Dave McClure led California-based 500 Startups, an early-stage seed fund, has announced a $25 Mn regional fund, 500 Kulfi, focused on India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
500 Kulfi will focus on early stage companies with product-market fit and demonstrated traction. Although the fund is sector-agnostic, but it will focus on startups dealing in FinTech, EdTech, Health & Wellness, Data Analytics, Content and SaaS/SMB.
As per the company, India is a lucrative market as it has a growing startup scenario. Private equity investment activity in India has risen 67% from 2014 to $21 Bn. With over 300 Mn users, the country also has the second largest Internet population in the world after China. The number of smartphones in use in India is set to reach over 700 Mn by 2020. The median age in India is 27.3-year-old.
Pankaj Jain, partner at 500 Startups and responsible for 500 Kulfi, said on the official company blog, “While the industry has been tweeting and blogging about doom and gloom hitting unicorns and startups alike, we believe the long-term opportunity remains as solid as ever.”
Jain referred market changes as part of a natural cycle and stated that he hopes to continue finding value in many verticals across India.
500 Startups has been active in India and invests in 15 startups a year with the investment ranging from $50-500K. It has invested in and helped accelerate growth for at least 1,000 startups across 50 countries, since 2010.
In India, it has invested in about 50 startups including MyChild, POPxo,Origa Leasing, Tripoto, Quickli, LafaLafa, OnlineTyari, Qustn, TradeBriefs, Instamojo, Sheroes.in, gazeMetrix, and ZipDial. The VC firm also invested in price comparison startup PriceBaba, through its India based fund StartupWallah.
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