Axilor Ventures doubles size of its start-up incubator programme

Bengaluru: Early-stage venture investor Axilor Ventures, which was launched by technology industry veterans led by Infosys co-founders Kris Gopalakrishnan and SD Shibulal, plans to invest in more start-ups in 2017 and has doubled the size of its incubator programme.

On Wednesday, Axilor said it would double the intake of start-ups for its 100-day accelerator programme—it has so far nurtured 30 start-ups since it started operating in late 2014 and has invested in about 20 early-stage ventures.

That would indicate that Axilor will invest in over two dozen start-ups at least this year—last year it had said it would back about 12-15 start-ups.

Axilor typically supports start-ups from launch to scale, typically investing up to Rs3 crore for a minority stake; it has bet on sectors such as consumer internet, healthcare technology and fin-tech.

“We are getting ready for the second wave of start-ups. A fast-growing base of online consumers, an enabling public digital infrastructure, growing pool of founders with prior start-up experience and increase in early-stage seed capital are creating the conditions for this second wave,” said Gopalakrishnan.

Axilor has invested in nearly two dozen early-stage start-ups and ventures, including Easyfix, healthcare start-up MUrgency, PaySay and UrbanPiper. It has got exits from two ventures—e-commerce platform SellerworX and food start-up PlaceofOrigin after it was acquired by Sequoia-backed Craftsvilla.

Axilor also said it has opened applications for its accelerator programme for the summer batch, which starts from March.

“In an uncertain funding environment, Axilor’s accelerator programme is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to scale their start-ups and become investible quickly. Seventy percent of the start-ups from the last batch have successfully moved to their next stage—half of them have already secured funding, one has been acquired and the others are in advanced stages of pilots,” said Axilor CEO Ganapathy Venugopal, another former Infosys executive.

Besides Gopalakrishnan, Shibulal and Venugopal, Axilor’s other co-founders include former Infosys board member Srinath Batni and Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna.

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