Naya Ventures closes first round for its $50 million fund focused on early stage mobile and cloud startups

Naya Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on early stage companies in the mobile and cloud markets has raised first round of investment for its $50 million fundwhich will focus on Mobile and Cloud based early stage companies in the US and India.

Dayakar Puskoor, General Partner, Naya Ventures

The Dallas headquartered fund  was founded by tech veterans Dayakar Puskoor and Prabakar Reddy and is looking to close $50 million in 12 months.

Dayakar Puskoor was a former Microsoft Executive and was an entrepreneur himself before starting the fund. Puskoor left Motorola to start his own enterprise mobile company in 1996 and raised nearly $55 million with the intent to go public. But in 2000, the markets crashed and the company was finally sold to Motorola. He has worked in senior positions in Microsoft.

Prabakar Reddy, former CIO of Risemart and ex MD of ANSR Group, and Gowri Shankar, CEO of SinglePoint Technologies are also part of the venture fund.

Naya Ventures has been in operation since 2011 and has already invested in companies like BoxFish (formerly Mixaroo), Zoomingo, and Glympse.

We had a quick chat with Mr Puskoor to understand how the fund is positioning itself. Edited excerpts from the Interview

Why start another venture fund?

My passion was the mobile and cloud ecosystem. We know people, not only executives but also people in the product management side. We wanted to have a platform to create companies without having to run them on a day to day basis. The only platform was venture platform. In 2010, I found my partner and we had common interests and complementary skills. That’s how the fund came to being.

On differentiation?

We are not trying to be a typical venture fund. Legally we are a VC. But most VCs go and get all the commitments before they start investing so they get the maintenance money. We don’t need to do that. We did our first closing recently and have been in operation for the last one year. We have already invested in 7 companies and almost all of them have raised series A funding. For instance, Glympse raised $7 million in 10 days from the day we funded them. We also helped them sign deals with companies like BMW.

India plans?

We have close to 60 companies in the pipeline and some are in India.

How much do you typically invest?

Anywhere between $250k- $3 million. We do a follow on round and not only a pre-series A round and we also bring investors. The good thing is that we just started and the word is getting out. Slowly the venture side is happening in India. What happened in Israel is going to happen in India too.

How much equity do you look for?

We look for a minimum of 5- 10 % or more depending on the investment. Given the time, our goal is to have 15- 20 companies that we can manage with our advisers.

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