-commerce, and construction; he holds dual degrees from IIT-Bombay.
Idein Ventures has invested in a number of start-ups in India and the UAE. These include: Infurnia, a Bangalore-based start-up which enables consumers to visualize their furniture in augmented-reality before making a purchase; Qriyo, a Jaipur-based company that provides home tutors in fields as diverse as cooking, yoga, chess, karate, and CBSE/ICSE; and ZoEasy, a UAE-based venture matching immigrant workers with safe and secure jobs, while helping employers and employees navigate laws and regulations. Idein has support from royal families and large investment houses in the Gulf States.
David Back co-founded the first company in India to offer ‘self-drive’ car rentals, with no chauffeur. Zoomcar launched in Bangalore exactly 4 years ago today, on February 14, 2013. When David left India almost 3 years later, Zoom had grown from 7 cars to almost 1,500 vehicles in 6 cities. It continues to expand; and now has about 2,500 vehicles in 17 Indian cities. Zoom has retained a dominant position, continuously controlling 70-80% of the legally-operating self-drive car rental market in India.
David has worked as a consultant at McKinsey, as an investment manager at Goldman Sachs, and as a research analyst at the Kauffman Foundation. He is currently an Expert Advisor with AlphaSights, and a Senior Sector Advisor for one of Zoomcar’s early investors, Athene Capital . Back sits on the board of advisors of several start-ups, including AptAmigo in Chicago and Impact Guru in Mumbai. David speaks about entrepreneurship, globalization, and doing business in India with the London Speakers Bureau.
Ashwin Srivastava said, “Very few people have as deep an understanding of the start-up ecosystem of India plus Silicon Valley. David has been one of the pioneers behind bringing the current Indian start-up scene to the global map, and we are sure our association with him will help set new precedents in the Indian and global venture capital industry.”