To further boost Kerala’s startup ecosystem, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has invited Request for Proposal (RFP) from SEBI-accredited Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) under its Fund-of-Funds scheme.
The idea is to invest in selected AIFs via the government’s flagship scheme and in turn, enable them to invest in the startups from Kerala and thus meet the fund requirements of fledgling technology enterprises.
Under the Kerala Technology Startup Policy 2014, the state government has launched the Kerala Startup Corpus Fund with a total corpus fund of $3.42 Mn (INR 25 Cr) with the support of two SEBI-registered AIFs— Unicorn Ventures India and Salamander Excubator Angel Fund (SEA Fund).
Out of this $3.42 Mn(INR 25 Cr), an amount of $1.71 Mn (INR 12.5 Cr) was pooled in by the state government and the other half by the two AIFs.
Using the Kerala Startup Corpus Fund, seven investments have been made into Kerala-based startups, this includes Genrobotics which developed a robotic system (Bandicoot) for manhole and sewer line cleaning.
To take the initiative further, KSUM plans to make an additional investment into eligible AIFs for providing further impetus to Kerala startup ecosystem.
Founded in 2006, Kerala Startup Mission is the implementing agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities within the state.
“The objective of the present RFP is as part of the government’s plans to make an additional investment into eligible AIFs for supporting exclusively the emerging startups in the state through venture investments,” Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM said.
To receive such an investment, interested AIFs can apply for RFP here. The selected AIFs which meet the pre-qualification criteria can submit their Expression of Interest (EoI) on or before November 30.
After completing the bid process, the final selections will be announced on December 29.
The RFP stipulates that the funds invested by the Kerala government, in the capacity of a limited partner to such AIFs, shall not be more than 25% of the total scheme/fund corpus of the AIF.
Here’s a quick update on Kerala’s Startup ecosystem:
- Kerala government (Stores Purchase Department) increased the cap on direct purchase of software products, services and mobile apps from the ventures cleared by KSUM from $6865 (INR 5 Lakh) to $27,463 (INR 20 lakh)
- Delhi-based Brun Health and Kerala-based Ajna won the Singularity University Global Impact Challenge (GIC) India 2018, organised in Trivandrum by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Silicon Valley-based think tank Singularity University (SU)
- In June 2018, BPCL (Bharat Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited), a marketing Public Sector Undertaking with Navratna status agreed to sign an agreement for providing grants to four startups raised by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM)
- In December 2017, the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) announced that it will provide financial assistance of $414K (INR 2.65 Cr) to 31 startups and student teams from all over the state, who presented a range of innovative technology solutions at the 8th edition of Grand Idea Day, a KSUM initiative
- KSUM revealed plans to launch the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP), in a bid to nurture and mentor future CEOs
- The Kerala government extended financial support for startups in the state taking it to seven years
- The government of Kerala notified state departments to approach startups for developing mobile apps to be used in their official projects
Under five incubation facilities of KSUM— Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kasargod— more than 200 startups are working from the incubation facilities set up by 20 incubators (both private and public) across the state.
Bringing to light the increasing innovation and technology-savvy entrepreneurs of the state, Kerala has been supporting the Indian startup ecosystem as it expands its impact with ideas as well as investments.