AngelList India head floats micro fund to invest in tech startups
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Utsav Somani, the India head of US-based investment crowdfunding platform AngelList, said he has launched a micro fund, iSeed, to invest in technology startups.

In a blogpost, Somani said AngelList founder Naval Ravikant is one of the largest investors in iSeed. Founders of Xiaomi, Thumbtack, Hike, Flutter, Bolt, TaskUs, CoinList and WikiHow are also investors in the micro fund, he added.

Founders and managing partners of venture capital firms like DST Global and Matrix Partners India have also pooled in capital in the micro fund.

Somani said the investors in iSeed can act as a bridge for Indian founders, who are increasingly targeting international customers and investors.

The micro fund plans to invest in 30 early-stage Indian companies and expects to have an average check size of $150,000.

San Francisco-based AngelList was founded in 2010 by Ravikant along with Babak Nivi, and the syndicate programme was launched in 2013.

In 2016, the group had appointed Somani, former Delhi chapter lead of LetsVenture and a member of the Indian Angel Network, to lead its operations in India.

Somani said that his day job remains as CEO of AngelList India while he will run iSeed on nights and weekends.

AngelList India has backed 140 startups so far including fintech platform BharatPe and artificial intelligence-based voice automation services Vernacular.ai. In April last year, AngelList had launched an India-dedicated fund called The Collective to invest in technology startups.

The launch of the new micro fund is good news for Indian startups as they seek funding to give wings to their ideas amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of Indian startups that received angel or seed-stage funding during the government-imposed lockdown to control the coronavirus pandemic jumped sharply in April but relatively older ventures felt a big pinch.

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