Sramana Mitra: What sized checks do you write?
Karthee Madasamy: Right now, we write between $1 million and $3 million. We may go up to $4 million. We keep about one-to-one reserve for follow-on. We can lead a round. For larger Series A’s, we follow.
Sramana Mitra: If it’s a $1 million check, you can do that yourself?
Karthee Madasamy: Right.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s double-click down on your portfolio and talk about some companies that you’ve invested in that you feel good about. Help us understand what drew you in. How did they find you, or how did you find them? What did you see in them when they came to you?
Karthee Madasamy: We’ve done about seven investments. I’ll talk about a couple of companies that gives a flavor of the types of things we invest in. One company is TwentyBN, which is a Toronto and Berlin-based company. They do computer vision in real-time on the edge.
Image recognition has become almost table stakes today. When we were looking at it, we thought that doing something on a video is much more complex than on the image. Going beyond just object recognition is an important factor in terms of understanding high-level context.
TwentyBN is actually founded by students of Geoff Hinton. These guys have built a technology that can recognize very complex actions in real time on the edges. We were looking at the space and we hadn’t seen too many companies in the space. It was a much more complex problem.
In terms of finding companies, a lot of it is through our network. The thing that we liked was they differentiated through technology to get this thing done.
Second is, the technology was robust. The third thing is the entrepreneur themselves. There was willingness to understand how to take this technology to market. There was a willingness to engage in a discussion to figure out things.
Sramana Mitra: What application did they tell you they were going to go after after they started approaching you. I understand it’s a horizontal technology, but I imagine you looked for an application to zero in on.
Karthee Madasamy: The two applications they went after was retail and health & fitness. We had a few vertical focus areas where we could validate some of these applications as well.
Sramana Mitra: How big was the investment?
Karthee Madasamy: It was a $10 million round. It was a company that already had early customer success in terms of deployment, and not necessarily recurring revenues.