We are publishing an interview of Mr. Ravi Thakur, Co-Founding Partner, StartupXseed.
Could you please introduce yourself, describe the responsibilities and functions of your role, designation and who are the other people behind the StartupXseed Ventures? In your own words, what is StartupXseed Ventures?
Ans: StartupXseed Ventures is an “Asset Management Company” or an “Investment Manager” for the SEBI Registered “Aaruha Technology Fund” which, from the inception, focuses on Deep Technology, B2B opportunities in the areas of Cyber Security, ESDM, Drones, SaaS, Digital IP, Cloud Technologies and AI/ML.
It is a maiden Venture fund, founded by Former STPI Bangalore and Hyderabad Director Mr. B. V. Naidu along with Mr. Mohandas Pai (through Aarin Capital), Mr. Ramakrishna V, Mr. Ravi Thakur and supported by like-minded team from the Industry and Academia.
How and when did you get the idea to launch StartupXseed Ventures? What originally motivated you to start it?
Ans: Mr. B V Naidu (Former STPI – Bangalore/Hyderabad Director), who is one of the key architect of the Indian IT Industry, who also helped entrepreneurs even before the period of Startup cultures by establishing the Incubation Center in STPI more than a decade ago. This being the motivation for us, we continued to help the Startup Eco system by creating the fund with a different model of “Co-Founder program”.
What are the goals of StartupXseed Ventures? What is the business model?
Ans: We want to make an impact on the socio-economic ecosystem of the businesses by helping the young generation of startups to innovate and build sustainable businesses. Our goal is to support young entrepreneurs not only with the Seed capital, but also with the wrapper of strategic management services to ensure the churn of successful entrepreneurs, thereby increasing ROI for the Investors.
Could you please detail the services offered by StartupXseed Ventures?
Ans: In essence, StartupXseed is an early stage seed fund supporting the aspiring entrepreneurs with great ideas with Strategic support, Market Access, Mentorship and closely supported by the Investor/advisory board of StartupXseed.
What are the selection criteria for admittance into the Aaruha Technology Fund program? What are the important characteristics you are looking for in the pool of applicants?
Ans: Primarily we look at the following criteria for the selection of the investment;
- Founding Team with complementing skills, passion and perseverance.
- Potential idea, its market opportunity, business model and possibility of building a sustainable business.
- Area where we can add value, influence and support the successful exit.
What are the companies that StartupXseed Ventures is currently supporting?
Ans: We have done Investments in ShieldSquare, Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS), AIBONO formerly known as Airwood, DarwinBox, and Siliconch Systems as of now.
Could you please detail your immediate future plans for the StartupXseed Ventures?
Ans: At StartupXseed we plan to invest into 6 companies in next 6 months. Our intention is to complete the deployment of funds with around 18-20 companies.
How do you reach out to Indian tech entrepreneurs?
Ans: Deal flow is very crucial for the success of any fund and hence StartupXseed works with different organizations like Incubation Centers across India, Angel Networks, VC Networks, own Professional Network, Investment Bankers and our own website.
Has StartupXseed Ventures so far found any private partners?
Ans: StartupXseed differentiates itself with some of its Strategic Partnerships with Incubation Centers, International Innovation Labs in Israel, Taiwan, Korea and finally with other VC partners for follow on funding. Fantastic.
Do you have any thoughts for the future of Indian Tech Entrepreneurs or other concepts you wish to ignite?
Ans: Young entrepreneurs are smart and understand the nitty-gritties of running the businesses however we feel following are the some of the areas where they should focus;
- While Technology is important, its Business Application must be effective to be successful.
- As the evolution of various Business models is happening rapidly, they decide and adopt the best quickly.
- Take a failure as a step towards a better change, be it in Business or Life.
Thanks Mr. Ravi. Best wishes.