You cannot buy the revolution.
You cannot make the revolution.
You can only be the revolution.
It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.
At Blume, we back founders who are obsessed with solving hard problems, usually one that triggers a fundamental change in consumer behaviour and one impacting large markets.
We typically partner with these founders at a very early stage, helping them achieve product-market fit and power past the first point of scale. We are almost always the first institutional investor in these ventures. We always invest for the long run, staying invested for anywhere from eight to ten years, and as long as the founders are equally invested in the ambition for the business.
We typically like to invest in ventures with a strong tech spine, i.e., businesses backed by code or intellectual property. We have a special leaning for B2B businesses and ventures that are capital light. We believe that building capital moats by themselves are, and will, continue to be an undifferentiated winning strategy.
At Blume, our money is not the most important element of what we bring to the table. We, of course, bring our capital reserves and co-investor partners to provide leverage to our capital.
In addition, we also translate our deep desire and passion to help our founders succeed, by leveraging our distinctive formal platforms and engagements. These include our services partners Constellation Blu and Constellation Talent, in-house resources across growth capital, market development, operational best practices and community. If we deliver board engagements as value, our founders will attest that we deliver multiples of that through our platform partners, resources and on-demand mentoring and assistance.
We work with each of our companies equally hard for the first few years of our relationship. We then elevate our deliverables to keep pace with the demands of our growth companies. But, we also stick with, and support, our less successful ventures well beyond traditional venture norms dictated by power laws and portfolio concentration. We do this, not because power laws don’t apply to us, but because supporting and sticking by our founders is second nature to us. Founders and their crazy ambitions are why Blume exists, and why we come excited to work every day. Every day.
Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath meet through Mumbai Angels. Both see an opportunity in bridging the gap between angels and larger institutional investors in the Indian market then, by creating a fund that can move as fast as angel investors do but is yet institutionalised in its approach.
Over 500 pitches to high net worth individuals, family offices and institutions later, Karthik and Sanjay finally cobble together Blume Fund I. Karthik & Sanjay are soon joined by Adit Parekh and later in the year, by Ashish Fafadia.
We witnessed three successful exits in 2015. TaxiForSure got acquired by Ola, Promptec was acquired by Havell's and Zipdial by Twitter. And towards the end of the year, we announced the first close of $30m for Blume's Fund II.
We finish raising our second fund, about triple the size of Fund I. Unlike Fund I which had only domestic investors, Fund II has international investors or Limited Partners such as Iconiq. Blume's investment approach morphs to take fewer but more concentrated bets. The larger fund size also means an expansion in team size. Arpit Agarwal joins in Delhi and Dhanasree Molugu in Mumbai.
Framebench is acquired by Freshdesk.
Runnr is acquired by Zomato. Mohit Kumar, the founder of Runnr, and his team, will go on to become the delivery team at Zomato, helping it eventually draw level with Swiggy. On the partnerships front, Blume now becomes part of the Draper Venture Network, an international consortium of venture firms across the world.
We saw a string of exits in 2018. Zenatix was acquired by Hero Electronix, Mettl by Mercer, Minjar by Nutanix, ThreadSol by Coats, Chillr by Truecaller and E2E was partially listed on the National Stock Exchange Emerge. We also saw some exits on the team front and their replacements and expansions, as Blume bulked up for Fund III.
We announced the first close of $40m towards Fund III in the latter part of the year. The new fund included anchor investors from India, US, Japan and Asia along with some existing limited partners who have invested in the firm’s previous funds.
Fastfox was acquired by Housing.com parent firm, Elara Technologies. iService was acquired by Blume portfolio company Servify.
We completed hiring of our Analyst team, and added members to take on key Platform roles, such as Fundraising, Market Development, Community, to complement existing roles such as Talent and Operations.
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At Blume, a key defining attribute of all those who work here is founder empathy. For most of
us have been founders ourselves. Blume itself is a homegrown startup itself, all of eight years old. Like the startups we fund, we too face similar challenges, be it around fund raising or competing with marquee brands. This has helped instil in us a deep sense of empathy and an understanding of the challenges the founder faces. And that makes us deeply committed to supporting them through their journeys, ones tough, hard and long.