Blume Ventures, 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.
Currently open only to B2B startups that have a minimum viable product (MVP) with a strong potential in the US or European region, Arka will operate out of Blume’s India office and BGV’s Valley office.
Focussed on facilitating a faster global transition to Indian B2B startups, Arka will provide seed and pre-seed funding of upto $200,000 along with infrastructural support, mentorship, and access to the Silicon Valley ecosystem, which is critical for scaling up B2B startups in the US.
"If we had access to this kind of platform in our early stages, it would have been very useful to help solidify our US presence and accelerate our go-to market strategy," said 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.
Apart from mentoring and funding, the platform also provides working space for these startups. Blume brings in experience and knowledge of the Indian startup ecosystem, while BGV and Emergent Ventures bring in operational expertise in the B2B and cross-border investment segments.
In a press statement shared by Blume Ventures, Sanjay Nath, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Blume Ventures said,
"Enterprise-focused, 'built-in-India for global markets' products and platforms like Inmobi, Freshworks, Browserstack, and Grey Orange Robotics have emerged as new B2B models. We are very excited that Arka - a first-of-its-kind initiative - that 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.”
Yashwanth Hemaraj, investor at BGV and one of the founding partners at Arka Venture Labs says that they help Indian enterprise startups overcome the ‘trust gap’ that exists between them and customers, investors, and acquirers when making a global transition.
The idea is to make Arka Venture Labs an open and collaborative platform to bring in all the help they need to bridge this trust gap for the incubated companies.
“Cross-border technology startups used to be a rare exception. They are now a way of life and the principal source of innovation among VC-backed companies. India is now the most exciting new frontier of this trend,” said Eric Benhamou, Founder and Managing Partner of BGV.
Radhesh Kanumury, CEO and Managing Partner of Arka Venture Labs, believes Indian startups, after operating for 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 its presence in the US, which has more breadth and depth in market, lesser sales cycles, and higher margins.
“There are many sub-segments within the Indian B2B cross-border ecosystem. For example, some startups target large enterprises while others sell 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.