Deep science startups are an intersection between exact and life science, and have now started to get genuine support from investment companies for the large impact of their innovation.
For years now, the Indian startup ecosystem has been injected by billions of dollars but only a trickle reaches the deep science segment. At TechSparks 2018, Siddharth Pai, Founder and Managing Partner of Siana Capital Management, a Bengaluru-based fund house that focuses on this segment, highlighted the importance of investing in deep science startups.
Siddarth spoke on the topic – “Why deep science needs patient investment”. He took the opportunity of investing in these startups as most funds were focused on businesses that were based on internet commerce or related areas. “What was being neglected was the true innovation that was happening in India from our academic institutions and scientists,” he said, while adding that they have taken a longer term horizon view.
Siana Capital is a $100 million venture capital fund that focuses on early to mid-stage innovative deep science startups. The fund looks at startups at the intersection of exact science and life science. Simply put, these are startups that are experts in both engineering and biology. The other long term feature of investing in such startups is the larger social impact.
According to Siddharth, the most distinguishing feature of deep science businesses is the freedom to create an intellectual patent around the business that gives a sense of security.
Dismissing the notion of the government or the academia not making enough strides in the area of deep science, he says, “The government has provided considerable support to many institutions in the country which has enabled them to come out with their incubators.”
Though Siddharth did share the number of companies they have invested in, he urged everyone to keep a sharp focus on certain benchmarks that these startups need to meet.
Deep science startups form a niche area in the country that has received some semblance of support from both the Government and academia but it is still a long way to go when it comes to industry participation. “Industry participation is critical as any such alliance with startups will given them a wider reach,” said Siddharth, “It is worthwhile to buy these firms as they are truly innovative.”
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