Sistema Asia Fund is Sistema's VC fund, an active and recognisable player in the Indian VC market, which has become integrated into the country's entrepreneurial ecosystem. The fund's goal is to efficiently invest investors' money into promising projects in the fast-growing Indian tech market.
Investment targets and investment focus
Sistema Asia Fund, established in 2015, invests in tech startups in India that meet the following criteria:
- a proven business model and/or loyal audience;
- solutions specific for the Indian market;
- the startup's founders are involved in management of the business;
The fund is managed by a professional team with a strong investment expertise. It has an expert council comprising professionals integrated into the Indian business community, with a unique track record and a broad network of contacts. A new strong partner, Sumit Jain, joined the fund's team in 2018. He worked for 9 years at Kalaari (one of India's top 3 VC funds) and has an impressive track record of completed deals in the region. In 2018, the team of Sistema Asia Fund reviewed over 150 projects, thoroughly studied over 70 companies and successfully made three new investments. The fund also participated in subsequent investments in portfolio companies during new investment rounds with a higher valuation, which proves the quality of the fund's investment portfolio.
In March 2019, SAF completed its first monetisation by selling a stake in Qwikcilver, an Indian end-to-end service provider of gift card and prepaid solutions. Sistema Asia Fund invested in Qwikcilver in 2016 and exited three years after with solid returns on the invested capital. With the first exit in the bag, Sistema Asia Fund remains an investor in nine businesses.
In July 2019, SAF Sistema’s venture capital arm in Asia, has participated in the Series C investment round for Uniphore, a Chennai-based speech recognition company, alongside other investors. The company raised a total of USD 37.9m in the round. The capital raised is expected to be deployed towards R&D, building speech analytics and virtual assistant solution for global markets.
- Consumer tech (e-commerce, healthcare, transport, media, finance and education)
- Enterprise tech (IoT, VR/AR, platform solutions, big data, AI and machine learning)
The fund's portfolio companies
Investment in February 2016
Seclore – a developer of an EDRM (Enterprise Digital Rights Management) system that enables corporations to control use of files within and outside the company. It has more than 5m users from 600 companies in 29 countries. Advanced and reliable EDRM solutions and innovations related to access to protected documents via browsers gained Seclore an award for successful growth from Frost & Sullivan, got it included in the top 50 fast-growing tech companies according to Deloitte and brought it the Cool Vendor title from Gartner. The company has representative offices in the United States, India, the Netherlands, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
Investment in July 2016
Qwikcilver – a supplier of corporate cloud software in the segment of gift cards and loyalty programmes. The company's product enables customers to use pre-paid physical and virtual gift cards at over 10,000 premium branded stores, on e-commerce portals and in mobile apps. Qwikcilver has a licence from the Reserve Bank of India for using prepaid payment instruments. At the end of the financial year 2016, the company reached a stable positive net income with a gross merchandise value of about USD 300m and is set to continue doubling its results every year.
Exit in March 2019
Investment in February 2017
Wooplr – a web platform for online communication and sales of female clothes in the fast fashion segment. The platform gives women an opportunity to communicate with popular fashion bloggers and opinion leaders, learn about the latest fashion trends and make purchases.
Investment in March 2017
Licious – a complex brand selling meat and meat products in the market where over 90% of players are non-chain retail stores with poor quality and low sanitary standards. The company manages the entire value creation chain, from supply to processing and delivery to customers, using uninterrupted cold chain.
Investment in August 2017
Lendingkart – a company that fundamentally changes the traditional lending, using its own data-based lending mechanism to provide loans to small and medium-sized businesses. In order to attract customers and repay loans, the company uses a model with a small headcount and has already provided loans to customers in 600 cities and towns.
Investment in August 2017
Mobikon – a marketing platform for restaurants to attract customers. Restaurants receive tools for managing customer loyalty by monitoring their profiles and transactions on various digital platforms and in payment systems. The built-in database includes 8.5m profiles from all over the world.
Investment in October 2017
Netmeds.com – India's biggest online pharmacy present all over the country. The founder used the opportunities offered by his family's pharma distribution company established more than one hundred years ago to create a profitable business with high gross margins.
Investment in February 2018
HealtifyMe – India's biggest digital fitness platform (4m users and over 200 sports instructors and nutritionists) that allows controlling consumed calories, setting personal fitness goals and monitoring progress. The effectiveness is achieved through access to online consultations of nutritionists and instructors. At the end of 2017, the company launched a new service, Ria, which is the world's first virtual AI-based nutritionist. The biggest corporate customers are P&G, Unilever, Accenture, Cognizant, Shell, and Philips.
Investment in August 2018
Faasos – India's biggest “food on demand” company using the cloud kitchen technology. It is also the world's biggest company operating in this format. It currently manages five brands with an opportunity to further grow its product mix.
Investment in September 2018
Kissht – an online consumer lending platform based on a proprietary algorithm for assessing creditworthiness with AI elements.