Blume Ventures and US-based funds - Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) and Emergent Ventures have announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind India-US cross-border accelerator platform, Arka Venture Labs, for Indian B2B startups.
The new accelerator platform-cum-fund, Arka Venture Labs that will start off with a corpus of about Rs 40 Cr ($6M), will provide seed and pre-seed capital of up to $200K, besides mentorship, infrastructure and access to the Silicon Valley ecosystem which is critical for scaling up B2B startups in the US.
This platform is only open to B2B startups that have a MVP product with a strong potential in the US or European region, backed by strong core technology and economic differentiators. Arka Venture Labs will operate out of Blume’s offices in India and BGV’s offices in Silicon Valley. Apart from mentoring and funding, the platform also provides working space for these startups. About 40% of Blume Ventures’ portfolio in India consists of B2B startups.
Radhesh Kanumury, CEO and Managing Partner of Arka Venture Labs, said, “Indian startups, after operating three to four years in India and having established their client base here, start looking at how to approach the US market. Arka Venture labs will accelerate their presence in the US, which has more breadth and depth in market, lesser sales cycles and higher margins."
"Enterprise-focused, 'built-in-India for global markets' products and platforms like Inmobi, Freshdesk, Browserstack, and Grey Orange Robotics have emerged as new B2B models. We're very excited that Arka - a first-of-its-kind new initiative - will bring together capital, cross-border ecosystem linkages, and access to a global customer base to benefit the next wave of India's innovative B2B startups" said Sanjay Nath, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Blume Ventures.
“There are many sub-segments within the Indian B2B cross-border ecosystem. For example, some startups are targeting large enterprises while others are selling to small and medium companies. In some cases, founders have substantial international work experience while in other cases, they have none. Arka is designed to provide each company a unique path appropriate for its needs,” said Ankur Jain, Founder & Partner at Emergent Ventures.
"Had we access to this kind of platform in our early stages, it would have been very useful to help us solidify our US presence and accelerate our go to market strategy" says Vijay Rayapati, Co-founder and CEO of Minjar, recently acquired by Nutanix. Minjar, with a cross-border presence in Silicon Valley and Bangalore, had raised pre Series A rounds from Blume and Emergent before its acquisition.
Recently, Mumbai-based early-stage VC firm Unicorn India Ventures partnered with British counterpart Ascension Ventures to float a cross-border evergreen fund — Unicorn Ascension EIS Fund, with an aim to support UK-based startups looking to enter the Indian market. Also in February, Mumbai-based VC fund IvyCap Ventures was in talks to set up a $100M (Rs 640 Cr) cross-border fund between India and Israel, to focus on startups that are based in Israel but are working on India specific solutions in areas such as water, healthcare, agriculture, and cybersecurity.