• Venture Capitalist
|Physical Stats & More|
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|Awards, Honours, Achievements|| Comeback award - Economic Times
• Economic Times 2016
Economic Times 40 under 40
• Times of India 2016
Fortune 40 under 40
• Fortune 2016
Fortune 40 under 40
• Fortune Magazine 2015
|Date of Birth||20 May 1983 (Friday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||38 Years|
|College/University||• Wilson College, Mumbai
• Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
|Educational Qualification||MBA Dropout The Times of India|
|Relationships & More|
|Wife||Bhavna Shah (Freelance Graphic Designer)
|Hobbies||Playing Chess, Playing Poker|
|Food||Guacamole and chips|
|Playwright||G. B. Shaw|
|Books||• Hard things about Hard things by Ben Horowitz
• Zero to One by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel
• Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
• The Monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma
• Never split the difference by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz
|Net Worth (approx.)||$806 million as of 2021 Business Insider|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Kunal Shah
- Kunal Shah is an Indian entrepreneur and venture capitalist who is the founder of CRED, which is considered the second-fastest-growing unicorn startup in India. In 2021, this startup was slated to hit a $2 billion valuation with $200 million funding.
- For him, it wasn’t easy to make it big in the startup scene. He belonged to a humble background and started working in his teenage due to his family’s financial problems. In an interview, while talking about hardships that he faced in his life, Kunal Shah said,
When you have not had money all your life, the value that you have for money is what it can do to other people’s lives.”
- He started his first job as a junior programmer in a business process outsourcing company after dropping out of his MBA.
- From August 2000 to August 2010, he worked at multiple companies as CEO.
- From August 2010 to October 2016, he worked as CEO at FreeCharge, a company that he founded in 2010.
- From January 2016 to December 2016, he worked at Y Combinator, an American seed money startup.
- From January 2016 to May 2017, he worked as Chairman at the Internet and Mobile Association of India.
- From January 2017 to December 2017, he worked as Advisor at Sequoia Capital.
- He has been working as an Advisor at The Times Group and AngelList since October 2017 and January 2018 respectively.
- Kunal Shah has always had a keen interest in behavioral finance and science.
- He met Sandeep Tandon, co-founder of “FreeCharge,” while working at a business process outsourcing company in 2010 in Mumbai.
- “FreeCharge” was a cellphone bill recharging startup service that achieved a valuation of $400 million in 2015, and in the same year, it was acquired by Snapdeal, and it was touted as one of the biggest e-commerce acquisitions at that time.
- In July 2017, Axis Bank acquired “FreeCharge” for $60 million.
- Kunal Shah used all the revenue generated from the acquisition of his company to invest in startups both in India and abroad. He invested in 80 startups including Pianta (healthcare service startup), Unacademy (Ed-Tech startup), Razorpay (billion-dollar fintech startup).
- During an interview, he was asked “why he didn’t own a designer car?” to which he answered,
I don’t know. I think about it a lot. I don’t feel I deserve it. I’d rather be investing in other people’s dreams because that’s more likely to change fortunes. I’d rather invest in a startup any day. I think I’m likely to be this way forever. Anyway, in India, the commute doesn’t get better in a superior car. The issue is the roads, not the car.
- Kunal Shah founded CRED in 2018 which targets the top 1% of the Indian population with a high disposable income to spend.
- With CRED, Kunal Shah introduced an incentive-based reward system for its customers to pay their credit card bills with incentives by offering discounts on airplane tickets and gym memberships, which requires the customer to have a credit score of 750 or more to avail these benefits.
- CRED has a customer base of 5.9 million active users and processes roughly 20% of credit card bill payments in India.
- He has also featured in a web series called “TVF Pitchers” as a judge of a startup event.
- Kunal Shah is very active on social media and has roughly 269k followers on his Twitter handle, where he is vocal about his opinions and perspectives.