Looking at Raising Funds for your New Venture: Check out what Incubate Fund has to Say How does Incubate Fund mentor new Indian startups.

By Rahul R

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Nao Murakami

With Indian startups actively looking at offering technology-driven solutions to even unconventional; but critical; issues, the focus is naturally on the model of these startups that is looked on as a potential enabler of growth in all respects. One such key aspect is raising funds and wooing investors to actually invest in these models.

With next-gen technology harnessing, via sustainable models, being the key; Bengaluru-based corporate travel management startup Tripeur very recently raised $600,000 in a pre-Series A which was led by Japan-based Incubate Fund. To understand what got Incubate Fund to invest in Tripeur, and to present a scene of how even global investors view Indian startup's problem-solving ability, Entrepreneur India interacted with Nao Murakami – Founder and General Partner at Incubate Fund India.

Incubate Fund's footprints in India

At this instant, Incubate Fund has made as many as nine investments in Indian startups. These include the likes of ShopKirana, Skillate, and StayAbode. Nao Murakami states that the key consideration for Incubate Fund is strong business models, coupled with a technically brilliant team, and the market focus.

Incubate Fund's strategy behind "Incubating' Bengaluru-based Tripeur with solid capital

"There were three key factors that got us to invest in Tripeur," states Murakami. He adds that, like described above, the business model along with the market and the expertise of Tripeur's team got Incubate interested in mentoring the corporate travel management venture.

"We believe this business model is really strong since it can enjoy the merits of both SaaS(Software as a service) business (stickiness of clients) and transactional business (volume of sales). Corporate travel in India is a really big, growing market but untapped by technology intervention," adds Murakami.

Another of Tripeur's key strength, according to Murakami, has been the experienced talent within the technical team at Tripeur which apparently has a deep understanding of the market and the next-gen technological aspects.

Investment strategies employed by Incubate Fund while investing

Here, Murakami iterates the fact that Incubate Fund focuses on the Seed Stage and Pre-Series A stages of investments in startups. Also, for owners of early-stage ventures, it is worth remembering that Incubate Fund is sector-agnostic and ventures working on models harnessing technology and the internet stand a chance of receiving mentorship from the firm.

"Since we are really small team, we take a proactive approach to find opportunities," stresses Murakami.

Internally, Murakami adds that the folks at the firm have calls and meetings to discuss the next focus areas and target business models that are considered worthy of investment.

Then, the startup (new venture) fitting in to the target and focus model of Incubate Fund gets shortlisted to receive funding and mentoring.

"We can make an investment decision really quickly," states Murakami.

Tips for new ventures to obtain funding from Incubate.

Murakami does not have specified guidelines for startup owners with respect to receiving funds from Incubate; however, he states that there is no short0cut to raising funds.

He states that it is always worth and satisfying for startups to seek assistance from "believers' having the same vision and mission; rather than from random investors.

"So, just focus on what you believe and try hard to create a strong model and team. Then money will come," signs-off Murakami.

Rahul R

Former Staff

Rahul R is a media professional with over 6 years of experience. Prior to Entrepreneur India, Rahul was a Senior Technical Journalist at EFY digital magazine. 

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