Upekkha, an India-based software as a service (SaaS) fund and accelerator, announced Thursday that it has completed the first close ($15 million) of its $40 million Upekkha fund.

Upekkha said in a statement that the funding is led by WestBridge Capital, a late stage India US crossover investment fund managing over $8 billion of capital.

Godard Abel, Chief Executive Officer of G2.com, the largest business to business (B2B) SaaS marketplace, is also among the limited partner in the first close.

Showing bullish confidence in India SaaS and artificial intelligence (AI), the Upekkha Fund will invest in over 70 early stage startups this year.

While the startup sector is under duress of larger macroeconomic circumstances and funding winter, Upekkha opined that 2023 witnessed mixed funding outcomes for early stage startups.

It is noted that Upekkha’s fundraising comes at a moment when larger investor sentiment is that of caution and betting on truly promising ventures post scrutiny.

Upekkha opined that 2024 will see returning focus on unit economics and capital efficiency.

It said the firm remains confident in its selection and mentoring of the best SaaS startups from India to beat global odds.

“WestBridge was started with the goal to help Indian startups go global,

“Prior to Upekkha, India did not have a robust ecosystem and platform that assisted early-stage SaaS entrepreneurs in building strong successful businesses,” said Sumir Chadha, Co-founder and Managing Partner at WestBridge Capital.

“We continue to see Upekkha as a key partner bridging that gap and enabling founders to build global SaaS business from India,” he added.

Upekkha is a fund enabling early stage SaaS startups to build globally from India with deep focus on AI.

Since 2017 Upekkha is the first choice accelerator for India SaaS founders helping them build a large global SaaS winner.

The firm is on its 13th cohort and currently works with 165+ startups and a robust 300+ strong SaaS founder community.

It has grown steadily and has become the go to fund and accelerator for early stage India SaaS startups.

The fund is managed by Prasanna Krishnamoorthy, Shekar Nair, Thiyagarajan Maruthavanan and Gokul KS.

It is noted that Upekkha’s SaaS Outlook 2023 report stated that the funding landscape for SaaS startups is undergoing a dynamic transformation.

As per projections, Upekkha is betting on India, pre-seed and seed investments continuing to grow.

“Indian SaaS, now powered by AI will grow fast and as a result attract greater investment,” said Prasanna Krishnamoorthy, Managing Partner at Upekkha.

“At Upekkha, we find great founders and help them reach their potential,

“The investment from WestBridge shows their confidence in India SaaS and gives us more dry power to be the leading accelerator & SaaS fund for early stage startups building from India to win globally,” he added.

Cited a recent report by Bessemer Venture Partners, Upekkha expects Indian SaaS to be worth $25 billion by 2025.

It opined that digital transformation and AI integration will drive this growth.

It also noted the Indian SaaS industry is poised for significant growth, fueled by AI, platform innovation, and a focus on building for the global market.

As startups adapt to the changing funding environment and develop compelling brand stories alongside AI integration, it said they are well-positioned to thrive in the years to come.

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