Draper ventures out in India with its platform
Draper Startup House, which started off as an entrepreneur-focused co-living and coworking venture, has launched its seed-stage investment syndicate platform, Draper Venture Syndicate Network, in India.

Draper Startup House will look to create syndicates that will make seed and angel investments across sectors, leveraging its global network of investors, Shashikiran Rao, cofounder – Europe and India, told ET.

In India, it is in talks to collaborate with well-known investment firms including Qualcomm Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Inventus Venture Partners and Axilor Ventures, among others, and has onboarded about 25 investors and 37 startups till date, Rao added.

“We will do the matchmaking between startups and investors on our platform. There is also an option for investors to shop for potential investments, based on their investment thesis. Apart from creating syndicates, the Draper Venture Network also has the option to invest, through its partner funds, or its San Francisco-based Draper University Fund,” Rao said.

While largely sector-agnostic, the focus will, however, primarily be on technology-enabled businesses, with certain segments such as ed-tech, healthcare, mobility and future of work, cryptocurrencies, micro-mobility and sustainable technologies, likely receiving more interest.

Draper Startup House is the latest entrant to the early-stage syndicate-focused investment space in India, an area where the likes of AngelList, LetsVenture and Better Capital have already created a name for themselves over the past two years.

There is also a focus on undertaking cross-border deals going forward.

“We are, at this point, onboarding investors from all the locations we are present in across the globe… We will probably be able to help startups raise capital from almost 14-15 cities across the world by end-July,” Rao said.

Draper Startup House started as Tribe Theory, which operated entrepreneur-focused hostels across Bali, Singapore, Yangon, Estonia, Manila, Lisbon and Bengaluru.

Earlier this year, legendary Silicon Valley-based venture capital investor Tim Draper invested $3.5 million in the company, rebranding it as well.

Draper, who is known for his prescient bets on global technology giants such as Tesla, SpaceX, Baidu, Hotmail, Twitch and Skype, among others, had also partnered with home-grown early-stage investment firm, Blume Ventures in 2017, bringing the latter into the fold of its Draper Venture Network, a collective of venture capital firms.

However, Draper’s investment record has been patchy after Draper Fisher Jurvetson, one of the early US venture capital firms to enter Asia’s third-largest economy, pulled out in 2013, selling its entire India portfolio to Hong Kong-based NewQuest Capital Partners, reportedly after taking a significant haircut.




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