Hyderabad: Singapore-based ProfitBoard Ventures, an initiative by Taxmantra Global, is actively seeking opportunities to invest in Hyderabad startups in wide-ranging segments such as fintech, artificial intelligence, edtech and esports.
ProfitBoard Ventures managing partner Alok Patnia told Telangana Today, “Out of the funds allocated for the Indian market, we plan to deploy 20-25 per cent for the Hyderabad startups. In the last 24 months, we have invested around $18 million in three homegrown Hyderabad startups in fintech and AI sectors. Right now, we are in talks with three startups from Hyderabad, who are developing some interesting solutions in edtech and esports.”
The company is also in talks with two startups from Chennai, three startups from Delhi and a few from Gujarat, West Bengal and other states. It has already invested in startups such as Chingari, Neeman’s and Zoconut.
The group has funded startups in artificial intelligence, machine learning, fintech, agritech, deep tech, consumer tech and skill-based gaming verticals. ProfitBoard supports early-stage startups in India and SouthEast Asia with funding deals ranging from $500,000 to $10 million.
“A major chunk of our existing portfolio as well as the deals that we are evaluating currently consists of Indian startups. In India, we expect to see a lot more product and enterprise startups because of increased technology adoption in small and medium enterprises. The country is now ready for the kind of companies that we see in Silicon Valley. We will see more Zohos coming out of India in the next five to seven years,” he added.
In addition to India, ProfitBoard is also keenly watching the Israel startup space. In Indonesia, fintech is still lagging, so the company is looking for interesting fintech startups. In Malaysia, talks are in progress with an edtech firm and a fintech startup.
The company is evaluating 2-3 startups every day. The idea is to deploy $100 million fund in 100 startups over the next 18-24 months. Fifty percent of this syndicate fund will be utilised in India, 25-30 per cent in Singapore, and the rest will be for Indonesia and Malaysia.
When asked about collaborations, he said, “We are working towards collaborating with dedicated funds, startup mentoring programmes, as well as independent venture capitalists in the US and Israel to expand their portfolio in India and Southeast Asia. India, with a user base of 1.3 billion can be a great lab for experimentation.”
Covid-19 is definitely a challenge for startups everywhere. But it has not impacted the company’s philosophy, observes Patnia.
“We are a founder-first organisation and our bets have been as active as ever. In fact, our fundraising activities have seen more increase during the lockdown. So much that we decided to create a standalone investor consortium to focus on the same. Most of our portfolio companies have been performing really well. Besides, we have always focused on burn rate, profitability and unit economics,” he added.
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