Chirag is a VP at Atomico, based in London, where he focuses on late stage investment opportunities across enterprise and consumer. He is responsible for sourcing, due diligence and providing ongoing support to investments at Series B and beyond.
My life has been defined by randomness and luck
I was born in India with no obvious path leading to where I am today. One guiding light however, was my father, one of the most resilient entrepreneurs that I know. He built multiple businesses, failing many times, but ultimately succeeded in exporting gemstones from India to wholesalers in Germany. That small business brought our family to Germany, which ultimately changed the course of my life.
Inspired by my father’s entrepreneurial journey, I admire founders that showcase grit and determination. They understand that failure is part of the journey while luck always plays an important role in both your career as well as personal life.
We all have something to prove
At the age of 11, I immigrated to Germany and entered the school system without speaking a word of German. I was given a grace period of twelve months to learn the language or to transfer to a different school with no prospects of higher education upon graduation. With my back against the wall, I had something to prove. Taking on the challenge, I learned the language in less than six months and ended up graduating from the very same school in the top 10% of the class.
I admire founders that want to prove something, to themselves or others, and are laser-focused on executing that vision.
Technology as an empowering tool
The 08/09 recession affected SMBs in Europe, which includes our family business. To reinvent how and where we reached our customers, I quickly discovered that online platforms such as eBay, Amazon and social media platforms like Facebook could help us reach new audiences. So I built the businesses’ presence on these platforms, diversifying our distribution channels, successfully navigating the recession. Today, the majority of the business's revenue is generated online!
Before joining Atomico
I started my career in the Tech Investment Banking team at Lazard, where I had the opportunity to work on several landmark M&A and IPO transactions across Europe. I learned how to assess and dissect large technology businesses, considered success stories due to the scale they had reached. Furthermore, I also learned how to run complex transactions managing multiple stakeholders on (oftentimes) ambitious timelines.
However, I was ultimately passionate about investing and identifying those success stories early. I transitioned to technology investing and joined Lakestar, investing from Seed to Series C across Europe and the US.
As an investor, I love the hustle and honing the craft of spotting talented founders early, building long-lasting relationships and ultimately helping them succeed.
My guiding principles and what I look for
I believe in providing value and support without expecting anything in return - life and relationships are a non-zero sum game! I do whatever it takes to help founders succeed - everything else is secondary. My personal and professional background enables me to bring different and fresh perspectives to the table, be it with founders, operators or investors. I am also a huge fan of the European tech ecosystem and am excited to contribute to its success.
I am on the lookout for mission-driven founders that are focused on achieving the impossible and have a chip on their shoulder. Their hustle enables them to recruit exceptional talent that helps them execute their bold vision.