BANGALORE: JumpStartUp Venture Fund, a private and professionally managed VC
fund, styled on the lines of Silicon Valley firms, has been launched in
Bangalore. It will provide seed or early stage capital for setting up start-ups
in technology enabled sectors, primarily in India.
With a corpus of $45 million, the US-based NRI promoted fund is backed by an
investor team comprising top professionals from the Silicon Valley and reputed
investment institutions from Asia, Europe and the US. Each investment will be,
on an average, no more than $1 million.
Among the angel investors are Exodus co-founder BV Jagadeesh, Cerent, Siara,
and StratumOne founder Jay Sethuram, Cisco vice-president and general manager
Jayshree Ullal, and venture capitalist Bill Draper.
The institutional investors include the Singapore-based Vertex Group, the
National Science and Technology Board, EDB Investments Pte. Ltd. (EDBI), which
is the investment arm of the Economic Development Board of Singapore, and the
California-based Silicon Valley Bank. Along with these, a number of well-known
individual investors from global infotech companies like Yahoo, Netscape, Sun,
Infospace, vJungle, Nortel, Intel, Junglee, and Amazon have also put in their
investment in the $45 million VC fund.
The holding pattern, which is an even percentage, has not been disclosed by
the three principal fund managers, viz. Kiran Nadakarni, Sanjay Anandaram and K
Ganapathy Subramanian. The three founders are, however, confident that the $45
million corpus will be sufficient to mentor 15-20 start-ups and will last 18-24
months. Announcing the launch, co-founder and managing director Kiran Nadkarni
said the primary focus of the fund would be on start-ups in the Internet space,
IT services, intellectual property, and click and mortar businesses.
"With an India-specific USP, the fund will look out for opportunities in
investing in B2B areas such as supply chain, application services providers (ASPs),
infomediation/exchange services and specialized vertical portals. The fund will
also back companies in the areas of eBusiness, CRM as well as in the emerging
areas of broadband and convergent technologies," Nadkarni said.
According to the second co-founder Sanjay Anandaram, JumpStartUp will be
targeting companies in the areas of semiconductor IP and system level tools,
utilities, embedded and higher level applications for information appliances as
intellectual property will be the emerging segment.
JumpStartUp funds are not confined to only IT whiz kids or techies. It will
partner with incubators, lawyers, accountants and recruiters to identify markets
for start-ups in India and key world markets.
The company has also roped in seasoned professionals from India and the US to
constitute its advisory panel. Among them are Yahoo! Everywhere vice-president
Mohan Vishwanath, Stanford University Associate Professor of Computer Science
Rajeev Motwani, Netscape-Sun Alliance vice-president and general manager Maneesh
Dhar, the Bangalore-based Microland group chairman and managing director Pradeep
Kar, and Rediff.com chairman and CEO Ajit Balakrishnan.