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Raising capital? Watch out for these new foreign startup funds expanding to India

The new funds are not only looking to back scalable ideas in India but are also aiming at technology transfer from India to their respective ecosystems.

More than 4 startup funds from geographies including Brazil, UAE, Singapore, and Canada are looking to back early-stage Indian startups in coming three-six months to tap innovative ideas emerging from the world’s third largest startup ecosystem — India.

“Gilda VC from UAE, F3 Capital from Brazil, Toronto Business Development Centre (incubator), and Govin Capital from Singapore are the financial institutions that are looking to either set-up their India business or expand in India in coming three-six months. There are others as well from the Bay Area in the US and China exploring India investments,” Nassom’s Senior Director and Head – 10000 Startups Suresh Jayaraju told Financial Express Online. Jayaraju, a former senior executive at Google, Airtel and Samsung looking after new products and innovation, has been a mentor to multiple startups and consults various funds looking to set-up or expand in India.

“Out of Gilda VC which has started meeting startups for investments and Govin Capital which is looking to expand their operations, F3 Capital and Toronto Business Development Centre are currently understanding what should be their investment thesis for India, how they have to set up, required compliances procedures etc,” Jayaraju said.

The new funds are not only looking to back scalable ideas in India but are also aiming at technology transfer from India to their respective ecosystems. For instance, F3 Capital is figuring out ideas in mobile payments segment that also suits Brazil which is also a prepaid card market like India.

“The technology adoption in Brazil largely comes from North America even though the market dynamics for them is not very similar to that region. So they would rather pick technologies and ideas from India. F3 Capital said that the technologies that are relevant here can be taken to Brazil or endorsed there,” Jayaraju added.

Similarly, Jayaraju said that Toronto Business Development Centre wants to have Indian startups set up base in Canada as well while the Centre is looking to get more angel and venture capital investors (VC) from Canada to back Indian startups. On the other hand, Gilda VC is looking to invest over Rs 100 crore in angel deals.

These funds are looking at investments up to Series A level unlike more established VCs who are backing advanced startups and thus more capital is getting poured at late stages.

The seed stage funding declined from $191 million in 2017 to $151 million in 2018 whereas particularly in the late stage, funding went up by 250 per cent from $847 million in 2017 to $3 billion in 2018, said a Nasscom 2018 report — Indian startup ecosystem – approaching escape velocity.

“If investments don’t happen at early stage then how would you create pipeline for series A rounds. This is a big problem for VCs. However, (foreign) funds like these will come and fill that gap,” said Jayaraju.

The new funds are looking at startups in fintech, healthcare, and deeptech areas.

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Source: Financial Express