A group of entrepreneurs have floated an early-stage investment fund called India Quotient, which may back even pre-revenue startups or firms which have not started generating revenues but require funds to build on their ideas or live products/services which are yet to start pumping income.
The group includes former Seedfund partner Anand Lunia, as well as Vishal Mehta of Infibeam, Kashyap Dalal of Inkfruit, Mohit Dubey, the founder of Carwale, and several other entrepreneurs.
Of the investors, Lunia has invested in five companies in his personal capacity, which will now be transferred to the fund. Although the fund is not closed yet, the corpus is currently pegged at about $5 million and it is looking to invest in 20 more companies in 2012.
As much as 10 per cent of the total corpus raised so far has come from Lunia’s own money and the stakes are, therefore, high for him. “Since it is my first fund, I wanted to put in more money myself,” he said.
“What makes this fund different is that we are looking to invest into companies at a very early stage. In fact, there are companies who might have been rejected by other early-stage VC funds for being too early, but India Quotient will invest in those,” he added. As of now, there is no sector focus but the fund is looking for innovations in consumer Internet, mobile and analytics, and targets companies who aim to start up in India and go global.
There are five companies which have already received funding, including IIMJobs, a job portal for business graduates; personalised gifting startup Engrave; shopping network RedQuanta and at-home beauty and personal care services firm Belita, among others. Without disclosing the financial details, Lunia said that the fund would soon close two more deals.
As the fund aims to invest in a lot of small companies, Lunia might not take board positions in all of them.
“Since many of us have experience in entrepreneurship and investment expertise, the entrepreneurs who come to us will have an added advantage,” said Vishal Mehta, founder & CEO of Infibeam who is a co-investor in the fund.