Happy New Year to all!
2020 was a peculiar year. It gave us hardships but also taught many things. It showed us how fragile our lives can be and at the same time how resilient we as a civilization are.
2020 was a roller-coaster ride for me, both personally and professionally. The highs were higher, and the lows were lower. And I believe, the world did change a bit more this year than any of the other years in this decade.
<<Read our Year in Review for 2018 and 2019>>
2020 Portfolio Additions
We started the year with the closing of all those deals committed in 2019. Plum was the first deal and the first on Gemba Capital (India) Syndicate on AngelList. We co-invested along with Incubate Fund. Two key learnings were to move fast in seed rounds (this was possible due to our already mapped thesis on the insurtech space) and back great founders in large uncharted markets even if you feel the entry valuations are high. 10 months post our funding, they raised $4 mn from Sequoia Surge and Tanglin Ventures where we exercised our pro-rata.
We then closed Lal10 in Feb. Lal10 has great co-investors like Amit Ranjan, Sorenson Impact Beyond Capital and a stellar ex-Flipkart leadership team. It is a space we are excited about and we believe has tremendous defensibility.
In March, we closed ClickPost — our second deal on the Syndicate. ClickPost is post purchase Logistics Intelligence SaaS Platform for enterprises to manage multiple 3rd party logistics partners. It has crossed $1Mn in ARR. We invested along with Rebright Capital and Titan Capital.
Our next deal was Unnati, which is building a full stack agritech platform with core inputs retail commerce, farmer credit and sale of output. Our co-investors in this round were PayTM founder and senior management. It is led by the experienced duo of Amit Sinha and Ashok Prasad. Post our funding, they also raised capital from NABVentures (VC arm of NABARD)
We invested in Airmeet in June with Accel leading it and then again in the follow-on round in September led by Sequoia and Redpoint Ventures.
In Sept, we also invested in Zuper which is an intelligent workforce management SaaS startup which enables organisations with field service teams to better organise and provide customer experience. We connected them to Prime Ventures, which led the deal.
In Oct, we invested in a unique business called Grip — a platform that offers investment opportunities in asset backed leased transactions. We invested along with Anicut Angel Fund and marque angels. Grip is founded by Nikhil Aggarwal and Vivek Gulati.
In Nov, we invested in Qikwork, an INR 20 Cr seed round led by second time successful founders and two VC Funds. It is a marketplace platform that seamlessly connects employers with a reliable and organised contingent labour workforce.
In Dec, we invested in a stealth mode edtech startup. It is an INR 19 Cr seed round led by a tier I VC and backed by marquee angels and a family office. Both the founders are seasoned professionals from tech, business and investing background.
Investment Commitments 2020
We have committed to invest in 5 startups in 2020, which will spill over in the first 3 months of 2021 for closures. These are:
· Insurtech startup which provides a single app to manage your entire family insurance policies
· SaaS tool to enable seamless support and integrated helpdesk for DTC brands on Shopify.
· SaaS startup for dieticians, coaches, trainers to run their entire business with a single product
· Shopify for home tutors and teachers to start their own online coding business
· India’s first gamified social trading platform for listed equity stocks
2021 — what will we do?
We will continue to back high-quality founders assessed through our Founder Market Fit Framework. We understand trends in the US, will not necessarily work in India. We will continue to back startups solving problems for India and Indian SaaS startups building for the world. Our value add in our portfolio companies will continue from making introductions to customers, hiring, fundraising, strategy planning and much more. Our investments will continue to be in tech-enabled startups at pre-seed, seed and angel rounds.
If you are a founder hit us up at email@example.com
A token of gratitude
Akshay Jain joined us to support our mission at Gemba Capital as an Analyst. Vipul Rawal supports us as an active Venture Partner, and we have a whole list of well-wishers and advisors whom we reach out to for guidance and support.
A big thank you to all our founders for letting us be a part of their journey. Thank you to our collaborators for exclusive deals for all our portfolio companies. A big thank you to all our co-investors and lead investors who take the heavy lifting in a transaction. Thank you for the incredible team at AngelList for enabling us to run our Syndicate seamlessly. Thank you to all the lawyers and bankers on our transactions. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors, your conviction has enabled us kick-off the fundraise and SEBI registration of Gemba Capital Fund I. And last but not the least, a big thank you to all our LPs and backers of Gemba Capital.