Blume has always been a deep believer in a partnership model, assisting its portfolio companies and investors – by building deeper engagement across the lifecycle of the relationship.
As Blume kicks off its second decade, it has made two new hires to the Platform team.
Kunal Bajaj has joined as Head of Growth & Exits to help Blume’s portfolio companies and their respective Investment Leads with capital raising, M&A and Capital Markets.
Kunal will be responsible for partnering with the investment team to optimize portfolio companies’ outcomes through the lifecycle of a company, building and managing long-term relationships with a network of capital providers, strategic corporates, partners and advisors, and advising our portfolio companies on all aspects of Capital Markets – including IPO preparedness, debt capital, advisor / banker selection and more.
Kunal joins Blume after 18 years of experience in Institutional Equity Sales, Trading and Risk Management at some of the world’s largest financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Jefferies and CLSA, with cross-border experience in India and Japan. In his last banking role, he was Managing Director and set up Jefferies’ India Equity business in 2011 as Head of Equity Sales. He has been invested into the startup world over the past decade. Kunal started as an angel investor through Mumbai Angels, built his own startup Clearfunds in 2015, which he sold to Mobikwik in 2018 and stayed on as Head of Strategy, Corp Dev and Investor Relations, prior to joining Blume.
Karthik Reddy (Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Blume Ventures) adds: “As the Blume portfolio trajectory begins to scale on all dimensions, we decided that we needed a leader like Kunal. He embodies the passion to build the Growth Capital practice and deepen Blume’s ability to bring in the best capital partners to our portfolio. As Indian tech and Blume’s portfolio begin to scale new heights and exit paths increase, Kunal’s experience with institutional investors will be a huge asset for our portfolio. Blume now has over 25 portfolio companies valued at $50 million or more in the portfolio, with more being added soon. It was inevitable that we had to strengthen this function. We have two more young team members joining Kunal soon.”
Gaytri Udeshi has also joined Blume Ventures as Financial Controller. Blume grew from an AUM of $22 Million in mid 2015 to over $230 Mill in mid 2020. Given Blume’s 10 year history and multiple funds under management, Gayatri will play an important role as Blume grows through its second decade. Gayatri will lead the finance and compliance functions. Gaytri brings over ten years of expertise in areas of fund management and investor relations.
Prior to Blume, Gaytri spent over six years with Piramal Capital, most recently as AVP, Finance, and was closely involved in managing their various investment funds.
Gaytri, along with Alok Mehta, will work closely with Ashish Fafadia.
Alok Mehta completed five years at Blume and has been managing both finance and Investor Relations and will now concentrate his efforts on the growing investor base at Blume.
Ashish Fafadia (Partner, Blume Ventures) commented on Gaytri’s addition to the Blume Platform team: “Blume has more than doubled its AUM over just the past 2-3 years and given the breadth and depth of our high quality investor base, we decided to prepare early for the next decade of growth. Gaytri brings relevant experience of driving the Finance function including winding down legacy funds and structuring newer ones and will be instrumental in guiding the Blume Finance team through the next phase of growth.”
The Blume Platform team has been a force multiplier to the Blume Investments team. The Platform team offers a broad range of post-investment support and services — ranging from talent acquisition, learning and development, connecting portfolio companies through community building initiatives, helping our portfolio raise growth capital, diligence and documentation, financial management and control, and creating opportunities across Blume’s corporate network and the wider startup ecosystem.
About Blume Ventures
Blume is an early stage venture fund that backs startups with funding as well as active mentoring. Blume backs tech-led startups, led by Indian founders obsessed with solving hard problems and impacting large markets. Blume’s vision is to be the leading platform that sources, funds, nurtures and creates value for India’s brightest young startups – helping them ‘blume’!