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Investment Criteria

What do we look for?

Generally, our investing members are most interested in startups that have the potential to generate venture-scale returns, and they have expressed a preference for companies that meet the following criteria:

  • India-based companies or companies doing business in India
  • Companies whose value proposition is enabled by innovative hardware or software technologies or disruptive business models.
  • Companies that are raising no more than US $1M, with a maximum pre-money valuation (or pre-money cap, if raised on a convertible note) of US $5M.
  • One or more investors with relevant domain expertise have already committed capital to the company, or an angel group or venture capital firm of repute is leading the round.
  • However, we are not strictly bound by the above criteria and are open to evaluating innovative companies that interest our members. What do we look for?

Investment Process

All investment opportunities go through the following process:

  • Initial qualification by the SAE India investment committee: this step may involve email exchanges, or a phone call / video chat / in-person meeting depending on the nature of the opportunity.
  • Pitch meeting: The company presents to a larger set of SAE India members who are interested in learning more about the opportunity.
  • Due diligence: If at least two SAE India members are interested in investing in the company, SAE India would coordinate the due diligence process.
  • Terms discussion and closing: If things proceed well, the investing members would discuss investment terms with the company and work towards closing the transaction. If the company has already received a term sheet from a lead investor by this time, the members would likely (but not necessarily) choose to invest under the same terms.
  • Information rights letter: the company grants information rights to the SAE India leadership team such that the group can forward management updates to the members who have invested in the company.

Unless the company wishes to remain in stealth mode, the company logo is listed on the SAE India website. A company is considered part of the SAE India portfolio if it has received investments from at least two SAE India members.