500 Startups Relaunch Their Indian Operations ‘StartupWallah’ With Rs 120 Cr Funds


500 startups

Seed accelerator 500 Startups have decided to refuel Startwallah, which was their Indian operation and are currently infusing Rs 120 crore ($20 million) to make it fully operational. As per reports, they are ready to invest Rs 50-60 lakhs in startups, and willing to take upto 7% equity share and are interested in sectors such as financial services, gaming, payments, SaaS and education on mobile and web.

Founded in 2012, Startupwallah’s vision was to provide seed capital and mentorship to early stage Indian startups. They have invested in only 30 Indian startups till date, as their full fledged operations couldn’t get started due to various reasons.

Aerin Lim, Director of Investor Relations have said, “We started the process two years ago but had to put it on hold because the market was not mature back then.”

Some of the startups where StartupWallah (and 500 Startups) have invested are: TargetingMantra, WalletKit, TradeBriefs, Instamojo, PriceBaba and gazeMetrix. Their star investment till date is ZipDial, which became Twitter’s first Indian acquisition.

If we talk about 500 Startups, then last year, they are the most active investment firm in India as they invested in more than 20 startups.

500 Startups is a legendary investment fund which started operations in 2010 started by former Paypal executive Dave McClure. Till date, they have invested in 750 startups across 50 countries, and mentored more than 1000 entrepreneurs. Typically, they invest in the range of $100,000 to $250,000 and is known to have bias for those startups which have a solid team behind them.

Last year, 500 Startups raised close to $100 million corpus to expand globally, and tied-up with crowd funding platform SeedInvest. Besides StartupWallah, which is India centric, 500 Startups are also launching in other Asian countries:

  • 500 KimChis in South Korea ($15 million venture fund to start with)
  • 500 TukTuks for Thailand ($10 million venture fund)
  • 500 Durians for South Asia
  • 500 Luchadores for Latin America

Indian startup scene is steaming hot right now, as more and more international investors and fund owners are focusing here. NASSCOM has already declared that India is the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, and world’s fastest growing one. More than a billion dollars of venture capital poured into the Indian startups last year.

Funding arms of biggies such as Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, NewsCorp, Target, Yahoo have already started setting up their shops in India and acquiring Indian startups to be in the race. Even RBI, India’s National Bank has earmarked a startup fund, and probably for the first time in the history of independent India, terms such as startups and entrepreneurship were mentioned in the Union Budget – 2015.

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