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From Startup to Shark: The Journey of Ashneer Grover

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Elina

10 July, 2024

From Startup to Shark: The Journey of Ashneer Grover

The very first season of Shark Tank India was a popular hit for its concept, pitchers with their innovative ideas and business as well as the judges who came with an impressive experience of building and running some of the most successful businesses in India. That panel of judges also included the former co-founder and a successful businessman from Delhi- Ashneer Grover. His journey began back in 2006 when he was working at the post of the Vice President of Kotak Investment Banking. Ashneer spent seven years serving at that designation and in May 2013, he worked as a director of corporate development at American Express (Amex) where he led the series B round of investment in Mobikwik- a Fintech platform and e-wallet used for making payments.

Soon, he shifted roles and became the Chief Financial Officer of Grofers- what is now popularly known as Blinkit and has been taken over by Zomato. With the financial skillset and knowledge he had, Ashneer was successful at making this platform one of the biggest online grocery applications in India by raising a whopping  US$ 170 million.

In 2017, Ashneer Grover joined hands with PC Jeweller Ltd. and took over the position of the head of this new business. In 2018, Shashvat Nakrani, Bhavik Koladiya and Ashneer Grover came together to start their own business BharatPe. This company became one of the leading payment companies giving neck-to-neck competition to the other platforms in the fintech space.

Ashneer Grover was one of the most popular judges on the Shark Tank India platform for his knowledge, experience, skillset, guidance, and the businesses he gave funding to. He came with the experience of several businesses and their investments that were significantly helpful to the start-ups that were a part of that show. Furthermore, the start-ups he invested in also witnessed promising growth after the show.

Awards and Recognitions Earned by Ashneer Grover

2019- Ashneer Grover represented BharatPe and India cashless at the Asia Pacific Initiative Forum.

2021: In January, he was honoured with the Young Achiever’s Award.

2021: He won the Entrepreneur of the Year award and BharatPe won the Emerging Company of the Year award.

2021: Ashneer’s name won the place under 40 Fortune India list of India’s brightest young business minds in the same year.

Start-ups or businesses that have been funded by Ashneer Grover

Company / Business Description
ZeroPe Fintech App Provides medical loans of up to 5,00,000 with as easy EMI payment
Big Bang Food Tech Food aggregator service intended to scale up legendary food brands
Freadom Educational platform for kids founded in 2008
The Whole Truth Sells protein bars, energy bars, and other snacks as their products in the food industry.
Get a whey A healthy dessert brand that sells a variety of protein-based desserts such as ice-creams and other confectionaries.
PazCare A technology-oriented health insurance platform
India Gold Provider of digital gold, gold coins and locker services in India.
Fello First ever video-game-based savings application of India.
Hire Quotient A platform that automates the HR interview process
Koo Social media platform that enables online interactions with another.
Skippi Ice Pops A food brand that won recognition for its 90s trend, bringing back the ice pops that also became popular through Shark Tank India.
Front Row A platform that offers classes in the field of sports, arts, and other hobbies to people who wish to follow their passion.
MOMO Mami A food business that became popular for selling street food

Furthermore, Ashneer Grover is also one of the most active angel investors and these three are the major businesses he is well-known for:

  1. CrickPe (Third Unicorn)  Co-Founder

  2. zero pay

  3. BharatPe

Ashneer Grover’s Educational Background

With a degree in B.Tech Civil Engineering from the leading institute IIT Delhi, Ashneer Grover went to the University of INSA-Lyon, France to participate in the exchange programme. Post his engineering degree, Ashneer pursued his MBA in Finance from the leading management institute in Ahmedabad – IIM. Then onwards, he began his entrepreneurial journey and gained work experience by working with several reputed names and companies.

The Journey at BharatPe

Ashneer Grover was one of the founders of the fintech platform- BharatPe that is popularly used for making easy online payments. Bharat Pe earned a total funding of  $680.5 million. It was valued at $500-2850 million in July 2021 which was an impressive valuation for a company that operated in a tough space of finance and technology put together. Additionally, the company was also known for raising considerable funding from several investors such as prominent capital firms. This marketed the name of BharatPe to reach a significant height in the industry of finance giving it a popular position in the market.

