Sistema Asia Fund opens Bangalore office

31/05/2019

Sistema Asia Fund, Sistema’s VC arm in Asia, has opened an office in Karnataka capital Bangalore. This is the fund’s second office in India. Two of the fund’s managing partners are now based in Bangalore, while one is based in Delhi.

Why Bangalore?

Bangalore, often referred to as India’s Silicon Valley, is one the most rapidly developing cities in Asia. It is India’s center for IT, home to the country’s leading startups. Bangalore’s sub-sector strengths lie in fintech and edtech.  Startups gravitate towards Bangalore attracted by the city’s relatively inexpensive talent base and tax exemptions.

According to the Startup Genome’s ranking, Bangalore overcame Mumbai and New Delhi in list of Top 30 Startup Ecosystems. The research also categorizes Bangalore as an ecosystem benefitting from high quality of talent and is number one in the “Bang for the Buck” category. The value of the ecosystem is estimated at USD 24 bn with the global median at USD 5 bn. Bangalore also scored 10 out of 10 on the Exit Growth Index.

What’s in it for SAF?

As mentioned above, many startups looking to grow and seeking investments have made Bangalore their home base. Several of SAF’s core investments, including LendingKart Technologies, an Indian fintech company that focuses on providing SMEs facilitated access to working capital; HealthifyMe, a mobile app for health and fitness, and Licious, direct-to-consumer meat and seafood brand, call the Karnataka capital their home base. Naturally, SAF wants to be closer to its portfolio companies and the deal pipeline in Bangalore.

About Sistema Asia Fund

Sistema Asia Fund (SAF), Sistema’s VC arm in Asia, founded in 2015, is primarily focused on the Indian startup scene. SAF’s portfolio currently includes 9 companies pertaining to different sectors, including Kissht (consumer lending FinTech platform), Faasos (online food on demand app), HealthifyMe (health and fitness mobile app), Netmeds (India’s largest online pharmacy), Lendingkart Techonologies (online financing company focusing on financing working capital for SMEs), and Licious (direct-to-consumer meat and seafood brand).

In 2019, SAF made its first exit having sold its stake in Qwikcilver, an Indian technology company that is the world’s first end-to-end gift card solution provider. Sistema Asia Fund first invested in Qwikcilver in 2016, and has exited the company with substantial returns within three years of its investment.