Blume Ventures, one of India’s leading early stage venture capital firms, announced its founder network initiative – Blume Founders Fund, a carve out program that utilizes 1-2% of the core investment funds. The program will invest a range of $25K to $100K depending on the size of the round, the strength of the relationship etc. This program will not reserve capital to invest beyond this first cheque.
The intent is to build a long-term relationship with great founders and extend Blume’s incredible platform strength and network to such founders while keeping the program distinct from the Core Investment Team’s focus. The program will be managed by Sarita Raichura, who joined Blume, from Indian Angel Network, in Jan 2020 and will be mentored by Sanjay Nath, one of the Partners at the firm.
Like most top funds in the country, Blume receives 1000s of aspiring founder pitches a year. As the fund house has matured over the decade, it now runs a concentrated portfolio construction of 25-30 investments built over a 3 year primary investment cycle. Outside of the 8-10 investments we can make in a year, we see hundreds of highly referred founders through our close network. Most importantly, Blume’s legacy of over 300 founders alone, from its 150 investments to date, drives incredibly strong pipelines. Additionally, Blume’s ecosystem strength and larger star companies in Blume’s portfolio spawning off great entrepreneurial talent further accelerates this.
Blume has decided to develop the program to accommodate strong founders who want to be a part of Blume’s network, but for one or more reasons (including competition with existing portco, sectoral focus mismatch, portfolio size limitation), can’t be a part of the core program.
Sanjay Nath (Co-Founder, Blume Ventures) commented – “Founder journeys are about taking the long road, and all start with relationships and trust established early on with their investors. We are excited to bring Blume’s aggregate brand value, networks and knowledge base to help our Blume Founders Fund cohort build, hire, collaborate and scale. With 2020 continuing to fuel the rise of entrepreneurship, the new year is a great time to launch this Fund and partner more closely with new Indian founders starting up“.
Through this program, we expect to nurture founders who are:
Blume alums – Blume portfolio founders, Blume team members, Portcos’ team members
Blume “Scouts” – Blume founders as well as advisors who have a strong long-term affinity to Blume may drive us to invest in founders who they believe align well with the Blume value system.
Why will Founders choose the program?
Blume is a Founder First firm in philosophy before the term was coined and widely used in the Indian ecosystem. Our platforms range from Constellation Blu and Passion Connect to Biz Dev, Ecosystem Connects, Blume U – Learning & Development program, Community initiatives and Fundraising. We plan to share parts of our platform and our network and learning tools with the Blume Founders Fund portfolio. That’s a lot of leverage that tags along with a $50K investment.
Blume launched the program in the last quarter of 2020 and has made 5 investments through this program. Blume Founders Fund is now an investor in:
* Chingari: The short-form video commerce & content super app (Founders: Sumit Ghosh, Deepak Salvi, Biswatma Nayak, Aditya Kothari)
* indiagold: A financial tech company helping India meet its credit, consumption and savings needs using its favourite metal, gold (Founders: Deepak Abbot, Nitin Misra)
* Monrow: A millennial savvy lifestyle DTC brand – bringing comfort & fashion together (Founder: Veena Ashiya)
* Autonomous Robotics venture – Undisclosed
* Fintech venture – Undisclosed
Since this initiative began in the last year of Blume Fund III’s 3 year primary investment period, Blume expects to invest in 12-15 founders through this program. Blume expects to go deeper in terms of commitment to the Blume Founders Fund in its next fund.
As we say in Hindi ‘Rishtey Banaye Rakhne Hain’ – We want to keep and build on these relationships.
The core of Blume has always been the founder relationships that have been nurtured over the last ten years. With this program, the intent is to leverage Blume’s core competencies to fuel the Founder network approach.