IDG Ventures, the tech-focussed VC firm, has announced the launch of the 2017 Innovation Program (IDGVI). To facilitate the programme, IDG Ventures has entered into a strategic partnership with Unilever Ventures, the PE vertical of Unilever and Amazon Internet Services Pvt. Ltd. (AISPL), the Indian arm of Seattle-based Amazon Web Services.
With this programme, IDG Ventures aims to support tech startups belonging to sectors such as consumer tech, software, healthtech, and fintech. The programme will fund startups from Seed stage to Series A, between $0.5 Mn to $5 Mn. The upper limit on the average funding size has increased from last year, from $3 Mn to $5 Mn.
Commenting on the development, Sudhir Sethi, founder Chairman, IDG Ventures India said, “After the very successful 2016 Innovation Program, the 2017 edition expects to reach out to over 1,000 companies in the next 2 months and partner with/invest in select startups from Fund III to grow with IDG Ventures India’s unique growth platform. IDG Ventures will view early-stage Seed and Series A startups in this Program who are uniquely disruptive and are innovative leaders in the market.”
Under the programme, Unilever Ventures will participate as the co-investor in the potential deals and, subsequently, will also evaluate the companies for the same. To qualify for funding, startups should preferably be less than three years of age.
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The shortlisted startups will then meet the IDG Ventures’ team in Bengaluru, where they will pitch their ideas to senior team members of IDG Ventures India and Unilever Ventures. Selected startups will then be provided with funding. On the other hand, all the shortlisted startups will be eligible to participate in mentoring sessions by AISPL and Unilever Ventures’ team.
Also, the shortlisted startups will receive technology mentorship from the Amazon Internet Services team and value-added benefits like AWS credits, premium business support, and GTM connects.
Last year, of the 1,000 applications received, IDG Ventures invested in six companies under the programme. The list included Little Black Book, Flyrobe, Active.ai, Pipecandy, Hansel.io and Infisecure. As per an official statement, the funding size varied from $0.5 Mn to $3 Mn, depending on the growth stage of the selected company.
IDG Ventures currently has a portfolio of more than 65 companies, including the likes of Flipkart, Yatra, FirstCry, Newgen, Lenskart, Manthan, NestAway, Unbxd, and Uniphore. Its average ticket size ranges somewhere between $500K and $10 Mn.
In May 2016, it was reported that it closed $150 Mn (INR 1000 Cr) India focussed investment fund. IDG’s third India Fund is comparatively larger than the two other funds raised earlier, which had a corpus of $100 Mn, each. It also counts Ratan Tata and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan as advisers.
Applications for the IDG Ventures Innovation Program are open from June 8, 2017- June 26, 2017. Interested startups looking to raise funding can apply here.