15 Early Stage VC Funds in India That Everyone Needs To Know
The Indian economy is booming and on track to become one of the biggest in the world. As new startups enter the market, we’ve seen a massive change in the business landscape over the last few years. As a result, India has become the third startup ecosystem in the world after the US and China.
Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) investments in India hit a record high in 2021. Indian startups raised a whopping $42 billion in more than 1500 deals. While startups are becoming a new norm, taking an idea and turning it into a successful business is not an easy task.
It requires strong willpower and a lot of hard work to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of the startup. Most importantly, early-stage startups need to have the backing of VC. Seed-stage or early-stage funding is vital not just for Indian startups but for every entrepreneur in every country.
Capital inflow in the initial stages allows the entrepreneurs to research the market, work on product development, and focus on market expansion. Therefore, the early-stage VC funds in India play a significant role in a startup’s success. This article will cover some of the best venture capital firms in India for your startup.
Top 15 Early Stage VC Funds in India
Reliable investors can give ample money once the startup reaches the growth stage. However, there aren’t many investors who are willing to invest in startups. Nevertheless, a few VC firms might take the risk of investing in an early stage and seed fund the startups. Let’s learn about such firms in more detail.
Blume Ventures is an early stage VC fund in India that invests in startups focusing on mobile applications, IT and software sectors, etc. Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath started Blume Ventures in 2011. The firm focuses on series A/B, seed, and debt funding for early-stage startups.
It has invested in many startups and closed more than 270 deals with different companies, including HealthifyMe, TaxiForSure, Cashify, and much more. The firm itself has raised around $378 million in different investment rounds.
Sequoia Capital is one of the oldest players in the market regarding venture financing and seed funding. The company has been in business since the 1970s and has invested in major tech companies such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Google, etc. It is one of the most well-known early stage VC fund in India.
It created a subsidiary Sequoia Capital India in 2006 to target the growing Indian market. Since then, the firm has raised $3B across eight funds. Sequoia Capital India is known for investing in Byju, Practo, CarDekho, etc.
Another popular name in the venture capital space in India is Chiratae Ventures. The company was formerly known as IDG Ventures India and was established in 2000.
This early-stage venture capital investment firm has invested in startups in the engineering, mass media, and technology sectors. Its portfolio has some major successful startups, including Lenskart, Zivame, FirstCry, and much more.
Matrix Partners India is a US-based venture capital firm subsidiary that operates under the same name. The company’s primary aim is to help businesses grow by going beyond just investing money. For instance, the firm will help new companies hire the right talent for their business. With names such as Ola and mSwipe in its investment portfolio, the company has invested in more than 173 startups. Matrix Partners is an active early stage VC fund in India.
Vineet Rai founded the Aavishkaar Venture Capital in 2001, and it focuses on micro-equity funding. Unlike other VC firms, the company invests in companies that provide financial and other essential services, including healthcare, education, etc.
Aavishkaar Venture Capital also helps businesses through the investment strategy of “sow-and-reap.” From seed funding to large-scale expansion, the company helps businesses to grow through every stage.
If you are looking for one of the oldest VC firms in the Indian startup ecosystem, then Accel Partners is worth your attention. This California-based venture capital firm has been in business for over 30 years. The company has invested in a wide range of startups, including mobile, software, infrastructure, etc. Its portfolio is filled with various successful startups, such as Myntra, Freshdesk, Flipkart, and much more. The fund has made a niche for itself and is well-known early stage VC fund in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Saif Partners are known for their investments in various countries in the South Asia region. It has been in the Indian market for more than 22 years. The company has invested in and funded different startups, including Paytm, Book My Show, and much more.
With headquarters in China and India, the company helps business ventures throughout their journey. Whether seed funding or high-growth capital investing, the company can assist businesses at any point. The primary sectors that Saif Partners focuses on are healthcare, technology-based companies, logistics, SaaS, etc.
YourNest Venture Capital doesn’t only provides businesses with funding but also helps startups to grow and scale up. It provides a safe ecosystem where startups in their early stages are nurtured by providing them with relevant skills. This early-stage venture capital fund invests in businesses that focus on the following domain:
- IoT (Internet of Things )
- Enterprise segments
- Edge Cloud
- Digital Products
- Dev. Tools
- AR (Augmented Reality)
- AI (Artificial Intelligence)
The primary aim of Yournest Venture Capital is to provide Indian founders with the opportunity to expand into international markets with IP-led innovation. Moreover, they also have a “Nurture Capital” program where founders can connect with various professionals, advisors, mentors, and other key players.
One of the best VC firms in the market, Kalaari Capital, has raised $479M across three funds. The company’s office is based in Banglore, which is the tech hub for India. Its portfolio has the same impressive names, including Haptik, Dream11, MilkBasket, and others.
Vani Kala is the brains behind this company, which focuses on providing funds to startups and the early stage. Its list of successful startups includes various big names in the eCommerce and IT industry, such as Snapdeal, ScoopWhoop, Myntra, and much more.
Tiger Global Management is another US-based company that has entered the Indian market after seeing its rapid growth. Its primary focus is investing in startups in the telecom, financial technology, and media consumer industries.
One thing that sets Tiger Global Management apart from other VC firms is investing in companies in different stages. Whether it’s the last stage, post IPO, or private equity, the company is willing to invest in startups as long as they see a good prospect.
The Omidyar Network India is known for investing with startups in different domains, such as Fintech, Edtech, and digital tech. It helps businesses to scale with early-stage and seed funding.
With more than 75 deals, Omidyar Network has invested in various startups, including Dailyhunt, Needslist, Platzi, Pratilipi, Healthkart, ZestMoney, and much more.
Ankur Capital Fund is an investment firm that invests in companies that focuses on agri-tech, healthcare, skill development, and much more. The company is known for helping its partners by going beyond just contributing financial resources.
Its business services entail helping startups with additional rounds of funding as well as strategic growth and development. Apart from venture and seed funding, the company also helps businesses during the convertible note stage.
Omnivore Partners focuses on startups and businesses that work on the technologies for food and agriculture. The company aims to ensure agricultural prosperity by providing new technologies to farmers. Mark Kahn and Jinesh Shah started the company back in 2010.
The company is known for its investments in various startups that come up with technologies for sustainable agriculture. Some of the names include Arohan Foods, Skymet, and Eximdesk. Omnivore Partners plans to create a new $130 million (Rs 1000 crore) fund for companies focusing on climate change and rural development.
Pranav Pai and Siddarth Pai started the company in 2016 that invests in startups in health, education, fintech, etc. Apart from investing in the new-age technologically driven businesses, the company also assists founders in resolving their core company issues.
It helps other starts by identifying opportunities for growth, reducing the risk, and increasing the reward outcomes. Furthermore, the strategy fund also works with businesses to strategize their long-term growth and sustainability.
Last but not least, Trifecta Capital Advisors is also an investment firm worth the entrepreneurs’ attention. They are one of the best venture partners for startups in the domains of Technology, consumer, and healthcare. BharatPe and Box 8 are just a few of the famous investments of this company.
Rahul Khanna and Nilesh Kothari founded the company with the aim of helpings businesses that require seed funding. As of January 2023, the company has raised $586.6M over four funds.
VC investments in India have a great future, considering the growing Indian population and economy. It opens up new avenues for entrepreneurs in India who can have the opportunity to compete at a global level.
As for VC investment firms, they’re likely going to invest in businesses that come up with unique ways to provide consumer products and services. Therefore, it creates a perfect ecosystem for Indian entrepreneurs to use their creativity.