AngelList's Utsav Somani launches new micro venture capital fund
Utsav Somani, India Partner for AngelList, has launched a new micro venture capital fund called iSeed. The fund, which is dedicated to Indian startups, plans to invest in 30 early-stage companies with a particular focus on technology.
The fund has also been anchored by Naval Ravikant, a prominent angel investor in the Silicon Valley, and plans to invest an average cheque of $150,000.
In a post on Medium, Utsav said,
“Today, I am announcing iSeed, my new micro-fund. iSeed plans to invest in 30 early-stage Indian companies at an average check of $150K, with a particular focus on technology companies.”
Besides Naval Ravikant, iSeed is backed by founders of Xiaomi, Thumbtack, Flutter, Bolt, and WikiHow. The list also includes partners from investment firms such as DST Global and Matrix Partners.
According to Utsav, the investors in iSeed were carefully selected based on their knowledge and willingness to help portfolio companies scale.
“They can act as a bridge for Indian founders, who are increasingly targeting international customers and investors,” he said.
The backers of iSeed have started or invested in 24 unicorns worth over $200 billion combined. Micro venture capitalists typically invest along with or after angel investors. Mostly, these funds invest with other venture funds in a funding round.
AngelList India has backed startups including BharatPe, Open Bank, DealShare, Mall91, and Yulu Bikes, and since its launch has made 140 investments.
Given the environment of coronavirus, investments into startups has been steadily coming down over the last two months. In the last week of April and running into May, weekly investments into startups have actually fallen below $100 million.
This reflects the broader trend where investors are hesitant to place larger cheque on the table, given the huge uncertainty on how coronavirus is going to play out. However, the investor focus seems to be largely on Series A, B, and pre-Series A kind of investments, where the quantum of fund is typically not large.