How Zeroth built its India community from scratch

Mar 14 · 4 min read

I’m proud of these results.

We were 2x oversubscribed compared to the venue capacity. We had guests flying in from as far as Mumbai, New Delhi, Rajasthan, and Hyderabad. Top VCs and friends in India like Accel, Sequoia, Blume, 3one4, Omiyadar, Kalaari, Pi, and major angel networks like Indian Angel Network, Eagle 10, Mumbai Angel Network, and others came. We were the most popular event in Bengaluru yesterday.

That says something. But to analyze why the results, we have to look at our history.

History of Zeroth in India

A little more than two years ago, Sachin Unni pinged me out of the blue to invest in two founders named Rahul Vishwakarma and Kailash Ahirwar, who believed in democratizing machine learning. I was intrigued.

After that experience, we continued to find great founders. Kishan, Sai Sreenivas Kodur, Raman Shrivastava, Sumant US, Prateek Gupta, Shailendra Tiwari, and Ananda Prakash Verma filled out the representation of India, each team bringing a unique combination of insane technical skills, execution-focused ambition, and more importantly intellectual honesty.

We were hooked. And with tremendous support from our alumni startups and investors who saw our quality and backed our ambitious plans, we decided to open our Bengaluru cohort.

Why have we been successful?

I believe there are a series of factors that has made us successful here in India in so short a time.

Our focus on future problems: We have a focused reputation for investing in frontier technology startups that solve discrete problems driven by macro factors. We invested in Marax AI because ecommerce SaaS was going to the next necessary thing after the ecommerce boom in India. Spoonshot made a lot of sense because of the unstructured data of food intelligence and the need for FMCGs to anticipate the next hit flavors. Wolkus optimized agriculture production in a country where almost 50% of the population is affiliated with food and agricultural production.

Our focus on personalities: We love to work with founders that are considered a little too crazy, outspoken, or “out there”. The ones that no one else gets. The ones that cuss a little too much.

We love personalities. Like those driving me halfway across Bengaluru traffic to get fake Lee jeans so that I could enter a restaurant for an important meeting.

We also love ambition. The founders that we work with in India are all insanely competitive and ambitious, trying to make their mark on the world. We love the fact that they want to build big businesses and make impact at scale.

Our mission: We believe in Asia — macro-economic growth will be largely driven from this region. According to a PWC study, GDP growth from now to 2050 will be in the double digit positive figures; the contrast could not be more stark, with North American and Europe GDP growth at double digit negative figures. Furthermore India is one of the youngest countries in the world, with a median age of 28 years old.

We also believe that our mission is arming founders with the global network and best practices to bring forth innovation locally.

Innovation happens on the ground, not from afar.

Innovation happens in Bengaluru and Pune, not in Silicon Valley.

Innovation happens on 100 Feet road, not Sand Hill road.

I’m super excited about our final event and summit in Tokyo on March 18. This will be our biggest event ever with currently 500 people registered to attend, panelists from respected VCs across Asia, and over 20 startups across Asia showcasing their vision. You can RSVP below for a can’t-miss event.




Written by


Tak Lo. Investor of the future.

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