Freecharge Chief Kunal Shah Joins Sequoia as Adviser
New Delhi: Freecharge co-founder Kunal Shah has joined venture capital firm Sequoia Capital as an adviser, in the process deepening an existing relationship between the two parties, according to sources close to the development.
Shah, who is also chairman of the Snapdeal-owned digital payments platform, is expected to play an active role in mentoring Sequoia’s large portfolio spread across India and South Asia.
Shailendra Singh, managing director at Sequoia Capital, is believed to have played an active role in bringing Shah on board, according to the sources cited above. Queries sent by ET to Shah did not elicit any response at the time of going to press. However, he announced the same across multiple social media platforms. The relationship between Shah and Sequoia goes back almost six years after the investment firm first backed Freecharge, then a largely recharge coupons business, in 2011.
Sequoia participated in every funding round of Freecharge, including an $80 million in equity financing raised by the company just prior to its acquisition by Jasper, which was announced in April 2015, for an estimated $400-$450 million, making it, at the time, the largest M&A deal to have been struck in the Indian startup ecosystem. The cash-and-stock deal also gave Sequoia a foothold in Snapdeal. The development comes less than a year after Shah,assumed the role of chairman at Freecharge, following the appointment of former Bharti Airtel senior executive Govind Rajan as the CEO last May..