Idein Ventures Appoints David Back As Entrepreneur-In-Residence

Zoom has retained a dominant position since day one, continuously controlling 70-80% of the legally-operating self-drive car rental market in India. R

The Co-Founder of India’s first car rental company has been tapped to advise the UAE-India venture capital fund and its portfolio companies.

Idein Ventures is a seed-stage VC fund headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, with offices in Mumbai and Hyderabad. It was co-founded by Rajeshwar Prasad, Mahesh Vellaboyina, and Ashwin Srivastava. Prasad founded two publicly traded companies in India, and is the CEO of Ras al-Khaimah Sovereign Holding; he is also Ex-Officio Cabinet Minister and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau. Vellaboyina has deep experience in technology, as well as experience in investment banking, private equity, and venture capital in the United States and India; he holds a computer science degree from Bangalore University. Srivastava is a serial entrepreneur with a history of building successful global companies in industries ranging from electronics, education, e-commerce, and construction; he holds dual degrees from IIT-Bombay.

David Back co-founded India’s first self-drive car rental company, Zoomcar. By the time Back left at the end of May 2015, Zoom had grown from 7 cars in Bangalore to about 1,500 cars in 6 cities; it continues to grow, and now has over 2,500 vehicles in 12 Indian cities. Zoom has retained a dominant position since day one, continuously controlling 70-80% of the legally-operating self-drive car rental market in India. Recently, Zoomcar added a peer-to-peer “Airbnb for cars” similar to Turo or Getaround in the US. Zoomcar is now a world-leader in car rental technology. is roughly the 2,000th most-visited website in India – a country with 500 million internet users. Zoomcar’s app on the Android Playstore has more downloads and reviews, and a higher rating than Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Turo, Getaround, and Carzonrent (India's distant-2nd biggest car rental company) combined.

Zoomcar's investors include Ford Motor Company, Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth Partners, FundersClub, Empire Angels, Former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai, British politician and businesswoman Lady Barbara Judge, Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, as well as professors at Wharton, Harvard Law School, and Cambridge University's Judge School of Business.

Back lives in Oakland, California. He is a Senior Sector Advisor for one of Zoomcar’s early investors, Athene Capital in London. Back also serves on the board of advisors of several start-ups, including AptAmigo in Chicago and Impact Guru in India. He has worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co, as an investment manager at Goldman Sachs, and as a research analyst for the General Counsel of the Kauffman Foundation. Back speaks about entrepreneurship, globalization, and doing business in India with the London Speakers Bureau.

Ashwin Srivastava says about this appointment, “Very few people have as deep understanding of the startup ecosystem of India plus Silicon Valley. David has been one of the pioneers behind bringing the current Indian startup scene to the global map, and we are sure our association with him in US will help set new precedents in the global venture capital industry.”

Idein Ventures is a recent entrant to start-up investing and has already invested in a number of start-ups in India and the UAE. These include: Infurnia, a Bangalore-based start-up which enables consumers to visualize and customize their furniture in 3D before making a purchase; Qriyo, a Jaipur based company focused on making all forms of education home based through its myriad network of Qriyo Gurus; and ZoEasy, a UAE-based venture matching immigrant workers with safe and secure jobs, while and helping employers and employees navigate laws and regulations. It is also associated with large projects elsewhere in the world, such as in Guinea Bissau in West Africa. Idein has support from royal families and large investment houses to increase its venture capital presence in India and the UAE, and to provide resources that help its venture investments become global enterprises.

Back said “There is tremendous opportunity in Indian start-ups right now. At the same time, the Indian diaspora has excelled at entrepreneurship and investing in other parts of the world, and amassed great wealth, particularly in the United States, United Kingdom, Gulf States, Canada, and Singapore. It is the perfect time to invest money and expertise in a large, stable, growing economy. Ras al-Khaimah’s global connections can play a big part in the development of the Indian start-up ecosystem. It’s also indispensible to have a strong local team in India, and Idein definitely has that in Ashwin, Mahesh, and their team.”

David will work with Idein and its portfolio companies on: strategy, growth, hiring/compensation, legal structure, customer acquisition, monetization approach, fundraising, and others.

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