Kalaari Capital launches Kstart, a unique seed program for early stage startups


Kalaari Capital, a leading Indian venture capital firm, on Friday launched Kstart, a unique seed program for the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas. Kstart aims to empower startups and accelerate disruptive ideas to become market-leading companies.

Led by MD, Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital has been investing in early-stage, technology-focused startups since 2006. The venture capital firm has $650 million in assets under management. Along with capital, Kalaari also focuses on a long-term partnership with entrepreneurs to help them unlock large value through disruptive innovation. 

Kalaari had launched a new fund in 2015 worth $290 million. YourStory Research shows that the firm made 14 early stage deals in 2015 (58% of their deals being early stage). Kalaari has a diverse list of startups and now mature companies in its portfolio. Some of them across different sectors are -

Ecommerce- Myntra, Snapdeal, Power2SME, Industrybuying, Urban Ladder

Fintech- Instamojo, RKSV, Rubique

Digital Media- YourStory, Scoopwhoop, PopXo

Mobile- Robosoft, Haptik, Apps Daily, Magster, Swipe

Khosla Labs, Kyron Global Accelerator, Microsoft Accelerator and Google's recently announced 'Launchpad Accelerator' along with incubators and accelarator programmes run by educational institutions are other popular choices among early stage Indian startups.

As India grows into a global economic leader, Kalaari believes that India should look at startups for next-generation solutions that align disruptive ideas, large markets and capable founders. Transforming young companies into successful, scalable and sustainable businesses requires community, capital, partnership, continuous learning and access to resources. Identifying these opportunities and providing the required support for founders is important. Hence based on their experience in helping early stage startups, Kalaari's Kstart program is based on five key components:

Fair Capital: Raising capital is one of the biggest challenges in the entrepreneurial journey. Founders at the seed stage are especially vulnerable to dilution and deserve better choices. Kstart offers fair capital to founders (up to $500,000) via a convertible equity instrument.

Catalysts: Founders often do not have access to experience-based advice, committed guidance or open networks. Kstart brings together founders with the right set of mentors – called 'Kstart Catalysts '– to accelerate startup growth. Kstart Catalysts are also co-investors in the companies.

Partners: Seed-stage founders often face resource and technology constraints. Partners are a key element of the Kstart support ecosystem, who will provide portfolio companies with access to their platforms, technology and expertise.

Kstart Institute: High-growth startups have a need to invest in continuous learning and commit to up-skilling. Kstart Institute helps the portfolio companies focus on some of the most important aspects of building and growing a technology-driven venture. Dr. Anil K Gupta, Professor, University of Maryland, will guide the development of the Kstart Institute curriculum.

Respace: Respace is a dynamic and participatory space that Kstart portfolio companies are offered. Consistent with the Kstart philosophy that environment fosters creativity, Respace is an outcome of collaboration with 15 artists from around the world. These artists have pushed the boundaries of a traditional corporate space to foster peer-to-peer learning. The event space will host meetups, workshops and industry events

Startups can apply to the seed program at www.kstart.in

(Disclaimer: Kalaari Capital is one of the investors in YourStory


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