Meet Abhi Maran, Investment Analyst
Leaning on his years of experience as an Investment Associate and a keen interest in startups, Abhi Maran recently joined the Folklore team as an Investment Analyst to help find ambitious founders in the wild and support them in achieving their visions.
Timing plays a big role when it comes to landing a job in VC
I started my career at Cambridge Associates, after graduating from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Applied Finance. During my almost three years at Cambridge, I looked after billion-dollar accounts to create bespoke portfolios for foundations and family offices based on risk/return targets while allocating across major asset classes.
It was during this time at Cambridge that my interest in startups and investing grew and I wanted to get more involved in the ecosystem. Having come across Folklore a few times, I was impressed by Managing Partner Alister Coleman’s candour, experience and the portfolio that he and the team had built as it was unlike other VC portfolios. This led me to apply for a role at Folklore in late 2020.
While I didn’t get the role straight away, I decided to take the advice I received from Hannah, a Partner at Folklore, to get some real hands-on operating experience. I left Cambridge Associates and joined Upstreet, an early-stage fintech based in Sydney, to work on the business operations team.
Calculated risks pay off
After a few months into my role at Upstreet, the Folklore team invited me to interview again. The rest is history.
Before I made the leap from a rather traditional career path to startups, I reflected long and hard about my decision. While I was grateful for the experience and skills I gleaned from my first role, I was compelled to join the next wave of innovation.
Looking back, the risk I took by leaving my first job out of university to dive into startups paid off.
I’ve always been interested in maths and statistics, which is why I found investing so captivating
Both of my parents work in IT – and prior to that, my mum was a chemistry teacher – so it’s no surprise that I love working with numbers. My parents grew up in India and then moved to London where I was born. We moved around a lot before I started school and spent time living in Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley in America before moving to Australia in 2002.
Despite my dad having an IT background he always loved talking about investing. With a bit of his encouragement, I started my investing journey in Year 10 using the money that I had made from doing my paper runs. I’ve really come full circle since then!
I’m inspired by ambitious people who go to great lengths to create life-changing things
The most exciting thing about working at Folklore is being able to help founders fulfil their dreams – it’s always nice when your work has a positive effect on someone’s life, and I get to experience that firsthand. Outwardly I may seem like an introvert but I really enjoy talking to people and getting to know their unique stories. I feel privileged that I’m surrounded by so many smart and ambitious people across Australia’s startups.
When I’m not working, I’m playing sports or travelling
I’m a big tennis fan and love playing – the court is probably my happy place. I love being able to shut my brain off and just have a hit with my younger brother. Watching the Australian Open (AO) is always a priority in my calendar – it’s great being such a short flight away from Melbourne. I’m really looking forward to next year’s AO and hope to be able to watch a match or two in person (even better if I get to meet Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer while there!).
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