Baring Private Equity Fund India and Inflection Point Ventures (IPV) are backing a new fundraising and support platform launched by Dr Sunil Shekhawat, former head of product initiatives and deep-tech club at Nasscom.
The Sanchiconnect platform, originally an idea of Baring PE’s managing partner Rahul Bhasin and Shekhawat, will help deep-tech startups raise funds from its more than 50 investment partners, which include angel investors, VCs and Investment networks.
Some of the notable VCs and investment networks that have joined the platform are Capital2B (InfoEdge), Pi Ventures, Speciale Invest, Nexus VP, Yournest VC, GrowX, Ankur Capital, and Modular Capital.
Baring PE has been investing in tech services firms. Its portfolio includes IGT Solutions, Virtusa, Coforge, Citi Tech, and Hexaware Technologies.
IPV too counts several deep-tech, IT and ITes startups in its portfolio, including Parablu Systems, NeuroPixel.ai, peAR, and ORAI. The platform connects startups with angel investors.
Sanchiconnect will facilitate investments in early-stage as well as growth-stage startups, with deal sizes ranging from $100,000 to $10 million, Shekhawat said in an interview.
He said that raising funds for deep-tech platforms is more difficult than for startups in business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), direct-to-consumer (D2C) and consumer tech segments.
In India, there are around 3,000 deep-tech startups that operate mostly in areas such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, blockchain, big data and analytics, according to a Nasscom report. However, only close to 270 startups are funded, having raised about $2.7 billion collectively across 319 deals, the report noted.
Shekhawat said investments in the space remain low as deep-tech innovations take a long to deliver returns.
Despite an impressive compound annual growth rate of 53% in the past decade, as per the Nasscom report, startups in the space are still looking for access to seed capital and thematic funds to reach potential customers. Sanchiconnect will strive to facilitate more investments in the segment, said Shekhawat.
The platform will let founders raise capital from VCs, showcase products to global enterprises, and hire tech talent. It will also aim to provide support to startups to grow at the global level.
Sanchiconnect came out of stealth mode in the last week of August. It has already helped three startups to get term sheets through the investor partner network. The names of the startups are undisclosed.
“The quantum of deep tech funding proposals coming to us has been growing over the years and so does our members’ interest. This partnership is symbolic of our commitment to go higher on deep-tech investing and reduce the timeframe in rolling out term sheets to deep tech founders,” said Ankur Mittal, founding partner at IPV, a startup investing platform.
By the end of March, Shekhawat hopes the platform will have over 1,000 startups and over 300 global investors.“India has the potential to become a leading hub for deep disruptive technology companies. SanchiConnect will enable fundraising, recruitment, customer acquisition and strategic partnerships for this ecosystem,” said Bhasin.