Tuesday, August 9, 2016

AngelList is launching ‘Syndicates’ in India

AngelList, the online platform for venture capital, is making a huge impact in the early-stage funding scene in the U.S. — it helped raise over $160 million for startups last year, for one thing — and now it is looking to expand its horizons to India.
The U.S. firm is working to launch its syndicates product — which lets investors team up and pool funds for investments. It’s continuing to run its hiring service in the South Asian country. And now AngelList it has brought on Utsav Somani (an angel investor himself) to lead the India effort. [Correction: The hiring service is not new. It was already running in India.]
India’s investor community is scaling back on later-stage deals after watching some capital-intensive projects run into problems, but the seed end of the market remains healthy. In total, startups in the country raised $2.1 billion in the first six months of this year, according to data from YourStory.
Somani told us he will be based in New Delhi but regularly traveling across India. He explained that beyond helping connect India’s startup community more tightly, the idea is to enable AngelList’s community of investors in the U.S. and elsewhere to tap into India for hiring or investment purposes.
We understand that the rough timeline for these launches is within the next twelve months. The biggest challenge standing in the way appears to be regulations. AngelList is working to gain the approval of India’s Security and Exchange Board (SEBI), Somani explained in a blog post.
“My role will consist of opening dialogue with government officials and regulators with suggestions that’ll benefit startups and investors in India. I’ll map out the Indian regulatory framework so AngelList can come in with [its] pop-up VC structure that enables venture investing online at scale,” he wrote.
Somani believes that AngelList’s objectives fit squarely with the ‘Startup India’ initiative established by Indian Prime Minister Modi earlier this year, which is designed to increase innovation and jobs inside the country. Not to mention, he told TechCrunch, that “almost everyone in India knows about AngelList, hires through it, or at least has a presence there.” (The service currently counts 656 accredited investors based in India, and a further 5,951 who are “interested in India.”)
Syndicates have been launched in Europeinitially via the U.K., and Australia so a foray into India would deepen its global network and give investors and startups alike increased funding opportunities.
That’s not all that AngelList is doing overseas, however. Outside of the U.S., AngelList is powering a $400 million seed fund from China called CSC Upshot — which also apparently earned the distinction as the world’s largest seed fund — while there are numerous smaller investment funds in the U.S. using the platform, such as Maiden Lane.
All told, AngelList counts 170 active syndicates on its platform. On the recruiter/talent hiring side, it claims to have 16,000 companies seeking hires with 40,000 new candidates added each month. So far, AngelList said it has enabled more than 10,000 hires.

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