The most important criteria we consider when looking at a seed investment include:
- Experienced full-time management team including at least a founder/CEO. Co-founders are even better.
- Potential for serving up to 100,000 low-income families and/or create 1,000 jobs within 5 years
- Business developed beyond the concept stage - proof of concept complete or nearly complete
- Clearly differentiated value proposition
- Capital-light scaling model (does not require purchasing real-estate or other expensive assets)
- Strategies to build effective distribution and marketing programs
No. We only invest in businesses which have potential to serve very large low-income populations. For “light-touch” businesses (like job placement, educational supplemental programs, product/distribution companies), we want to see potential to serve at least 100,000 families within 5 years. For businesses that hire people directly, we are looking for plans with the potential to create at least 1,000 jobs within 5 years.
Given the small size of our typical investments, we generally cannot invest in any capital intensive businesses, even at the startup stage. We can consider disruptive innovations in these sectors if they are not capital intensive and if the product/market risk is reasonable.
Currently, we are only investing in businesses which are primarily operating in India. We invest pan-India.
We typically make an initial investment of 1 to 3 crores (around USD$150,000 – $450,000). We may also consider a later follow-on investment if the business is progressing to our expectations. For larger seed rounds, we sometimes co-invest with other like-minded investors from the angel community.
We are focused on the seed-stage investment rounds. Generally, we prefer to initially invest in total round sizes of no more than 2 crore (around USD$325,000).
Generally, NO. We expect some level of initial execution to demonstrate market demand and commitment of the entrepreneur. Nearly all of our portfolio companies had completed a pilot and were "in revenue" prior to our investing in them.
If students have previous relevant operational experience, then we would consider.
Our investors are looking for strong financial returns from our portfolio of investments.
Yes. We are open to co-investing with like-minded investors.
We are flexible. We prefer simple, low-cost approaches. We have developed a standardized set of investment documents which are designed to be fair to the entrepreneur and company, have reasonable protections for seed-stage investors, and are friendly towards future investors. These save everyone time and money!
NOTE: As an offshore fund, we cannot invest in pure debt instruments in India at this time.
It is always hard to be precise on this, but we pride ourselves on making decisions quickly. The faster we understand your business, the faster we can move forward. See this list of ten topics we need to review in prep for making a decision to move forward. Once we have an agreed upon investment term sheet, we endeavor to complete due diligence and close investment documentation within 30 days. One of the reasons that we can move quickly is that we like to use standardized investment documents and a streamlined due diligence process. This saves everyone time and money!
We publish our aggregate investment statistics along with our impact assessment report twice a year. You can find our most recent reports here>