- Kaushik Gala

Note: The views & opinions expressed in these essays are strictly my own, and not those of any entity I may be associated with as an employee, consultant, promoter, investor, etc.




Technology Venture Investors in Pune


Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Teams

Entrepreneurial traits

Picking cofounders


Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Generating Revenue

Is your business model well-defined?

Your industry's value chain

What is your value proposition?

Which distribution channels will you use?

Who will drive business development?


Technology Entrepreneurship in India - Raising Capital

Venture capital & venture capitalists (VCs)

Corporate venture capital

Angels & angel networks in India

Government support for Indian startups

Proof-of-concept funding

Do you need a business plan?

How much money should you raise?

Startup valuation

Pitching to investors

Figure out the term sheet

Negotiating with investors

Due diligence - A necessary evil

Time to sign the investment agreements


Equities, ETFs, F&O

› Oct 2011: Equity Risk Premium for India

› Jun 2011: Investing in Indian equities


Technology Enterprises in India

› Nov 2010: Technology investment in India - WATER

› Aug 2010: Technology enterprises in India - 3 avatars


Risk Capital for MSMEs

› Mar 2010: Risk mitigation for investors in MSMEs

› Mar 2010: Why don't (Indian) MSMEs get risk capital?

› Feb 2010: Angel investing - Will it work for Indian MSMEs?

› Feb 2010: What's so special about innovative MSMEs?

› Feb 2010: Where do Indian/NRI (V)HNIs invest?

› Feb 2010: Funding options for innovative MSMEs in India

› Jan 2010: Innovative MSMEs in India

Technology Venture Investors in Pune

(Last revised May-2013, Send comments to
HT to @ngkabra for inputs.

This essay was triggered by 2 things:

  1. PuneTech's excellent list of venture funded tech companies in Pune
  2. Helion Venture Partners' plan to dedicate 10-15% of its fund to investments in Pune-based startups

As a hotbed of tech startups, Pune rarely ranks better than #4 in India - Bangalore, Delhi & Mumbai being the top 3. Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, etc. occasionally beat Pune - depending on who's doing the ranking and in what context.

The same seems to apply when it comes to the presence of VCs. It is no secret that Pune has no major home-grown VC firm, nor has attracted attention from any marquee Indian/foreign VCs in terms of a full team, offices, etc.

Helion's announcement is the first one of its kind that I am aware of. Quoting Sanjeev Aggarwal of Helion, from the HT Mint article:

"So far, we have funded entrepreneurs in Bangalore and the National Capital Region (NCR), that is, around Delhi. We see many companies here (Pune) developing enterprise software products for the globe. Our prime interest is to see if we can have the next Oracle or SAP from a city like Pune because we want a made-in-India product for the globe," said Aggarwal.

"We find Pune to be a hot centre because of its educational base which has led it to be the captive research centre for several global product companies, so the technical talent is available here. We would like to supplement it with sales talent so that the company can scale up and achieve what we want: a product developed in India for the globe," Aggarwal said.

Of course, the VCs who have invested in the companies that PuneTech mentions have to swing by Pune for board meetings, follow-on rounds, etc. Also, there is increasing activity in terms of events, workshops, conferences, etc. featuring most Indian VCs.

Yet, despite being a) home to several hundred tech startups and b) a major hub of innovation, Pune isn't host to the office or headquarters of any large VC firm.

Having spent many years in Austin (Texas), I've always wondered about local VCs like Austin Ventures who have built strong track records and have superb deal flow, being the #1 game in town. Will we see the emergence of a 'Pune Ventures' anytime soon?

While we wait for someone to grab that opportunity, below is a list of professional Pune-based venture investors: seed funds, angel networks, VCs/PEs, etc.

Pune-based investor Description Pune-based investees
Axis Holdings PE firm PARI
FusionTech Ventures VC firm Sofomo
IncuCapital VC firm J&R Hospitality Management
Indian Angel Network (Pune chapter) Angel network Sapience, Druva
MITCON BioPharma Seed fund at GoI-supported Incubator ?
Mantra Ventures VC firm? Swipe Telecom
Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Park, University of Pune Seed fund at GoI-supported Incubator ?
Snow Leopard Ventures VC firm -
Sonoma Management Partners VC firm Tridiagonal Solutions
Venture Center Seed fund at GoI-supported Incubator Shashwat Oorja, Shantani Proteome Analytics, Seagull Biosolutions

Navin Kabra (@ngkabra) was kind enough to review the above list and share examples of Pune-based angel investors and their investments. I've listed them in the table below:

Pune-based angel investor Pune-based investees
Karamveer Singh -
Koushik Sekhar Mithi
Maneesh Bhandari Krayon Pictures
Shrikant Patil Mithi, Brew Crafts (Doolally)

Note that I've chosen to list only those Pune-based startups that got funded by Pune-based investors - to give an idea of how active the local funding ecosystem is. It is interesting that most of the above VCs & all of the angels have more investments outside Pune than in Pune.

PS: The tables above are work-in-progress. Do review, comment, suggest edits/additions. Thanks.