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Callapina Portfolio Update #1

Updated: Sep 22



To fellow active investors in the Indian startup ecosystem,


It is great to see you share our enthusiasm and optimism in the Indian startup ecosystem. The last 12 months have been an interesting time for us. We would like to share a few highlights and explore opportunities to collaborate or invest with our portfolio companies that may be of interest to you.


Quick update on where we are as an investor network:


We have syndicated $7m into 24 startups and secured 5 exits. Our network has grown organically to 150+ individual investors today (located across the globe and includes professionals, corporate execs, CXOs, startup founders).


Our notable recent exits:

  • Fully exited CareStack, b2b SaaS practice management software for dental clinics, company buyback as part of a strategic investment

  • Exited Insent, SaaS marketing tech, acquired by Zoominfo, invested in first round in 2018

  • Exited Aisle, relationship focused dating app, acquired by InfoEdge, invested in 2017 and 2020

Summary of our active portfolio companies below (we focus on Indian companies, or global companies with an India connection). If you are interested in one or more of these bets we have taken, we would love to share our conviction on why we picked these winners over hundreds of others we have reviewed over the years. At an average of 3 investments per year, we are quite selective indeed!

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(1) Zoko | B2B SaaS | Social Commerce: Marketing, Sales Automation and Customer Support tech. B2B SaaS like Klaviyo, Gorgias and Privvy focusing on Shopify merchants ecosystem. Enabling business over WhatsApp and other chat platforms. Meta opened up their APIs to allow 3rd parties to build out the ecosystem to monetize WhatsApp. ~$2m ARR, profitable, 1,000 customers. Led 1st round investment and participated till YC demo day raise of $1.4m.

(2) Pupilfirst | B2B SaaS | EdTech: Online teaching platform and open source LMS. Allows teachers to focus on the students and learning outcomes. Highly differentiated EdTech play focused on solving for challenges (e.g., graduates not job ready) from within the system instead of outside it. Market relevant courses developed jointly with the industry (e.g., Microsoft, Freshworks) focused on under-grad students form part of the formal academic curriculum. ~$1m ARR, strategic partnership with Indian education regulator drives universities to sign up with them for their courses, hence low CAC. 2nd time founder with prior success.

(3) Hyreo | B2B Enterprise SaaS | HRTech: Candidate experience management in hiring / onboarding for large enterprises in IT, BFSI and Engineering. Hyreo provides a smooth onboarding process for MNCs recruiting in large numbers. Ensures a consistent brand experience and thus improving the rate of new hires post job acceptance. India first, global next approach i.e., starting with Indian offices of large global enterprises. $500k ARR (clients incl. SocGen, HCL, LinkedIn) with visibility to $1m by Q4 22. Hot sector, attracting funding e.g. Kula.

(4) Certifyme | B2B SaaS | Digital Credentials: Digital credentials management platform. Ensures tamper proofing any ordinary document (e.g., certificates, ID cards, bank statements, offer letters) and enables verification and authenticity. manage credentials online instead of printing and mailing documents. Recognized as a Top 5 global player in the G2 grid. 1,300+ institutional customers with more than 100k users on the platform across 150+ countries. 30% m-o-m growth in last 12 months. Direct competitor Credly was acquired by Pearson recently for $200m.

(5) Hackle | B2B | Distribution & Fulfillment Tech: Superior distribution network to power the next $1T of retail growth in India. Offering high speed and high service levels (daily/weekly replenishment), and deeper retailer-level data. Enables brands to go omni-channel with 10% of the current working capital. Fastest growing distribution network in Bangalore within 9 months of launch. Annualized run rate of $5m GMV incl. top brands as customers (e.g., Pepsi, Wipro, Philips, Tata) and high retailer footprint (17% of the city, 8,000 stores).

(6) Admitkard | B2C, B2B | EdTech: $5m commit from US EdTech fund, looking for a co-investor. International higher studies admissions platform. Helping international students discover and enroll into the right universities and colleges globally. Personalized university matching through its unique AI based decision framework that is counselor agnostic. Thus, solving for lack of personalization, access and trust that aspiring international students currently struggle with. Grown 10x in 1y after achieving PMF; with $750k in accrued revenue in FY22. On track for 4x growth to $3m of accrued revenue in FY23. Attractive unit economics, with a 65% CM and ~18x LTV/ CAC in FY22. 2nd time co-founders with successful previous exit.

(7) Woolly Farms | B2C, B2B | Vertical Farming: Urban vertical farming via hydroponics. Redesigning farm to fork value chain to produce fresh groceries bypassing the traditional agricultural value chain. Urban farms in city vicinity (e.g., on top of a mall). Provides visibility to end consumers, freshness and consistency in quality of produce, avoids use of pesticides and tokenizes agricultural harvest with consumer participation. $500k revenues serving 12k+ households, 28 acres of greenhouse farm onboarded for procurement. Strong ESG credentials.

(8) Buildnext | B2C, B2B | ConstructionTech: Tech-enabled branded home builder, white space in creating pan Indian home brand. Started as a building materials marketplace and evolved into a full stack tech enabled construction platform. Extensive R&D and evolved tech backend which is generating homes with higher livability and industry best gross margins. Holds patent for VR system for mapping architectural products and design in real time. 100+ homes under construction worth $8m and 100+ homes worth $10m in development with tie-ups. Recently raised $3.5m from Pidilite.

(9) Crosspay | B2C, B2B | Digital Remittance: Cross border remittances platform (personal and business payments). Enables retail agents and over the counter players with maximum currency pairs and corridors support. Founder with 20y+ FX and remittance experience and recently acquired a retail chain in the UK. Revenues of GBP 1.5m in 2022 and GBP 4m in 2023., >30k customers, evaluating options for additional acquisitions.

(10) Seekho | B2C | EdTech: India’s first vocational learning focused OTT Platform. Offers engaging and educational video content around technology, money and business, in regional Indian languages. ~20k active paying subscribers growing 85% m-o-m profitably. Strong team with previous experience at Toppr, Kuku FM and ShareChat that is building the ‘Netflix for Learning’ for India and beyond.

(11) Sellerapp | B2B SaaS| E-commerce Marketing: E-commerce seller analytics (e.g., for Amazon sellers) focused on enabling 1m sellers online. Strategic partnership (one of the first players onboarded) with ONDC in India to enable Indian sellers. Tie-ups with Indian banks that have a massive MSME client base. $1m ARR. Closed $750k now, Flipkart co-invested.

(12) Viking Analytics | B2B SaaS | Industrial Predictive Analytics: Predictive maintenance for extending asset life of industrial machines. Offers AI/ML based predictive analytics using vibration data thus enabling sensor manufacturers, maintenance companies as well as industrial OEMs. Strong traction with $400k ARR and a deep pipeline of $10m+ from 12 large industrial clients being onboarded. Strong team with significant R&D and industry experience, who were able to identify unique insights based on prior consulting engagements in this space. European Industry 4.0 VC leading, with a fortune 500 OEM and a Swedish deep tech VC co-investing.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers!

Vinod Jose Anas Rahman Junaid Partner, Callapina Capital Partner, Callapina Capital vj@callapina.com arj@callapina.com



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