In March 2022, we revealed our new brand identity at our flagship event, Blume Day. To keep up with the momentum, we now have a new website to reflect our growing ambitions! However, we decided not to talk about it ourselves. Instead, we are passing the mic to the makers of this project. In this article, the co-founders of https://miranj.in/ (the agency that took on this project) share the behind-the-scenes story of building a content-first website for a venture capital fund.
Blume has a new website! We soft-launched it in December 2022, and are finally ready to talk about it.
There’s a lot of ground to cover — why Blume felt the need to revisit their website, how they approached the problem of building a new website, what was the process followed, and the final outcome.
To make things easier, we will walk backwards by first taking you through what’s new with the website and then the initial thinking that sparked the idea.
Blume is a venture capital fund. Unsurprisingly then, showcasing its investments is the most important goal of the website. That was the first cue. We rewired every aspect of the portfolio section on the site. Blume's website now has portfolio companies showing off their full-colour logos, a brief description of themselves, the year & place they got started, and an indication of Blume’s investment status.
But Blume has over 150 companies in its portfolio. To improve the discoverability of companies, we introduced a multitude of filtering options to drill down and look at, say, Blume’s active investments in early stage electric vehicle startups catering directly to consumer needs and based out of Bengaluru, or the e-commerce investments that have seen an exit. There are over a hundred thousand unique filtering combinations possible!
Speaking of portfolio companies, Blume has funded a bunch of highly successful startups, and we felt they deserved some special treatment. While all startups get a profile page of their own on the site, we turn a special spotlight on highly successful startups in a manner where we trace their journey from the time of inception and their initial funding (usually the stage when Blume gets involved), to their growth from success to success, further funding rounds, and major milestones. Check out the spotlights on Spinny, Slice, or Unacademy to see for yourself.
Blume Ventures is currently in its second decade and onto its fourth fund. To put this growth in perspective, we added pages on the Portfolio section with information about each of the Blume Funds, the corpus from which all investments are made.
Blume prides itself on being a content-first VC. From the widely read Indus Valley Annual Report to its deeply researched Electric Mobility primer, they don’t take “thought leadership” lightly. They frequently publish articles aimed at helping entrepreneurs build better and succeed faster.
We wanted to unlock the potential of the research, analyses, candid commentaries, press updates, talk series, and more on the new website, and we went about it in a few different ways.
Improved reading experience — better typography, comfortable font size and line lengths with enough breathing room around the text.
Dedicated homes for different types of content — Reports, Commentaries, News, Events, Discussions Series, Podcasts, Jobs — instead of a catch-all “blog”.
Rich narratives and fine-grained tools to tell stories in high-fidelity — opening ledes, footnotes, table of contents, media embeds, slide-by-slide narrations, article series, attachments, show notes, and many more such options are now natively supported to handle just about any publishing requirement.
Deep, structured, and comprehensive interlinking of content on the site — if an article talks about a startup, team member, or a fund, readers can jump right to the relevant startup’s, team member’s or fund’s dedicated pages. They can also find neatly grouped lists of all content Blume has published on that Startup or Fund aggregated across Reports, Commentaries, News, Events etc.
The end result of these interventions is an immersive reading experience no matter what kind of content is being read by the site’s visitors. Discovering content is also much easier now thanks to the deep interlinking. It’s a lot like walking into Blume’s office and meeting different stakeholders, each presenting you with a fresh view. You may land up on a startup’s profile, read an article which talks about why Blume invested in that startup, take an interest in the author of the article, spot an interesting research report on the EdTech Landscape of India, click on the EdTech sector page to see the EdTech startups Blume has invested in, and from there also discover a recent podcast episode with Karthik B. Reddy of Blume and Ashwin Damera of Emeritus Education and find your morning commute narration taken care of.
This website is a shared asset for the entire organisation. Naturally, multiple stakeholders should have their respective needs and expectations articulated. It was important to identify their needs to arrive at prioritised lists of goals, audiences, and features for the website. This would include content strategy, information architecture, technical architecture, design directions, and the schedule to achieve it all.
We approached the project in five different stages
Discovery & Planning Workshop
Content gathering & Wireframes
Content upload & Launch
Some of these stages were linear, some cyclical, and some parallel. But for the purpose of visualisation, it might be best to think of them as sequential stages, with the final result of the preceding stage serving as the foundation of the next stage.
This way, we could take a break and see how the website was coming along. We would ask ourselves if the site was doing what it was supposed to do. We would look closely and check if the different parts of the site said what Blume wanted to say. These feedback sessions helped us fix things that went wrong, spot mistakes or gaps, and change things up when bigger goals changed.
In a poetic manner, as the year came to a close, so did the work on the new site. Many iterations and incremental builds later, the site was ready with all the features envisioned at the workshop, as well as some new capabilities bolted on during the design & development journey. With the Blume team filling in the final (and most crucial) piece of the puzzle by populating the site with content and breathing life into the designs and markup, we soft-launched the site in the first week of December. And now after nearly four months of seeing how it performs in the wild, we are ready to talk about it!
Blume Ventures is bullish on the ideas it believes in. We don’t just back founders with money but also become the publishing outlet that tells their stories and the knowledge repository to help them with playbooks for solving their problems. We have done that in the past with a podcast, a book, a newsletter, and a growing collection of articles on our website. The website makeover reflects our growing ambition of becoming an entrepreneur's preferred source of content consumption, and we hope to deliver on this promise in the coming years.
Edited by Disha Sharma