Angel investment platform Inflection Point Ventures (IPV) is looking to invest in up to a dozen startups this quarter, closing the calendar year with fund infusion in over 50 startup ventures, according to its co-founder Ankur Mittal.
The platform — which is an angel network supported by over 5000 CXOs (or C-suite business executives), High Networth Individuals and professionals keen to invest in startups — has already infused over Rs 290 crore, and has readily available additional pool of over Rs 100 crore for deployment based on requirements and market opportunities.
”In the last 12 months, we would have invested in 50-55 startups,” Mittal said.
In 2021, up until October, IPV has already invested in 38 companies and expects to invest in another 10-12 startups in December quarter.
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The firm – which began operations in 2018 – supports new-age entrepreneurs by providing them monetary and experiential capital and connecting them with a diverse group of investors.
Overall, 3-year old IPV said it has invested in 98 startups till date, including well-known names such as Toch, BluSmart, Otipy, Phable and Uable.
”Out of 98 startups IPV invested in, we had 1 unicorn exit, 7 additional exits and 4 partial exits, and only one has failed. We will have around 5-6 more exits soon,” Mittal said.
The exits mostly happen when PEs and VC funds come in as next-stage investors into these ventures.
Biofuel marketplace Buyofuel recently raised over Rs 1.6 crore in a seed round led by IPV. It said funds raised will be utilised in expediting the marketing activities, working more on technology and signing new partnerships for business development.
Last month, Ahmedabad-based robotic startup, Ishitva raised a pre-series A round of over USD 1 million led by IPV, and the funds raised will be utilised in growing sales and expanding the Research and Development team.
The vast network of CXOs in IPV fold means translation of their expertise into in depth and extensive upfront due diligence of ventures ”chipping away the reasons of failure”.
”We understand the industry in and out. So say, there is a AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) or a blockchain company, we have people who are experts in this area, who can help us evaluate startups, understand business models and take decisions,” Mittal said.
Post-investment support, over and above provision of capital to startups, is also a big area of focus for this angel investment platform.
”Technically, anyone can contribute just capital. The term angel investment comes because you can contribute more than capital, which of course is necessary…you contribute experience and support say in marketing, strategy, and finance,” he said.
Mittal said there is ”buoyancy and positivity” in investor sentiments and investment outlook towards startups, as angel funding has emerged as a viable investment alternative over traditional modes.
”We tell our investors that they should be prepared to stay invested for 2-5 years. If you want a large exit, then you should skip couple of funding rounds, and not look at immediate exits. More investors are recognising that investing in startup can be a viable investment alternative,” Mittal said.
The appetite for startup funding remains healthy, fuelled by ”lack of investment alternatives” and headroom for growth in the ecosystem.
According to Mittal, India is still in early, nascent stage of startup cycle, with a lot of growth potential.
”There are still miles to go before any kind of market saturation, of course there could be rises and troughs. I won’t be too worried about that. As things stand, there is no dearth of funds for good startups,” Mittal said.