The SaaS and enterprise tech sector has faced significant challenges in the past year, with the rise of generative AI and emerging technologies. In response, Bengaluru-based SaaS fund and accelerator, Upekkha, is shifting its focus towards early-stage AI startups that are building B2B software products for the global market. With the announcement of its first close at $15 million for a larger $40 million fund, Upekkha is set to invest in up to 70 startups per year.
What is Upekkha and its mission?
Upekkha, founded in 2017, is a SaaS fund and accelerator based in Bengaluru, India. Led by managing partner Prasanna Krishnamoorthy and his team, Upekkha aims to support and mentor early-stage SaaS startups in building successful businesses. The fund differentiates itself by providing a referral program led by established SaaS founders, which helps to strengthen its deal flow and pipeline.
Key Backers and Investors
The latest fundraiser for Upekkha’s $40 million fund was led by WestBridge Capital, a firm focused on helping Indian startups go global. In addition, Upekkha has brought on board Godard Abel, CEO of SaaS marketplace giant G2.com, as a limited partner. This diverse range of investors highlights the confidence in Upekkha’s ability to bridge the gap for early-stage SaaS entrepreneurs and enable them to build successful global businesses from India.
The Funding Plan and its Benefits for the Industry
Upekkha’s latest fund will invest in up to 70 startups per year, providing a fixed $125,000 pre-seed funding for 7% equity. This deal structure is similar to the standard offering of renowned startup accelerator, Y Combinator.
By investing in early-stage startups, Upekkha aims to identify and nurture the next generation of successful SaaS companies.
Upekkha’s Impact on the Industry
Upekkha’s unique referral program, driven by the SaaS founder community, sets it apart in a market where early-stage deals are highly sought after. The success of Upekkha is evident from its portfolio, which already includes over 165 startups. These startups span various sectors and are not limited to Tier 1 cities, with more than a quarter of the portfolio from Tier 2 cities like Pune, Kochi, Bhopal, Chandigarh, and Raipur. Upekkha’s focus on inclusivity and diversity in its investments showcases its commitment to supporting startups from all regions of India.
The Power of AI in SaaS
As AI and ML continue to transform the SaaS industry, investors are increasingly looking for startups that leverage AI tools effectively. Upekkha recognizes the importance of data in AI-driven SaaS models. Startups that can gather and utilize data effectively have the potential to deliver impactful services and solutions to customers.
While AI is still in its early stages of integration in the SaaS industry, startups that can go beyond traditional approaches and do more with AI will see the most significant adoption. Upekkha aims to invest in startups that can leverage AI in innovative ways and create products that have a 5X or 10X impact compared to traditional methods.
With its latest $40 million fund, Upekkha is poised to make a significant impact on the SaaS industry by investing in early-stage AI startups. The unique referral program, the involvement of experienced SaaS founders, and the focus on leveraging AI and data set Upekkha apart from other funds and accelerators. As the continues to evolve, Upekkha’s investments will contribute to the development of innovative products and solutions that have the potential to disrupt global markets.
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Q1. How does Upekkha differentiate itself from other SaaS funds and accelerators?
Upekkha sets itself apart through its referral program led by established SaaS founders. This program strengthens its deal flow and pipeline, ensuring that it invests in startups with the best potential.
Q2. What is Upekkha’s investment strategy?
Upekkha invests in up to 70 startups per year, providing fixed $125,000 pre-seed funding for 7% equity. This approach enables early-stage AI startups to access the capital they need to develop and scale their businesses.