Furthermore, Ashneer Grover earned a salary of INR  1.69 Crore from BharatPe in the year 2022. His skills and knowledge in the field of technology and finance helped him make a few profitable investments while he was a part of the company. This was estimated to be somewhere around nine million dollars per year. Such financial growth also significantly contributed to the net worth of Ashneer Grover.

Forbes mentioned the estimated income of Ashneer Grover as of May 2024 to be estimated at $83000 which was calculated based on the stake he has in the company that was valued at $2.85 billion in the last round of funding.

Ashneer Grover’s Journey at Shark Tank

Shark Tank India started with the purpose of bringing the foreign format of this show to the Indian terrain and intruding on the talent in the field of start-ups that have been fostering for years. Shark Tank gained popularity in no time. It was known for its concept and judges along with a strong and competitive list of businesses that came for an investment. While Ashneer Grover was on the panel, he was particularly interested in those businesses that knew every meticulous detail about their business and were aware of what they were asking for.

Coming from a background of both technology and finance, he had a keen eye on those start-ups that utlisied technology to its most optimum potential to make their businesses run smoothly and offered hassle-free services to their consumers. Ashneer Grover was known for being tough and a blunt Shark as opposed to the others on the panel.  However, he was also reccongised for his absolutely unbiased and fair evaluation. There were several businesses he found promising and went ahead to invest in them. However, despite not agreeing to invest in the others, he gave his advice based on how should these start-ups work and what they can do to improve. Out of 67 propositions, Grover invested in 12 startups, using a total of 9.5 Crores.

These were some of the popular start-ups that were funded by Ashneer Grover. He invested a total of Rs 2.95 Crores through 11 deals in Shark Tank India Season 1. Ashneer Grover, with his experience and knowledge, could highlight the significance of scalability, strategies of customer acquisition, and revenue models.

Networth Insights: What is the Networth of Ashneer Grover?

Over the past years, and specially after his strong digital presence, Ashneer Grover’s net worth has seen a rise. In 2022, his net worth reached a whopping figure of $ 95 million. In 2024, it escalated to $108 million or Rs 900 Crore . He also won the label of one of the youngest CEOs in India according to the listing on the stock exchange. His particular interest in the finance industry also became a reason for him to work with popular businesses such as:

  1. Kotak Mahindra

  2. Paytm

  3. Yes Bank

This significantly contributed to his understanding of this fintech space and industry that helped him grow his business.

Conclusion

In the field of finance and technology, it is extremely tricky to crack a business idea and make it a successful project. Furthermore, the industry also requires a significant time commitment and years of experience to bring ideas to life. Ashneer Grover is regarded as one of the finest start-up owners and angel investors in this space. He has considerable experience in both fields along with his collaboration with several businesses in this as well as other spaces. His journey is truly inspiring for those who wish to start their own businesses and pursue their passion in the field of finance.

FAQs

Q.1 Is Ashneer Grover also an author?

Yes, Ashneer Grover has written a book called ‘Doglapan- The Hard Truth about Life and Start-ups’.

Q.2 What is the role of BharatPe in Ashneer Grover’s success?

BharatPe won the status of a unicorn and enjoyed rapid growth in the fintech space despite tough competition. This company image, therefore, significantly contributed to the image of Ashneer Grover and had abilities to operate in this growing industry.

Q. 3 What are some key investments influencing Ashneer Grover’s wealth?

Other than BharatPe, Ashneer Grover has made various investments in startups like

  1. UpGrad

  2. Mamaearth

  3. CRED

By being a part of not just these businesses but also covering diverse sectors of education, consumer goods, and e-commerce.

Q.4 Is BharatPe profitable?

According to the media reports from the end of 2021, BharatPe claimed to be on track. Its gross revenue increased by 4.5 times in the first half of FY22. Therefore, it can be said that the company is currently on track and also a profit-making business.

Q.5 Who is the current owner of BharatPe?

At present Nalin Negi is the Interim chief executive officer of BharatPe.


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