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Seed Funding Round in India: #1 Guide for Founders

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Starting a business is like a long journey, with securing seed funding as the crucial first step. This guide will help you understand seed funding in India: its importance, timing, and necessary amounts.

We'll explore pre-seed vs. seed funding, key points, and various funding options available. We'll also cover the Startup India Seed Funding Scheme and more. Registered your startup? If yes, dive in and learn how to grow your business and bring your vision to life!

Seed Funding in India: An Overview

Seed funding is the initial capital used to start a business. Note that It covers expenses like product development, market research, and team building, amongst others. This early investment helps startups validate their ideas and make progress before generating revenue. 

This support helps the startup through its initial stage and helps it grow into a viable business. Hence, it is called 'seed' funding because it is like planting a seed with the potential to develop into a successful venture. Additionally, it involves evaluating the startup’s potential value, which can influence the amount of funding secured.

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Why is Seed Funding For Startups in India Important?

Seed funding is crucial for startups in India as it provides essential capital for growth. However, equity funding is only available if your startup is registered as a Private limited company. Without this registration, equity funding is not an option. 

Understanding this can help founders prepare and structure their businesses effectively to secure the necessary funding. Now, let's dive into the benefits of seed funding.

  1. Mitigating Initial Risks: First, seed investors understand the inherent risks in new startups. They show confidence by committing resources early on.
  2. Mentorship: Next, along with capital, seed investors offer valuable advice and industry insights. They help navigate early challenges and make strategic decisions.
  3. Networking Opportunities: Further, with seed funding, you gain access to the investor's extensive startup networks. This opens doors to crucial partnerships and growth opportunities.
  4. Validation of Business Idea: Note that securing seed funding validates your business concept. It shows that seasoned investors believe in your vision and attract further investments.
  5. Helping Founders with Limited Resources: Additionally, Seed capital is especially beneficial for founders with limited personal savings. It provides the necessary funds and mentorship to help their startups flourish.

When Should Startups Raise Seed Money?

Determining the right time to raise seed funding in India is crucial for a startup’s success. Here are key indicators that suggest it's the right time to seek seed funding:

  • Solid Business Idea: Ensure your idea is unique and has significant market potential.
  • Prototype Development: When you need funds to develop a working product or service prototype.
  • Business Plan Ready: Have a clear, strategic business plan ready. It should outline your goals, market strategy, and financial projections.
  • Initial Market Research: Conduct preliminary market research to understand your target audience and validate your concept.
  • Team Formation: When you have a core team that can execute your business plan effectively.

Raising seed money at the right time can provide the necessary resources to develop your product, validate your market, and set the foundation for future funding rounds.

How Much Money Should Startups Raise in Seed Round?

Determining the right amount to raise as seed funding in India is crucial for a startup’s growth. Here are key points to consider:

  • Type of Investor: The amount you can raise varies depending on whether you approach private investors or enroll for government initiatives.
  • Range from Private Investors: Startups can raise between a few hundred thousand dollars to a couple of million dollars from private investors. For instance, in May 2034, e-commerce startup Kyari raised $778,608 as seed funding in India. 
  • Needs & Milestones: Assess your startup’s specific needs, including product development, marketing, and operational costs, and set clear milestones to determine the appropriate amount.

Here’s a list of some Indian Startups that raised Seed Funding in India in 2024: 



Amount (USD)

Date of Funding


EV, Energy


May 2024


Finance, Blockchain


May 2024


Agriculture, Logistics, Data


April 2024


E-commerce, Retail, Consumer Goods, Fashion, B2C Software


April 2024


Pre-Seed Funding Vs Seed Funding in India

Understanding the differences between pre-seed funding in India and seed funding in India is crucial for startups to align their strategies and secure the right type of investment at each stage.

After securing initial capital through pre-seed and seed funding, startups often progress to Series A, Series B, and Series C funding rounds to fuel further growth and expansion.

Avenues to Raise Seed Funding in India

To secure seed funding, investors often require robust financial modeling to assess a startup's potential. This section explores various funding avenues available in India, helping founders understand where and how to pitch their ideas effectively.

