Epiphany Ventures has raised $25 Mn to invest in early stage startups, being a sector-agnostic fund, it aims to invest in value-driven, innovative, and scalable business opportunities. Epiphany Ventures, typically, invests at a stage where the company has successfully demonstrated a strong proof of concept, through customer acceptance. Founded in late 2008 by Gaurav Saraf, so far Epiphany Ventures has invested in companies like CarTrade.com, Vserv etc.

We caught us with Gaurav Saraf to know more about the fund and how Epiphany Ventures differentiate itself from others.

Here is a quick chat.

Inc42: Tell us about Epiphany Ventures? What are the key industries and sectors you are targeting for your portfolio companies?

Gaurav: Epiphany Ventures Private Limited was incorporated in 2008 to galvanise early-stage businesses in India. The fund is sector-agnostic and aims to invest in value-driven, innovative, and scalable business opportunities. Epiphany Ventures, typically, invests at a stage where the company has successfully demonstrated a strong proof of concept, through customer acceptance. CarTrade.com, Brattle Foods, Vserv and iLevel Solutions are among the businesses in diverse segments that Epiphany Ventures has invested in and enabled to scale greater heights.

The key industries that we focus on include Tech enabled services that help transaction and information efficiency. We also look at Consumer services in spaces such as Education, Healthcare etc, be it offline or online. Another key area of focus for us would be Online Marketplaces.

Inc42: What kind of funds are you running?

Gaurav: We are an early stage fund and we make Series A and B investments.

Inc42: What’s the typical investment size in any startup you do? 

Gaurav: The ticket size of the investment ranges from 0.5-2.5 Mn.

Inc42: How many investments have you made since the launch of the fund?

Gaurav: We have made a total of 4 investments so far.

Gaurav Saraf, Director, Epiphany Ventures
Gaurav Saraf, Director, Epiphany Ventures

Inc42: Share some insights about your portfolio companies, how are they doing now?

Gaurav: Most of our Portfolio companies are maturing well and have been backed by strong Management. They are transitioning from Early to Growth Stage and some of them would be raising funds in the next 12 months.

Inc42: There are too many early stage and investment funds in India now, how Epiphany Ventures differentiate itself from others?

Gaurav: There are not too many funds that provide investment our Ticket size. Essentially most of the funds fall into 2 categories- one which has a ticket size of 100-500 Thousand Dollars and the other which provides investments upwards of 3 million dollars. So this is a key differentiator and also secondly, we are an open-ended fund, thus having more time to pick and chose the right investment options.

Inc42: 5 funding advices for early stage startups who are looking to raise funds?

Gaurav:

  • When presenting projections, one must always back it up with a Bottom-up analysis and not just a Top-down analysis.
  •  In each round raise enough funds to take the business to the next significant milestone
  • Valuation is important but scaling the business is far more critical
  • Look to bring aboard functional and/or domain experts as advisors to help guide you through the start up phase
  • Think big from the beginning but take it one step at a time

Gaurav had started his career working as a consultant at Diamond Technology Partners Inc. (DTPI), a strategy consulting company, headquartered in Chicago. At DTPI, Gaurav advised fortune 500 clients on leveraging technology to achieve their business objectives. After his return to India, in 2004, Gaurav founded a business in the mining sector, which he exited in 2007. He has also serves as the Vice-President, M&A for the $250 million Facor Group. He sits on the boards of his portfolio companies, MXC Solutions and Brattle Foods.

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