Venture capital firm IDG Ventures India Advisors, has partnered with Unilever Ventures Ltd and Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) to launch an initiative to invest in startups.
Uniliver Ventures is the venture arm of consumer packaged goods company Unilever Plc, while AWS is one of the largest cloud infrastructure service provider globally. The newly formed team will invest between $500,000 and $5 million in early-stage tech start-ups of India.
As per IDG’s managing director Sudhir Sethi, the VC firm will invest in start-ups across consumer technology, software, health-tech and fintech over the next two months through the initiative called the Innovation Program. He said,
Typically, do entrepreneurs get decisions from investors in 30-45 days? No, but that’s what they will be getting in this programme. Conventionally, do entrepreneurs get the money in 60-75 days? No, but again that’s what they’ll be getting in this programme.
Speed becomes our competitive edge. Our whole organization is geared to do the tech evaluation and the investment decision at twice the pace of the industry in this programme.
While the team’s initiative has been announced, none of them has revealed the number of investments they intend to make or the money that has been set aside for this programme.
However, it is revealed that the bulk of the investments in the Innovation Program will be seed and pre-Series A. Sethi adds that they may make a few Series A investments as well.
Interestingly, Unilever Ventures is also an investor in IDG. It may also invest in the shortlisted start-ups, which will also get access to technology experts from AWS and receive other benefits from the cloud services provider.
IDG Ventures India executive director Karan Mohla, said,
Unilever Ventures invests in companies but also brings a lot of knowledge around branding, consumer insights and supply chain. And AWS obviously is very well-known in the start-up world. Getting these kinds of benefits is very helpful for start-ups.
Last year, IDG invested in six start-ups through two separate initiatives. This year, it has reportedly merged the two initiatives into Innovation Program, which is in addition to the bets that IDG makes.
The venture capital firm IDG Ventures was launched in 2006 by Sudhir Sethi and T.C. Meenakshisundaram, both of who worked at IT services company Wipro Ltd. It raised its third fund of $200 million, which counts companies like Flipkart, Lenskart and Yatra among its 65 portfolio holdings.