An approach to early-stage investing, building unicorns and getting startups IPO-ready in India

With Sanjay Nath, Founder, Blume Ventures

As a venture capital firm, if raising money is tough, returning money to one’s limited partners is way tougher, according to early-stage investor Blume Ventures.

Set up in 2010 by Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath, Blume has backed over 100 startups, including Dunzo and Instamojo, across its 10-year history through multiple funds.

The VC most recently raised a Rs 350-crore (over $46 million) secondary vehicle to invest in some of its larger portfolio firms to support them for a longer tenure and to allow an exit for some of the early LPs. As part of the secondary vehicle, Blume will continue to invest in at least half a dozen of these portfolio firms including GreyOrange, Turtlemint, among others. Blume is also nearing the deployment cycle of its $102-million third fund, even as it is looking at ways to stay invested in its growing portfolio.

Seasoned investor Nath will take us through India’s growing unicorn count, viable exit avenues for investors and the need for building sustainable businesses. Blume Ventures’s secondary vehicle comes at a time when several prominent startups in India are queueing up for a busy IPO season. We will ask Nath about what prompted the strategy to hold some of the firm’s key bets for a longer term to deliver bigger exit outcomes. Will this trend take off in India’s startup ecosystem?