Mayfield Fund is announcing an Indian investment today. The venture firm is backing AngelPrime, a Bangalore-based incubator. The investment will be used as seed capital for the companies that AngelPrime plans to incubate over the next 3 years and to fund the operations of AngelPrime.
AngelPrime’s founding partners, Bala Parthasarathy, Shripati Acharya and Sanjay Swamy, previously founded Snapfish (acquired by Hewlett Packard), ZipDial, and worked at Cisco, IBM and Xerox.
The organization’s model is similar to that of U.S. based incubators, but at a smaller scale. Partners work closely with entrepreneurs to incubate companies, provide hands-on mentoring, seed capital of approximately $200,000 to $500,000, and a co-working facility in Bangalore. The AngelPrime team has actively incubated 3 companies in the past two years including ZipDial, Ezetap and Unamia, and plans to incubate another 3 companies per year.
The investment is led by Mayfield’s Managing Director Navin Chaddha, “Our motto at Mayfield Fund is to invest in relationships and we have known the world-class team members at AngelPrime since their Snapfish days,” said Chaddha. “We believe that a *global playbook* approach to investing which identifies trends that work across borders but are customized to specific geographies will yield several industry-leading companies out of India. But it will require heavy lifting at the earliest stages from an experienced and passionate team such as the one at AngelPrime.”
Chaddha says the investment was made out of its Mayfield India Fund, which raised $111 million in 2008. Chaddha says that the fund focuses primarily on non-tech opportunities in India, because the market is still nascent. But AngelPrime’s model is attractive because the incubator is going deep on a few companies. While seed stage funds are emerging in India, Chaddha is bullish on AngelPrime because there aren’t as many incubators in the country.
Earlier this year, AngelPrime launched Ezetap, a mobile Point-of-Sale solution that allows any merchant or agent to capture credit or debit card payments in the field using their mobile handset or tablet.