Early-stage venture capital firm Blume Ventures has teamed up with two US-based funds to launch an accelerator-cum-fund platform to invest in business-to-business startups in India.
Arka Ventures Labs is anchored by Blume, Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) and Emergent Ventures. It will provide seed and pre-seed capital of up to $200,000, Blume said in a statement.
The platform will also offer mentorship, infrastructure and access to the Silicon Valley ecosystem that is critical for scaling up B2B startups in the US, it added.
“Indian startups, after operating three to four years in India and having established their client base here, start looking at how to approach the US market,” said Arka Venture CEO and managing partner Radhesh Kanumury. “Arka Venture Labs will accelerate their presence in the US, which has more breadth and depth in market, lesser sales cycles and higher margins,” he added.
This platform is only open to B2B technology startups that have a “minimum viable product” with a strong potential in the US or European region, the statement said.
“Cross-border technology startups used to be a rare exception. They are now a way of life and the principal source of innovation among VC-backed companies,” said Eric Benhamou, founder and managing partner of BGV. “India is now the most exciting new frontier of this trend,” he added.
Separately, Kanumury told VCCircle the anchor LPs contributed an equal amount to the platform. The platform was initially targeting a corpus of $6 million and has made the first close. But it now expects the size to go up to $8-9 million due to interest from other investors.
“We have some corporate houses, some active angels and family offices who have expressed interest in joining us on this platform,” said Kanumury.
However, it wants to keep the corpus in the range of $8-9 million because it doesn't want the platform to become another VC fund, said Kanumury. He also said that anchor investors could look at further investing in the startups housed under the platform by its own merit.
Blume Ventures, co-founded by Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath, has 80 active startups in its portfolio and has invested in 110 firms in the eight years since it set up shop.
The Mumbai-based venture capital firm has more than 40% of its portfolio companies in the B2B segment. Some its B2B bets include Minjar Cloud Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates a cloud computing platform; Grey Orange Robotics, which develops warehouse automation systems; WebEngage, a user engagement platform; and DataWeave, a business intelligence startup.
The venture capital firm is on the road to raise $80-100 million (Rs 520-650 crore) for its third fund.
BGV is a Silicon Valley-based early-stage venture capital firm. It has 23 companies in its portfolio and has exited 16 companies, according to its website.
Emergent Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in IT, particularly enterprise tech such as IT infrastructure, data management, security and business applications, its website shows. The firm backs startups in Silicon Valley and India and invests from the seed stage till the Series A round.