A new startup accelerator called the India Internet Group (IIG) is debuting today as fund to invest in India-focused, early stage internet and mobile startups. The size of IIG is $2.5 million and with an average investment size of $50,000 to $250,000.
IIG is the brainchild of a number of Indian-American entrepreneurs and technology execs including Nihal Mehta (LocalResponse), Vijay Chattha (VSCpr), Sunjay Guleria (Exclusively.In), Gautam Gandhi, Rajan Anandan, Anuradha Duggal. The fund itself will be managed by entreprneur Anirudh Suri.
The accelerator is also launching a business plan competition targeted at entrepreneurs living, working or studying in the U.S. who are creating India-focused Internet or mobile technology businesses. Already, IIG and its partners have previously invested in several India-based startups (i.e., Exclusively.in, Ignighter, and The Wild East Group). IIG will provide the selected entrepreneurs or teams initial seed funding of up to $150,000, office space, and legal advisors.
In addition to investing in startups, IIG will also be incubating startups. The first company that is part of IIG’s program is EkSMS, a India-focused SMS and Web-based personalized recommendation engine for restaurants, bars and cafes.
There is definitely a tremendous amount potential in India-focused startups and services. Accel Partners recently closed its third India fund, totaling $155 million, to invest in seed and early-stage opportunities in the region. As internet connectivity expands in the country, there will be an acceleration of innovation taking place in the country and investors seem to be betting on this.