In a fresh attempt to support the cross-border growth of startups, venture capital firm Blume Ventures has tied up with two US-based funds to launch a B2B (business-to-business) accelerator platform-cum-fund.
The two US-based funds are Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) and Emergent Ventures. Together with Blume, they will launch accelerator platform-cum-fund Arka Venture Labs.
The Arka Venture Labs venture capital fund will invest solely in B2B startups in India with the aim of facilitating global transition and faster growth.
Arka Venture Labs: Cross-Border Growth Of Startups
The new accelerator platform-cum-fund, Arka Venture Labs, will start off with a corpus of about $6 Mn (INR 40 Cr) with all three funds — Blume, BGV, and Emergent Ventures — anchoring the investment.
With a successful first close, the newly found fund has received interest from both Indian and US-based corporates, family offices, and global HNIs and may see its corpus rise further.
This platform is open only to B2B startups that have a minimum viable product (MVP) with a strong potential in the US or in Europe, backed by strong core technology and economic differentiators. Arka Venture Labs will operate out of Blume’s offices in India and BGV’s offices in Silicon Valley. Apart from mentoring and funding, the platform also provides working spaces for these startups.
“Once startups in the B2B space look at developed markets like the US and Europe for a client base, their scale of growth and profitability get an incredible boost due to such markets’ propensity for high-profit margins and lesser sales cycles. Hence, we decided to create a platform early in startups’ life cycle to enable this growth path,” said Radhesh Kanumury, managing partner of Arka Venture Labs, also advisor to Blume Ventures.
Arka Venture Labs will provide seed and pre-seed capital of up to $200K for startups in the B2B space along with mentorship, infrastructure, and access to the Silicon Valley ecosystem, which is critical in scaling up B2B startups in globally developed markets.
It must be noted that at present, about 40% of Blume Ventures’ portfolio in India consists of B2B startups.
Arka Venture Labs will offer capital, cross-border ecosystem linkages, and access to a global customer base to tech-focused B2B startups that work in areas of retail, supply chain, robotics and also deep technology, including artificial intelligence, big data, and analytics.
The company is looking at startups with the following criteria:
- A B2B product
- Market potential in the US and/or Europe
- An MVP or paying customers
- Strong and passionate team of founders with complementary skills
- Unique differentiation with regard to product technology and innovation, and clear economic advantages
“We help Indian enterprise startups overcome the ‘trust gap’ that exists between them and customers, investors, and acquirers alike when making a global transition. We plan to make Arka Venture Labs an open and collaborative platform to bring in all the help we need to bridge this trust gap for our companies,” said Yashwanth Hemaraj, an investor at BGV and one of the founding partners at Arka Venture Labs.
Recently, Mumbai-based early-stage VC firm Unicorn India Ventures partnered with its British counterpart, Ascension Ventures, to float a cross-border evergreen fund — Unicorn Ascension EIS Fund.
Earlier this year, reports also surfaced that Mumbai-based VC fund IvyCap Ventures was in talks to set up a $100 Mn (INR 640 Cr) cross-border fund between India and Israel. It will focus on startups that are based in Israel but are working on India-specific solutions in areas such as water, healthcare, agriculture, and cybersecurity.