Backing the next wave of revolutionary founders, from India, for the world.

Bold. Brave. Brilliant. Brazen.

The founders we back are all this, and more. They are unreasonable, they are crazy ambitious, obsessed with solving hard, gnarly problems. Problems whose solutions transform lives and impact society. And, it takes a revolutionary founder, and a transformational company to solve these problems, and effect change.

We back these transformational companies, and their revolutionary founders early, and remain lifelong partners.

Screenshot 2024 04 19 at 10 57 42 AM
Akash Gupta
CEO, GreyOrange, $100M+ ARR deep-tech company
Blume Ventures has been right there with us for the last 12 years. They’re more than just investors – they’re like a co-founding fund. They’ve been a part of every single round we’ve done. It was a bold decision for them to back us early on when few other investors were ready to take a chance on a young startup. Their early support made all the difference in setting us up for success.

Latest Insights

Screenshot 2024 04 19 at 11 06 09 AM
Mohit Kumar
Co-founder and CEO, Ultrahuman, 2nd-time Blume founder
This is the second time we have partnered with Blume and every time the conviction increases from both sides. Blume is not just a VC but a platform that has helped us open more doors through their network.

Pitch Us

The best way to reach out to us is to be introduced through a Blume portfolio founder who knows you personally and can vouch for you! Or you can come through a mutual contact. If you don’t know anyone who can introduce you to Blume, then do reach out to us directly. Before you write in cold, or reach out to us via a trusted mutual friend, feel free to read these FAQs below. They will tell you about how we work and think, as well as how to reach us.

In our framework, we look at three criteria to evaluate startups – size of market or opportunity, team quality and finally, investability or probability of the next round of capital. Our approximate weightage for Opportunity : Team : Investability is 40 : 40 : 20. Let us double click on these three criteria.

Market size or opportunity: Pick too small a market and even the best team can’t build a large scalable business. The best founders know how to reshape a market opportunity and build solutions to fit the largest of the market opportunities. That said, one has to begin with the aggregate opportunity being very large. For example, are Ola and Uber a ride hailing app or a large scale urban transportation business? The market size expands 5-10x when the latter is applied.  At Blume, we try to find a portfolio balance between founders who can chase a large market opportunity domestically or build a tech-led differentiated product for global markets (which increase

Founding teams: These are the most important variables for us or even most VCs at our stage. In every decision, once the other two factors are seen as a go, the clincher element in a yes/no decision boils down to the founding team – their expertise in solving for this space, as well as the integrity, mission, passion and persistence that one can gauge at this early stage of business.

Investability or probability of next rounds of capital: The reality of how the later stage funding market is shaped to take risky bets in the ecosystem is important to consider while funding, especially in young and concentrated ecosystems like India, and that’s why we attribute 20% weightage to this element in India. We force ourselves to evaluate how much capital may be required to build to exitable scale and how challenging it is to raise that capital. As the funding ecosystem matures, we may shrink weightage of this in the future. Great founders overcome all of this but if we can select such that we have better odds at the starting point, why not?

The above framework helps us shortlist but finally, it is a (increasingly improving) trained gut call that ends up building out the portfolio.

Blume prefers ventures that have achieved some degree of customer validation, where the product is already launched in market and we are getting customer signups and feedback. We do make exceptions on the above for seasoned operators and second-time founders, but typically with first-time founders, we do not do idea stage or pre-MVP investments.

If you are a B2B startup or an ecommerce / consumer transaction play, an annualised revenue rate (or revenues) of $375k (₹3cr) and above is a good milestone to reach out to us.

If you are a marketplace startup, then reach out to us when you are nearing or have crossed a monthly GMV of ₹50 lacs a month.

If you are a consumer app that isn't monetising yet, then ping us when you near or cross MAUs of 25k / DAUs of 5k.

The above are broad guidelines, and not hard rules. We do make exceptions. If in doubt, reach out!

We are a seed / pre-Series A fund. While we are fairly flexible on the investment quantum, typically we have seen our investments range across from $1.5 to $3m (₹12 to 24 crs). We do optimise however for a stake of anywhere from 12 to 20%.  These stake requirements reflect the depth and extent of support we provide to the startup – from fundraising and hiring to business development etc. We also anticipate the rounds of dilution that every successful startup will undergo, and the desired holding that we need to hold at the point of exit.

We invest in startups that are Indian at heart or origin, but are willing to conquer the world market if needed to build scale. About a third of our portfolio is of this nature – taking Indian engineering skills to build products for global markets. Unfortunately, We DO NOT invest in startups that are international and have NO strong Indian connection / founders. We are also strong believers that to invest as a ‘generalist tech VC’ as we are, we need to be more and more focussed on a particular geography. We need to see as much of the available annual pipeline to know that we’ve truly picked 10 great founders / startups to invest in. We have no such advantage when we are looking outside the country; which is why we stay away from the temptation of looking at pipeline from international markets.

With our new Fund, our fourth since inception, we are looking to invest about 60-65% of the new fund in domestic-heavy sectors such as healthcare, financial services, commerce and brands, jobs and education, and digital media and gaming. The other 35-40% of the fund will focus on SaaS, and DeepTech (including CleanTech, manufacturing, blockchain) companies, typically in B2B, that can innovate and engineer with local talent pools, and yet scale globally.

We like both. India is a consumer market that is poised to explode, as people move to the digital economy to spend an increasingly larger share of their wallet’s purchasing power. That makes it attractive to build a strong consumer proposition in India. And thus our B2C portfolio. We are also now very good at taking our science and engineering skills in software and other areas, and building commercial applications at scale, often for the global market. These constitute the majority of B2B ideas in our portfolio and we like this space a lot.

We get anywhere between 4,000 to 5,000 ideas pitched to us annually, across the team, across all formats. This includes referrals, cold mails, DMs on social channels etc. We have given up counting :)

We invest in about 10-12 of these per year. As Blume has grown, we've looked at the empirical data and discovered that the vast majority of our investments were referrals from our contacts in the ecosystem. You can count the exceptions to this rule with one hand in every cycle, and still have a few fingers to spare! These referrals come from our own founders we have backed, other founders who know that we will do right by their angel investments and our extensive set of friends, investors and well wishers in the ecosystem. The exceptions, while not impossible, are indeed rare.

Ceteris paribus (all things considered), you are better off reaching us through a trusted common friend. In a highly networked startup ecosystem, it is not that hard to reach us through the strongest possible mutual connection. But if that is not possible, do reach out to us cold. Your email will certainly be read, even if it is not always responded to. We have ensured that our internal systems catch every pitch - cold or warm or hot.

When writing in cold, a considered and researched mail (much like a quality college application) is the only way to attempt such a reach out. Please check out the team page, find the best person in the Investment team who has invested in and / or covers the sector you're building in. Do check out their social profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter) to access their contact info. Our email ids are not hard to guess as well! Preferably write to one person at a time, in the firm.

The above are good principles for you irrespective of which firm you approach / pitch to. Nothing works better than a warm, referred introduction - it always gets the rightful attention.

Please note that we have done away with a pitch form, or a common email id. From our experience, we found that the volume of inbound traffic was indeed high, but not always relevant, and thus almost impossible to assign a resource to just monitor these inbound gates.

Raghu for website
Raghunandan G
TaxiForSure (acquired by Ola for $200 million)
Blume treats its companies as customers’ and not part of a portfolio’, and are one of the friendliest VCs who offer more than just financial help.