WeKan looks to incubate, fund 20 Indian startups


NEW DELHI: New York-based product accelerator WeKan plans to incubate and fund about 18-20 startups in the ‘future of work’ space in India.

“We are looking to invest in 30-40 companies in the next 3-5 years, out of which 40-50% of the companies would be from India,” Sathya Nellore, the cofounder of WeKan, said.

In the next month alone, WeKan is looking to invest at a ticket size of up to $250,000 in B2B development tools such as Low or No-Code, DevOps/Infrastructure Tools, API Management, and Software Testing tool.

This comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has forced companies across the world to adopt a remote work model, or work from home (WFH).

“I think it’s also one of the most exciting times for B2B and ‘future of work,'” Nellore, who has nearly five years’ experience as an entrepreneur and angel investor, said.

Nellore’s fund has been domain-agnostic in the past, and it had incubated 20 companies across the travel tech, prop-tech, and mobility verticals, primarily in the United States.

Earlier this year, he turned his gaze to India to leverage the domestic market’s cost efficiencies, knowledge stack of the previous three decades in building products for Fortune 100 companies, and a growing pool of high-quality talent.

The fund already has a 5-6 people India team, with a portfolio support team of around 30 people.

“The cost of building a B2B startup in India is much less than building it in the US; companies from India raise 1/3rd lesser capital than their peers,” he said.

In an era where the future work is still uncertain, Nellore said the virus outbreak has made businesses realize the importance of going digital.

Businesses are looking to implement tools that make remote work faster, smarter, collaborative and fun, he said.

Remote working is a new opportunity boosted by the pandemic.

Microsoft recently announced plans to adopt a “hybrid workplace” model post-pandemic, while DropBox said it aimed to become a “virtual first” company. Even in India, technology companies, including ed-tech firm Unacademy and merchant services platform Khatabook, are looking at hybrid work models for the coming years.





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