  • Incubators & Accelerators: These institutions, either government-supported or private, help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, especially early on. They provide infrastructure, research facilities, admin support, and mentorship. Example: Y Combinator, CIIE IIMA.
  • Angel Investors: Wealthy individuals who invest in small ventures for equity. They use their own money and are often the first investors, offering guidance and networking. Examples: Indian Angel Network, Mumbai Angels.
  • Venture Capital Funds: Managed funds investing in high-growth startups. They look for scalable businesses with large markets and often take active roles. Example: Sequoia Capital India, Accel Partners.
  • Government Funds: Programs offering seed funding for innovative startups, especially before private investors get involved. These funds support early validation and development. Example: Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS), Atal Innovation Mission.

Challenges Faced by Startups While Raising Seed Funding

Raising seed funding in India comes with its own set of hurdles. Here are some common challenges:

  1. Limited Resources: Startups often have tight budgets, making it hard to invest in product development and market entry.
  2. Market Validation: Next, proving your product's value to customers and investors can be tough.
  3. Competition: Further, the market is crowded. Standing out among established players is a challenge.
  4. Talent Acquisition: Attracting top talent is difficult when competing with larger companies.
  5. Uncertain Revenue Streams: Additionally, predicting consistent revenue is tricky.
  6. Scaling Issues: Balancing growth with operational efficiency is a constant struggle.
  7. Regulatory Compliance: Navigating legal requirements can be complex and time-consuming.

Understanding these challenges can help you prepare and strategize more effectively.

StartUp India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS)

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) launched the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) with a budget of INR 945 Crore. This scheme provides financial support for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market-entry, and commercialization. 

SISFS helps startups reach a level where they can attract investments from angel investors, venture capitalists, or secure loans from banks. If you are wondering how you can get funding from the government under SISFS, keep reading! 

Who Is Eligible for Seed Fund Scheme?

Your startup is eligible for SISFS if it meets all of the following requirements:

  1. Must be DPIIT-recognized and incorporated less than 2 years ago.
  2. Must have a viable business idea with market fit and scalability.
  3. Should use technology in core product, service, or business model.
  4. Preference for innovative solutions in sectors like social impact, waste management, water management, financial inclusion, education, agriculture, food processing, biotechnology, healthcare, energy, mobility, defense, space, railways, oil and gas, textiles, etc.
  5. Should not have received over Rs 10 lakh from other government schemes.
  6. Indian promoters must hold at least 51% share.
  7. Can avail seed support in the form of grants and debt/convertible debentures once.

Apply Now to fuel your startup's growth!

Benefits of SISFS to Startups in India

  1. Grant up to ₹20 Lakhs: For validation of Proof of Concept, prototype development, or product trials. Funds are disbursed in milestone-based installments.
  2. Investment up to ₹50 Lakhs: For market entry, commercialization, or scaling up through convertible debentures or debt-linked instruments.

Note: Funds must be used strictly for the granted purpose and not for creating facilities.

How To Apply for Startup India Seed Fund?

  • Step 1: Log on to the official website of SISFS, and click on ‘Apply Now’.
  • Step 2: Log in using your Startup India credentials and submit the application form.
  • Step 3: Apply to any three incubators as disbursing partners in order of preference.

Documentation Required for SISFS

For questions, refer to the FAQs section given below: 


Q1. How do seed investors evaluate a startup's potential?

Seed investors evaluate a startup's potential by assessing the business idea, market fit, scalability, team capabilities, and financial projections. They also consider the startup's ability to solve a significant problem using innovative solutions.

Q2. Can a startup raise multiple rounds of seed funding?

Yes, a startup can raise multiple rounds of seed funding. However, each round usually requires meeting specific milestones and demonstrating progress to attract additional investment.

Q3. Can someone apply as an entrepreneur in SISFS?

No, individual entrepreneurs cannot apply for support under the SISFS. Only startups recognized by DPIIT are eligible to apply for the scheme.

Wrapping Up! 

Securing seed funding is crucial for startups in India. It provides the necessary capital, mentorship, and networking opportunities to turn ideas into successful businesses. 

Understanding funding stages, choosing the right time to raise funds, and exploring various avenues help founders overcome challenges. The Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) supports this journey, helping startups thrive. Founders, seize the opportunity, and drive your startup to success!

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