Keiretsu Capital, the co-investment fund of global angel network Keiretsu Forum, raised around $6.5 million for its first angel-investor fund in 2015. It is now planning to start a seed fund in India. Last week, during his visit to India, Matthew Le Merle, a managing partner at Keiretsu Capital, had told VCCircle that it was hoping to discuss an India-focused fund in 2017.
The US-based cross-border network's Chennai chapter, its first in India, has invested a little over $1 million in early-stage startups, finishing its first year with around a dozen deals.
In this interview with Techcircle.in, Le Merle, whose firm, Fifth Era, advises countries and companies on growing the digital economy, outlines the investment goals for Keiretsu Capital's funds and the opportunities for angel investors in India. Edited excerpts:
How do you see angel investing evolving in India?
This is the best of times to become an angel investor in India. The Indian government has been clear that it expects a major proportion of future economic growth and expansion â€“ and gains in jobs and well-being â€“ to be driven by technology focused companies. It expects the digital economy to be a very important force in India's future. And it is creating incentives and policies to stimulate this.
Angel investors back local Indian technology entrepreneurs when they first form their companies and get started. It is critical to India's success that more local investors are encouraged to become angel investors in digital economy companies.
At Keiretsu Forum in Bangalore, Chennai and, now, Mumbai, our goal is to educate and orientate investors to what it means to be an active angel investor. We welcome new members and ensure that they have the time and resources to see if this is a good personal fit.