Today India’s fledging startup ecosystem is not only resolutely breathing but has really come on its own. This year multiple high-profile startups went for an IPO while many more heavily funded startups are ready to test investor’s appetite in India’s capital market. To propel an immature and inexperienced startup industry to a stage that can dare for an IPO, many people made invaluable sacrifices over the years. These people can be rightfully tagged as the founding fathers of the Indian startup industry. One such person was Naren Gupta, who unfortunately passed away on Sunday at age 73.
Gupta along with other two gentlemen Suvir Sujan and Sandeep Singhal co-founded Nexus Venture Partner. Today Nexus stands tall among India’s VC industry, recognized as India’s premium and one of the oldest VC firms of India. Today it handles more than $2 Bn assets across the world while India has always been its favorite Indian destination. Nexus’ portfolio includes some of India’s most sought after startups including unicorns like Unacademy, Delhivery, Postman and Druva. It was also one of the early backers of MapMyIndia, which got listed on BSE through a stellar IPO barely a week ago.
Gupta co-founded Nexus at a time when terms like ‘startups’ and ‘venture capital’ were almost alien and non-existent for educated Indian masses. He was one of the few people who took many bold steps in nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship among India’s educated class. Through Nexus, he helped navigate India’s young startup through some of its toughest times.
Acknowledging Gupta’s invaluable service, the who’s who of India’s startup industry took to Twitter to pour their rich tributes. Eminent personalities like Rohit Bansal, Kunal Bahl, Naren Gupta and Swapnil Jain showered their tributes for MR. Gupta on their Twitter accounts.
One of Gupta’s biggest entrepreneurial achievements was Integrated Systems Inc (ISI), a software firm that he founded in the 1980s. ISI not only went public but was later acquired by chipmaker Intel.
Gupta has served at the board of several big companies including Red Hat Inc, which was acquired by IBM in 2018 for $34 Bn.