Kochi: Players in the Kerala startup ecosystem have many reasons to be optimistic, going by the numbers coming out of Huddle Global Summit 2023, the fifth edition of the Kerala Starup Mission’s flagship event recently held in Thiruvananthapuram. The three-day convergence of founders, investors and mentors has set the stage for possible investments to the tune of $20 million which comes around Rs 160 crore.

Over 250 startups got the opportunity to pitch their ideas to 75 investors during the event. Among them, over 50 companies have been shortlisted by the investors for further talks, as per information from the organisers. These companies stand a chance to win investments up to around Rs 160 crore if they continue to convince the investors about their product, strategies and market potential.

“Even if half of the investors back out in the next stages, there would be investments to the tune of Rs 80 crore which is still a good figure for a comparatively small ecosystem like Kerala. In such a scenario, if we go by the conventional wisdom that a fair percentage of equity for an investors stands at 20 per cent, then the valuation of the companies would be around Rs 400 crore. It’s again a promising figure,” an ecosystem analyst, preferring to remain anonymous, told Onmanorama.

The three-day event was held at the scenic Adimalathura beach near Vizhinjam, Thiruvananthapuram. Photo: KSUM

The three-day event held at Adimalathura beach had facilitated multiple opportunities for founders and other aspiring entrepreneurs to interact with investors and mentors. In the open pitch session, over 40 startups got the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors. In the ‘Pitch-it-Right session, 150 startups met around 40 investors.

Vineet Mohan, a Kochi-based investor and co-founder of Konglo Ventures, said he could find the diverse nature of the ecosystem in terms of revenue as well as sectors of the Kerala-based startups from the event.

KSUM CEO Anoop Ambika interacts with delegates at a sundown session on the sidelines of Huddle 2023. Photo: KSUM

“There were a lot of discussions with the community which hopefully will lead to some investments in some of those companies. It was also a bit of an eye opener for investment companies who haven’t invested much in Kerala before. They also got the opportunity to meet some of successful companies from Kerala. It kind of reinforces the fact that Kerala has good opportunities if you are willing to be patient,” Mohan told Onmanorama.
Konglo Ventures has invested over seven million dollars in startups so far.