Sramana Mitra: Let’s start talking about Endiya Partners. How big is the fund? What is your preference in terms of where you want to invest in? What kind of stage?
Sateesh Andra: Our fund is around 175 crores. We’ve made 12 investments.
Sramana Mitra: That’s about $35 million.
Sateesh Andra: Yes. In the early days, there were accelerators, incubators, and angel investors. There weren’t any seed-stage VC fund. Angels used to do the early stages.
Occasionally, Series A investors would invest. We realized that seed and pre-Series A is a category by itself. We wanted to be a leader in the category. We want to stay very involved. We all have entrepreneurial experience. For our check sizes, we have $1 million to begin with. Over the life of the company, that goes up to $4 million per company.
We’ve done 12 investments. Majority of them are technology and healthcare companies. We have some consumer bets. In terms of sectors in technology, we invest in SaaS, cybersecurity, enterprise mobility, hardware, and healthcare. On the consumer side, fintech, healthcare, or niche retail are the opportunities that we look for. A whole bunch of them start in India and then go into adjacent markets like Southeast Asia, Australia, or Middle East.
Some of them have presence in India but they go global. They have nothing to do in India. Our company’s fund one has done really well thanks to exceptional entrepreneurs and their execution.
Sramana Mitra: So fund one is all invested now?
Sateesh Andra: We’re not making new investments, but we’ve reserved follow-on capital for the companies. Fund two will go live soon. It will be a $35 million fund with pretty much the same thesis.
Sramana Mitra: You operate out of which city in India? Hyderabad?
Sateesh Andra: We live in Hyderabad, but majority of the portfolio is based out of Bangalore. Seven are in Bangalore, three in Hyderabad, one in Bombay, and then one in Delhi.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s talk a little bit about your companies. Pick a few highlights and as you describe them, tell us about when they came to you, in what state did you encounter them?
What was it about them that compelled you to write checks. What I’m trying to do is understand how you think about investments in specific cases.
Sateesh Andra: Most of these checks are concept-stage checks. Let’s talk about AlphaICs. AlphaICs is a programmable AI processor. It’s an edge processor. There are a lot of data center-focused chips.
There are a whole bunch of well-funded companies attacking the data center side. We realized that edge inferencing is going to be a really big opportunity. It’s very important in not just data labeling but also decision making at the edges, especially in environments like automotive.
You look at conversational assistance as well as video surveillance. In all of these environments, low power but high-performance processors are a must. The entrepreneur was with Nvidia before. He had more than 30 to 40 patents.
Given my semiconductor background and the fact that I understand the industry really well, they had an efficient architecture from the ground up. There’s a lot of engineering work that’s done out of Bangalore but the markets are US, Japan, and Europe.