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INSEAD Business School Sets Up Firm to Invest in Startups Founded by Its Alumni Globally

Two alumni of INSEAD, a leading business school with campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, have come together to set up InseadAlum Ventures. A SGD1 million venture capital fund was announced recently to invest in startups founded by INSEAD alumni globally.

The two founders of InseadAlum Ventures are Deepak Shahdadpuri, Founder and Managing Director of Beacon India Private Equity Fund, and Will Klippgen, Managing Partner of Cocoon Capital, whom have extensive experiences as entrepreneurs and investors.

“We are open to every vertical as long as the company is scalable and has a sustainable competitive advantage. We definitely like companies that can sell their products or services on a global basis.”

InseadAlum Ventures is based in Singapore, but targets global investment opportunities in companies co-founded by at least one INSEAD alumnus. It will provide seed funding, value-added resources and mentorship to startups with high–growth potentials.

InseadAlum Ventures will invest between SGD50k and SGD200k in each startup and will help develop them to a point where they can easily raise further seed or Series A funding. Entrepreneurs will get access to senior alumni, industry experts, faculty and other investors.

The firm’s investor base includes successful alumni entrepreneurs such as Jani Rautiainen, Co-founder of PropertyGuru, Southeast Asia’s largest property portal and Aloke Bajpai, Principal Founder of India’s largest online travel search portal, iXiGO.com. INSEAD faculty is also strongly represented by Prof. Claudia Zeisberger, Dr. Hellmut Schütte, Dr. Serguei Netessine and Dr. Neil Bearden.

“We have access to a number of INSEAD faculty as well as the INSEAD alumni network. INSEAD faculty brings a wealth of knowledge within key areas crucial for a startup including operations management, marketing & strategy. The INSEAD alumni network is an amazing way to reach key executives all around the world that we will leverage to not only get coaching, but also for business development.”

According to Forbes, INSEAD students come from every continent—41% of the most recent class from Europe, 30% from Asia and 16% from North America with 90 nationalities represented. The 146 faculty members hail from 34 different countries.

First Investment 

InseadAlum Ventures also announced its first investment in UK-based, smart thermostat startup Switchee where it participated in a GBP480k seed round.

Switchee Ltd. is an early-stage venture aiming to deliver smart home solutions for social housing across various European markets starting with the United Kingdom. The first product is a smart, learning thermostat that enables housing estate owners and managers to fight fuel poverty and conserve energy while also being able to detect mould growth, improve boiler servicing and message residents directly.

Switchee serves a consumer niche in the category of smart home solutions specifically for social housing in the UK and other similar European markets such as France, Germany and the Netherlands. Switchee has been able to demonstrate strong, initial success in capturing this market by offering a solution that takes into account the specific circumstances of the social housing residents and estate managers.

Adam Fudakowski, Managing Director of Switchee and an INSEAD graduate said: “We are extremely pleased to become part of the InseadAlum Ventures portfolio. We look forward to working with Will and Deepak, and to leveraging their extensive expertise and that of the INSEAD community as we grow Switchee further”.

Interested alumni can contact InseadAlum Ventures through their online application portal at inseadalumventures.venture360.co.


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