XScale Accelerator Plans To Invest Rs 25 Cr In Year 2022: Neeraj Saxena, Founder, XScale
'The next decade will see a multifold increase in the growth of Indian startups. Many Decacorns will be created, and Indian startups will make their mark on the world stage.'
How Xscale Accelerator is helping Indian Startups expand into global markets?
A significant number of Xscale Team (Mentors) are located outside of India in regions such as the USA, UK, and Singapore. They come from sales and marketing functions and hold profiles of VP-Sales, Chief Marketing Officers, etc., in Fortune-500 companies. Being at such a senior level and located in the desired region, they have direct access to decision-makers in the customer organization to open doors for startups and drive quick decision-making. Also, Xscale helps set up a demand generation engine, i.e., creating a funnel from India and then creating an onsite distribution channel in the form of resellers, partners, or the company's own sales force to make the sales happen in international markets.
We see a lot of startup programs that have gained momentum in the recent past. Amidst this, what sets XScale apart from its counterparts?
Xscale is founded by Industry leaders who have led businesses for Fortune-500 companies and unicorns. Some of the reasons why Xscale is one of its kind accelerator programs in India –
· Deep Commitment: A very focused accelerator that works with only 12-15 high-potential startups a year. There are no cohorts, and the program duration is 12 months, unlike other similar programs that generally have a program duration of 3-4 months. Each startup gets dedicated Mentors who spend exclusive time with the startup every week, and each mentor puts their personal capital in the startup they mentor.
· GTM & Sales Focus: Xscale has a very high focus on driving revenue for its accelerator startups. Hence it focuses on defining a clear Go-To-Market plan (Target customer segment, Sales channel selection, Positioning, and Pricing), Developing sales strategies, and providing help in implementing them.
· Global Access: With most of our Mentors sitting in international geographies and having strong local connections there, Xscale helps startups expand beyond India.
· Senior Mentors: Our mentors are senior Industry leaders. So, apart from providing guidance based on their rich experience, they have direct access to decision-makers of potential customers and can establish connections at the right levels for quick decision-making.
· Funding: Besides bringing in other partner VC firms, Xscale has an internal corpus and invests up to INR 1.5 Cr in our accelerator startups.
Elaborate on the present market scenario. What kind of business opportunities do you see in this segment?
The Indian startup ecosystem is at an inflection point. The next decade will see a multifold increase in the growth of Indian startups. Many Decacorns will be created, and Indian startups will make their mark on the world stage. Govt focus on startup ecosystem and availability of Global capital will help accelerate this journey.
Many new angel investors will join during this period, and startup investing will be established as a recognized asset class. For investors focusing on startups with a strong idea and sustainable competitive advantage will help create wealth for them.
How XScale is creating a sustainable and strong entrepreneurial support infrastructure for new-age startups?
Xscale's vision is to create world-class startups out of India and recast India's image of an exporter of talent to a producer of world-leading companies. While the Indian startup ecosystem is thriving but there are a few critical gaps that need to be plugged to achieve this vision:
· In India, founders have excellent technical skills and can make great products but struggle to take them to the market, so many promising companies never reach their full potential or fail.
· Indian startups don't have access to global markets, so they struggle to build international brands.
Xscale plugs these gaps by focusing on creating strong GTM and Sales strategies for startups. It helps set up a demand generation engine in India, i.e., generating sales funnel from India and, in parallel creating onsite distribution channels to make the sales happen in international markets.
How do you think an accelerator program can help you in your journey from early revenues to the unicorn?
If chosen wisely, an accelerator can be the biggest help that a startup can recruit. A good accelerator acts like a cofounder in the journey of a startup and fills the gap that the core founding team has.
There are three main capabilities required to have a successful startup:
· Functional - Do you understand the industry and the problem you are solving?
· Technical - Do you have the capability to implement the idea you are envisaging?
· Distribution - Do you know how to sell your product and the proper distribution channels to reach your customers?
While choosing accelerators, founders need to ask themselves where they are self-sufficient and where they need help, and they should accordingly select an accelerator. A complimentary skills mix increases the startup success chances manifold and helps them cover their Zero to One journey.
Different accelerators focus on companies at different stages of their lifecycle. Many accelerators take the idea stage and help refine their idea and take it to MVP. Mostly these are cohort-based programs. On the other hand, some accelerators help post-MVP startups to generate revenue and scale the business. Ideally, these should be non-cohort-based programs. Hence, startup founders should check where they're in their journey and select the program accordingly to advance to the next stage of growth in their startup journey.
Also, Accelerators bring network access and Funding support to startups to drive their growth. These elements are critical for startups to expand rapidly and cover the journey to becoming a unicorn.
Please share details of the startups you have onboarded so far?
Xscale works with companies that have differentiated products and sustainable competitive advantage. Here is a sample profile of our portfolio companies:
· SecurWeave – Created a next-generation Cyber security solution to provide failproof security to sectors like defense, avionics, 5G, and National security. First of its kind globally in many respects. Multiple technology patents granted and under process.
· DeciWood – A differentiated Bluetooth speaker brand in a cluttered market. Deciwood is creating very high-quality speakers in wooden and leather finish using patented technology. The buyer can personalize every speaker. So, it's a Harley Davidson of the speaker world.
· ModernCrew: A pioneer in Man's undergarments in India. ModernCrew is redefining the man's innerwear market by bringing world-class technology to the Indian market at a reasonable price point.
Lastly, what are your expansion plans and goals?
Xscale will continue to be a focused accelerator and work with a very limited number of startups to maintain the quality of its offering but will take a deep position in its bets. Xscale plans to invest INR 25Cr in its accelerator startups in the year 2022.
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