In a bid to plug early into the next generation of technology startups, Chiratae Ventures, the Bengaluru headquartered early stage investor, will engage with deep-tech startups through an initiative dubbed ‘Deep Tech Huddle Program’ next month. The firm will shortlist 20 startups for the two-day immersive programme which it expects will lead to select investments in its areas of interest.
The deep-tech huddle is part of an umbrella ‘Huddle by Chiratae’ initiative that the firm launched on Wednesday.
The upcoming ‘huddle’ will focus on frontier technologies such as nanotechnology, 3D printing, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), blockchain, cloud and quantum computing, aerospace and outer space. In terms of sectors, the firm is looking at startups workin in healthtech and medical devices covering disability technology and medical robotics, agriculture and food related technology, automotive and mobility, biotech and life-sciences and energy.
“As investors, we need to reinvent in order to steer India into its next growth phase… Through this DeepTech Start-up Huddle Program, we aim to bridge the gap that seed and early-stage startups are facing in terms of accessibility to talent, mentorship and capital,” Sudhir Sethi, founder and chairman at Chiratae Ventures said in a statement.
The firm’s current portfolio of investments already includes a host of deep-tech startups such as Axio Biosolutions, a medi-tech solutions provider for bleeding control and wound healing; SigTuple, an intelligent screening solutions provider to aid diagnosis through AI-powered analysis of visual medical data; PlayShifu, an augmented reality-based interactive learning toys for kids; Zumutor Biologics, an immuno-oncology company in the space of targeted NK (natural killer) cell therapeutics; and Emotix, makers of Miko, an educational companion bot.
Founded in 2006, Chiratae, earlier known as IDG Ventures India, was one of the first specialist technology investors in India’s early-stage market. It has invested in more than 80 companies and currently has more than $740 million in assets under management.
Some of its notable prior investments include shared mobility platform Bounce, health and fitness services startup Curefit, baby products retailer FirstCry, and insurance marketplace PolicyBazaar.
The firm is currently in the midst of raising its fourth India-specific fund. It typically invests at the seed and Series A stages across sectors such as consumer media and technology, software as a service (SaaS), health-tech and fintech.