With the Indian startup ecosystem ripening, a lot of venture capitalists are making their way to the country. Following a similar path, Silicon Valley-based AngelList is also finally bringing its online angel investment platform to the Indian sub-continent.
AngelList has appointed ex-LetsVenture head Utsav Somani as an Advisor to spearhead its operation in the country. He will be responsible for setting up and bringing syndicates to India, reveals Somani in his official Medium post.
If you’re unaware of what “syndicates” are, they are actually a newly coined model by AngelList, which helps socially active and well-connected angel investors pool in more money by spreading up in their personal network. Today, AngelList has more than 4,400 investors operating across 170 syndicates.
In the Medium post titled ‘Bringing AngelList to India‘, Somani further adds,
My role will consist of opening dialogue with government officials and regulators with suggestions that’ll benefit startups and investors in India.
I’ll map out the Indian regulatory framework so AngelList can come in with their pop-up VC structure that enables venture investing online at scale.
AngelList was founded by Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi in 2009 to democratize the process of angel and seed investments.It started as an online introduction board for tech startups, but has since then expanded into a full-blown platform for startups to raise money from angel investors. The platform allows investors to put in as little as $1,000 alongside accredited investors through investment syndicates — as described above.
The online investment platform has, till date, facilitated $360 million in investments across 1,000 startups including Uber, Twitter and many other major names. A whopping 441 startups raised a staggering $163 Million in initial angel funds through its platform in 2015 alone. AngelList has also helped pick out 50 of the top leads on the platform, who already have a track record of identifying high-performing deals.
When China’s third largest private equity firm China Science & Merchants Investment Management Group had chosen AngelList to power up a $400 Million fund, Ravikant had hinted on plans to enter the Indian startup ecosystem. And now the appointment of Utsav Somani has finally confirmed everybody’s suspicions.
Somani has further expressed his delight in becoming a part of such a large investment ecosystem and added,
I am excited to be coached by Silicon Valley’s sharpest minds in venture investing and leverage their decades of know-how to advance the startup ecosystem in India. Also, this marks a chance for global investors to participate in India’s most promising opportunities.
Somani has planned his move from LetsVenture, which is also a deal-making platform very much alike AngelList. LetsVenture was founded by Shanti Mohan and Sanjay Jha in 2013. With the backing of Ratan Tata and Mohandas Pai and the platform has, till date, facilitated funding for over 60 startups, amounting to nearly $18 million.
With the government relaxing regulations in order to boost the startup ecosystem, a lot of early-stage VC firms are readying themselves to enter the country. In addition to AngelList making an appearance, Romulus Capital and Fulcrum Ventures India are also gearing up to pump more money into Indian startups.