Great Wall Club Innovator Fund plans more deals in India

Darren Li G-Startup Worldwide, Media Coverage

GWC Innovator co-founder Barret Parkman

GWC Innovator co-founder Barret Parkman

Silicon Valley-based early stage investor GWC Innovator Fund plans to step up seed investments in India by backing five to ten startups in a year from its new $20 million fund, its co-founder Barret Parkman told Techcircle.

GWC Innovator Fund is an offshoot of Great Wall Club (GWC), the company that conducts mobile and internet startup conferences worldwide under the banner GMIC and is backed by major Chinese internet companies Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi and others, including DST and Qualcomm.

GWC Innovator Fund counts marquee investors such as Sequoia Capital as its investors (called limited partners or LPs in investment parlance). It is an early backer of fitness startup Goqii, which is its only investment in India so far.

It has invested in around 10 startups worldwide including Chinese startup community platform DayDayUp, Silicon Valley-based on-demand refueling service for cars FILLD, organic food seller GrubMarket, drone startup 3DR and Isreali retail review startup Feelter.

“India is among our top three priorities for the new fund. Others are Silicon Valley and Isreal,” said Parkman.

The GWC Innovator Fund’s cheque size is typically in the range of $25,000 to $100,000, though it can exceed this limit in some cases.

The seed fund taps into the list of startups which apply for its startup competitions for funding. About 418 startups in India had applied for its ongoing G-Startup Worldwide for $250,000 funding. It offers funding up to $50,000 for the winners in each country and selected three finalists from India last week.

Parkman said the early stage investment firm also looks beyond the selection of startups from competitions to cherry pick scalable ideas.

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