by Satrajit Sen
by Satrajit Sen
The Morpheus, an early stage venture fund founded by Sameer Guglani, Nandini Hirianniah and Indus Khaitan, has invited applications to fund early stage startups as a part of its Batch 5. The last date for submitting applications is November 14, 2010. The Morpheus, a 3-year old firm with a portfolio of 27 startups funded in four batches, is currently bullish on SaaS (Software as a Service) for Indian businesses and ecommerce among various verticals of online companies.
â€œIndian businesses, including small, medium and large, have started to adopt online software of managing important aspects of their business and this presents a huge market opportunity. Online commerce has started to gain mainstream acceptance and in five to seven years this domain will have 10-15 successful players. Mobile will emerge as a very strong channel (even more than internet) for driving online commerce,â€ Sameer Guglani, co-founder, The Morpheus, has told AlooTechie.
According to Sameer Guglani, four companies in The Morpheusâ€™ portfolio are currently selling SaaS to Indian businesses. They include Reach Accountant (accounting and finance), InterviewStreet (hiring), EasySquareFeet (for real estate agents) and Practo (for doctors). The Morpheus has also invested in ecommerce companies like Jumadi.in (online store selling books, phones, gadgets, DVDs) and Minkle.in (mobile apps for booking flight tickets, movie tickets, bus tickets and buying books).
Naming some of the interesting online companies in their portfolio, Sameer Guglani said that InstaMedia, one of the Web’s leading content networks and creator of SaaS based content platform, has just raised $4 million from The Times of India Group and has been clocking 12 million page views a month. Besides, CommonFloor.com, which currently runs private social networks for more than 20,000 apartment communities across India, has raised VC funding from Accel Partners. Also, Practo is one of India’s leading online medical practice management software with a current usage of 500 clinics, 5,000 doctors and 500,000 patients.
Pointing out the criteria needed by startups to qualify for receiving funding from The Morpheus, Sameer Guglani said, â€œWe are looking for a founding team that should persevere through the hard path of entrepreneurship. The skills of making and selling should be within the founding team. Besides, the size of the target market should grow large in 5-7 years, so that they can build a business worth Rs 50 to 100 crore.â€