As part of its initiative to accelerate and provide global capital access to Indian tech startups, NASSCOM 10,000 start-ups in partnership with the Embassy of India, Tokyo, had announced the creation of Japanese Venture Capital Network. A first of its kind initiative to bring global venture capital communities to India and set up their teams here for active deal flow creation and follow up investments. The network will allow selected Indian tech start-ups, focused on solving issues faced in domestic markets to present their start-up ideas in front of over 50 Japanese VC firms and institutions and get a chance to raise capital. The investments have been foreseen to be in Pre-series / Series A / B / C level where the founders are looking to raise a sum of more than $2Mn upto a maximum of $ 10Mn. In due course, NASSCOM, plans to further scale up the network to over 75+ VC firms and institutions.
Started in May 2019, the three months long immersive program received over 1504 applications from start-ups, and after a rigorous screening and voting process25 innovative tech start-ups from various sectors have been shortlisted. The sectors include, Agritech, Foodtech, Cybersecurity, Healthtech, Mobility, Industrial Solutions, Supply chain, Fintech, Consumer Tech, Edutech, Entertainment, Spacetech, HR, Travel and Hospitality. These shortlisted start-ups will now be invited to join the NASSCOM Startups delegation to Japan and participate in the Tokyo pitching session with interested investor community.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said, “There is an unmatched synergy between India and Japan, who have committed themselves for years to shape the new leaders of tomorrow. Partnerships such as these further pave the way towards helping the start-up ecosystem flourish by strengthening capabilities and fostering co-creation. Japanese VCs have shown particular interest in investing in Indian tech startups who are creating unique solutions specific to the domestic needs in the country. This partnership represents the “startup bridge” between India and Japan, bringing two successful entrepreneurial ecosystems together to create innovative and large-scale companies of the future.”
Speaking on the initiative, Mr. Sanjay Kumar Verma, Indian Ambassador to Japan, stated – “The next leap in India-Japan economic engagement would come through collaboration in innovation and startup ecosystems. If nurtured properly, this could be a monumental success story.”
The applications were judged and reviewed by some of the top innovative minds and thought-leaders from both India and Japan, like Mr. Ravi Gururaj, Founder and CEO, Qikpod, Mr. Kunal Bahl, Founder Snapdeal, Mr. Nau Murakami, Partner at Incubate Fund, Eto Munehiko, Partner at Dream Incubator, Mr. Brij Bhasin, India Head at Rebright Partner, Mr. Vinit Bhansali, VP Investment at Orios VP .The selection process included parameters like fund raised in past, propensity to scale, innovation, problem solving strategies, current round size, valuation etc.
The pitching session is scheduled on September 3rd – 4th 2019, in Tokyo to be held at Embassy of India. Following the Pitch session on the day, one-on-one speed dating session will be pre-arranged for these startup companies to meet with interested Japanese investors.
Sharing his views on Indian start-up ecosystem, Shota Naoi, President and Group CEO, BEENOS, Inc said, “BEENOS proactively invests in marketplace companies in India. We have seen much growth over the years and firmly believe that this growth will continue. We look forward to meeting new companies with equal or greater potential to partner with and potentially even synergize with our existing subsidiaries and investees.”
Indian tech start-up ecosystem in the recent years has scaled massive heights with faster transition from lab to market. With more than 7200 start-ups, India ranks as the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world. There has also been a dramatic growth of advanced technologies in the Indian startup ecosystem. With resurgence in investor confidence, India’s coveted startup club of unicorns is growing faster than ever. 2019 alone has produced over half a dozen unicorns in the country.
NASSCOM continues to play the role of a key enabler in the Indian startup and VC ecosystem. The NASSCOM Japanese VC network will not only provide an opportunity to Indian tech start-ups, entering growth phase, to raise substantial capital to fuel their ventures from global pool of investors, but will also create passage for global investors to invest and partner in India’s growth story.