Planning a Startup? Here are India's Top 5 Early Stage Investors


Indian startups collectively rose close to $6.7 billion in 2015. While that’s a full 100% hike from last year’s figures’ it’s harder to raise money now. Basically, anybody with a .com can’t just raise money at any chosen valuation.

This has been triggered by a series of setbacks in startups including layoffs, shut downs and roll-backs. VCs are pickier now, and with more people willing to join the startup bandwagon, competition is tough.

Here are India’s top 5 early stage investors:

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An India-focused early to mid-stage fund, Helion Ventures invests in outsourcing, Internet, mobile, healthcare, education and financial services. It has 110 deals across 75 startups.

Performance: At a valuation of over $1.1 billion, Shopclues is the key investment in its portfolio. Grocery delivery service Bigbasket is estimated to record sales of Rs 2,000 crore for 2016-17 and MakeMyTrip is one of its biggest exists, which an IPO listing in NASDAQ in 2010.

TaxiForSure and RedBus were acquired by Ola and Naspers Group respectively.

Another company Letsbuy was acquired by Flipkart, and Mahindra Group acquired Babyoye in early 2015.
Bengaluru-based Kalaari believed in investing in early-stage technology-oriented companies in India. They seek companies that are capable of capturing new markets, providing innovative solutions and creating new wealth for India and beyond.

Performance: Its notable investments include e-commerce plays like Snapdeal, and Urban Ladder. There’s also the personal assistant app Haptik.

The big exits include Myntra, which was acquired by Flipkart in May 2014.
Accel Partners founded in 1983 has global presence in Palo Alto, London , New York, China and India.

Typical multi-stage investments in internet technology companies are made by Accel partners.
With 105 deals and 83 startups to date, this startup fund wants 'Blu Swans', i.e. businesses that can scale to Rs. 1,000 crores or more in valuation.

The firm is looking to invest in a dozen startups a year. In a series of blog posts called ‘Investor Chronicles’, co-founder Karthik Reddy writes that it’s selection rates are below 1%.

Performance: It is a curious development, hyper-local delivery start-up joined hands with food-tech start-up TinyOwl.

Blume has had 12 exits so far, five were in 2015 alone. IndianStage was acquired by Explara, 1Click was acquired by FreshDesk, TaxiForSure was acquired by Ola, Promptec was acquired by Havells, and ZipDial by Twitter.
A group of over 400 angel investors in the country, this one has been in inception since 2006. It has 92 deals so far across the globe, with investments in 88 companies.

Performance: The firm has seen three exits so far. Mobile video streaming company Jigsee was acquired by Vuclip, clinical research company Karmic Life Sciences was acquired by Cliantha Research, and PeelWorks, which raised a solid $2 million in Series A funding from Inventus and IDG Ventures.
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