Axilor Ventures

Funds managed

Fund nameAsset ClassLicense
Axilor Technology FundSeed fund (Early stage)SEBI AIF Cat 1
  • With a corpus of 200 Cr, the seed fund is looking to back bootstrapped and Angel funded tech start-ups for their Pre Series A rounds
  • The fund will make initial investment of upto 3 Cr ($450-500k) with ability to participate in follow-on rounds as well. The areas of interest include consumer tech; enterprise tech; fintech; deeptech and health-tech
  • Additional: Deep tech startup companies are based on substantial scientific advances and high tech engineering innovation (Source – Wikipedia)

About the AMC

  • It is currently based out of India with its headquarters in Bangalore.
  • Founded on November 18, 2014 (Source – )
  • Axilor Ventures is a platform for supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. Through its programs which include Accelerator, Scale-up and Early Stage Funding.
  • In the last two years, it has supported more than 80 startups, made 25 investments and has an active Alumni network of 150+ founders.
  • Axilor works with startups in 5 sectors: Enterprise, Fintech, Consumer Internet, DeepTech/ AI and Healthtech.
  • Axilor’s Accelerator program, is a 100-day program for early stage entrepreneurs. The start-ups receive working space, advice, and connections without any equity dilution during the 100-day program. Axilor has a framework that helps entrepreneurs improve their odds of success. This is focused around the following areas: launching the startup the right way, access to the right capital at the right stage, dedicated mentorship, access to the Axilor peer community of entrepreneurs, and a series of masterclasses from industry experts to help learn how great startups are built and what mistakes to avoid. As of April 2016, 19 startups have gone through the accelerator program including PlaceOfOrigin, LetsPool, StoreWalk, Awesummly, Peersome, Perapy and many others. . In addition, Axilor also invests between INR 30 lakh and INR 6 crore ($50,000 and $1 million) each in startups as part of the Scale-up and Early Stage funding programs. As of April 2016, 5 startups have been funded including Murgency, Eventshigh, Petoo, Sellerworx, and EasyFix.
  • It has a portfolio of 120+ startups and a founder community of 300+
  • Founded by S.D. Shibulal, S Gopalakrishnan, Srinath Batni, Professor Tarun Khanna and Ganapathy Venugopal. 

Key staff

  • S.D. Shibulal– Co-founded Infosys in 1981. He was a member of board of Infosys and was its CEO and MD between 2011 and 2014. He holds a master’s degree in computer science from Boston University and a master’s degree in physics from the University of Kerala.
  • S Gopalakrishnan– One of the co-founders of Infosys. He served as Vice-Chairman of Infosys from 2011 to 2014 and CEO & MD of Infosys from 2007 to 2011. In Jan,2011 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian honour. He holds a master’s degrees in physics and computer science in IIT Madras.
  • Professor Tarun Khanna– is the professor at the Harvard Business School and Director of Harvard University’s South Asia Institute.
  • Srinath Batni– served as a member of the Board of Directors at Infosys from 2000 to 2014. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mysore University and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
  • Ganapathy Venugopal – He is Co-founder and CEO of Axilor Ventures. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and A post graduate in management from IIM Lucknow.

Asutosh Upadhyay leads the Accelerator program and Payal Shah heads investments at Axilor.

Investment Philosophy (for firm)

About Fund:

  1. How much does Axilor invest in the seed stage?

-Axilor will look to make 5-7 new seed investments in start-ups outside of their accelerator program every year. The seed fund can invest upto 3 Cr in the first round and subsequently will look to invest more in follow-on rounds

  • What sectors does Axilor invest in?

-The Axilor Technology Fund is broad-based and will look at the following sectors: Enterprise, Deep Tech/ AI, Consumer Internet, Fintech and Health Tech. We are also constantly looking for emerging themes and other frontier tech sectors to add to this list from time to time

  • What are the startup metrics that Axilor is looking for at the seed stage?

-Most of our seed funded start-ups tend to have a fast growing user base, high customer engagement, early signs of product market fit and signs of repeat usage from early customers. They are typically 12 months away from being Series A ready and have the potential to become category leaders

  • What are some of the benefits from having Axilor as an investor?

-Axilor is not just a seed fund but a platform. Our AXENT (Axilor Enterprise Network) program is designed primarily to help startups with market access. As part of this program, we enable startups to connect with leading corporate across industries. In many cases, this offers quick customer access and in some cases go-to-market partnerships and even funding.

With over 40+ VCs in our network (and growing), many of whom have invested in Axilor portfolio or co-invested with Axilor, the startups get the benefit of this access that improves the odds of their fund raise success.

Start-ups also get to be part of founder community of over 225+ tech founders. Whatever be the question or challenge – technical, business, tactical, strategic, fund-raise, talent (and the list is long!) – Chances are you will be able to find at least 3-4 experienced founders who can share a variety of hacks and experiences

  • Who are some of Axilor’s current portfolio companies?

-Axilor has invested in 38 startups. 17 out of which are Seed and 21 Pre Seed investments.


Title: Axilor to bet on early-stage tech start-ups from ₹200 crore fund, Source: Livemint, Date: June 2018

The new fund is expected to invest 3 crore in each portfolio company, compared to its earlier ticket size of 1-3 crore. Around 50% of the new fund will be set aside for seed stage investments, while the rest will be used for pre-seed funding via its accelerator programme.

Title: Axilor to make early-stage bets from new $30-mn seed fund, Source: VCCircle, Date: June 2018

The Company has launched Rs 200-crore (around $30 million) seed fund.

Founded in October 2014, the company will continue to make its pre-seed investments through its accelerator programme.

The fund is an alternative investment vehicle with a 10-year lifespan, though Axilor hopes most of the investments will happen within the first 4-5 years. It plans to make around 5-7 seed investments every year, besides putting in pre-seed money in startups from the accelerator batch.

Title: Young Turks | Axilor Ventures | Part 1 | CNBC TV18, Source: CNBC TV18, YouTube, Date: 6 November 2017

Chairman Gopalkrishnan talks about the idea behind Axilor – Applying learning and experience from past to as many companies as possible.

  • Axilor is an institutional platform supporting early stage companies
  • India is 3rd largest startup ecosystem and 5th in innovation
  • Incubators/Accelerators Landscape –
  • China – 2400
  • U.S – 1500
  • India – 140
  • Israel – 130
  • U.K – 50

Title: Meet the 20 Startups Selected For Axilor Winter 2017 Accelerator Cohort, Source: Company’s official website, Date: October 2017

Start-ups selected for Accelerator Program.

Analyst questions

  • Why only these sectors? Axilor works with startups in 5 sectors: Enterprise, Fintech, Consumer Internet, DeepTech/ AI and Healthtech.
  • ‘Product market fit’ what does it mean to you?

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