Kanika Agarrwal
Kanika Agarrwal is the co-founder and CIO of Upside AI, a fintech start-up that aims to revolutionise the investment space with the help of machine learning. Kanika is a rank holder Chartered Accountant (All India Rank 18), a CFA charter holder and a Commerce graduate from the Mumbai University. She has over 11 years of experience in finance and investing, having worked with companies including Mayfield India, Credit Suisse, and EY. During her four year stint at Mayfield India, Kanika focused on investing in early-stage companies within the enterprise tech and consumer internet space. At Mayfield, her key deals included Matrimony.com (IPO – 2017), Amagi (adtech), Knowlarity (enterprise SaaS), Triphobo (travel tech), The Beer Café (food), and Genesis Colors (luxury retail). Prior to Mayfield, she was a part of the investment banking team at Credit Suisse and before that, a part of the tax and regulatory services practice at EY. Kanika has always envisioned a future in finance and known that she will be an entrepreneur. Inspired by Benjamin Graham’s ‘The Intelligent Investor’, at 29, both these dreams came together with the ideation and launch of Upside AI. As the Chief Investment Officer, Kanika is responsible for everything from sales to the day-to-day operations. With passion and sheer willpower, Kanika along with her two co-founders has been able to scale up the business 5X in the last two years. With strategy and an eye for detail at the core of Kanika’s role at Upside AI and throughout her professional career, she’s sharpened these skills with interests and hobbies that have trickled into her personal life as well. An extreme board game enthusiast, Kanika along with her co-founders spends over 8 hours every weekend playing high risk, strategy games like Terra Mystica, Pandemic Legacy, Brass: Birmingham and Power Grid. Additionally, being a certified scuba diver, she grabs any opportunity she gets to go on a diving trip. As a voracious reader, Kanika reads about five books a month, to not just help her learn from the greats but to also, keep her mind open to newer possibilities. With a healthy dose of reality and fantasy, the two books she’s currently reading are an autobiography on Alibaba’s Jack Ma and the 17th installment of the fantasy-mystery series, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Over the many years she spent in the world of finance, she firmly believes that irrespective of the domain you operate in, your ability to break the glass ceiling and chase opportunity is directly correlated to building deep domain expertise in your field, courage of conviction in your own ideas, and the ability to communicate these with confidence. Taking inspiration from books like, ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg, people like Warren Buffett, and investment companies like Renaissance Technologies, Kanika aims to build Upside AI into India’s first fully tech-enabled Asset Management Company.