Asia’s largest angel network platform Indian Angel Network (IAN) has forayed into the western market by announcing its operation in London. The announcement was made in an event attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Business Secretary Vince Cable, Lord Livingstone, Matthew Hancock and Oliver Letwin.
With this announcement, IAN has presence in multiple countries now. The angel group also agreed to invest in SwiftShift, a UK-based startup, providing a SaaS-based solution which helps companies to quickly fill short notice shifts using their own staff through SMS, email and mobile technology. Leveraging matching algorithms, SwiftShift creates a regional employee bank allowing workers to accept shifts across multiple locations.
The angel group will help SwiftShift expand its presence beyond UK’s shores and become a global player. At the same time, the angel group will also enable investee companies in India to leverage UK as a hub for accessing European and American markets.
Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder of IAN, said, “UK is amongst the world’s top 10 ecosystems for startups and home to some of the finest R&D in the world. Our debut in the UK will allow IAN to invest in world class, innovative startups and help them scale globally by leveraging IAN’s domain expertise and worldwide networks.”
In 2013, IAN had invested in over 17 early stage startups spanning across sectors like manufacturing, e-commerce, social media, education, semi-conductor, medical devices and cleantech among others. IAN has mentored and nurtured startups across geographies, including India, Sri Lanka, UK, US, Canada, France and Hong Kong,
The early stage funding ecosystem has improved to a large extent globally, including India. Earlier this week, Paul Singh emphasized that over the past four years the funding gap for seed stage tech startups has shrunk considerably with over 1,300 new investors and 200 new venture firms actively participating in early stage investments worldwide.
Given the easy access to angel capital in India, the angel group’s move to explore international opportunities makes sense. Also its international footprints will help investee companies in India a launch pad in the UK.
What are your thoughts on IAN’s move to go global? Do comment.