Two questions are important. How do you convince people in India and abroad to give you money for your fund? And after you are done with that, how do you make money? For yourself and your investors.

If you’ve ever done either of these tasks before, you’d have a rich experience — stories to tell — of the people you’ve met, conversations you’ve had, the singular moments of the pitch and the follow. A while back, I reached out to Karthik B. Reddy, the co-founder and managing partner at Blume Ventures, to check if he would be interested in chatting about his experience. This was around the time Blume Ventures closed its Fund II, having raised $60 million. Karthik agreed; sure, let’s do this.

What follows below is an edited transcript of two, very long chats. The conversation is candid and thoughtful. Karthik’s candour is evident, in parts where he talks about the herculean task of setting up a venture capital fund in India, especially when raising money from domestic investors, the taxation quagmire and the odds a VC firm is up against when it comes to delivering multi-bagger returns. The choice of subject is important. Blume Ventures was the first VC firm in India to have raised 100% of its money from domestic investors: Rs 100 crore. Karthik’s perspective is a fresh break from the platitudes espoused around VC firms and the art of deal making. The conversation is also interspersed with observations and data from this writer to put some of Karthik’s points in perspective.

I have to begin with a few words about Karthik. The first time you sit face to face, across him, for the first few seconds, his smile throws you off. Because it is not a genuine smile. It starts with a slight contraction of his eyes, then his lips spread, he opens his mouth, just a little bit, he puts himself at ease, the head settles back on the chair and a full, brimming smile appears, seconds later. You almost assume Karthik is about to say something funny…

Karthik: So I was meeting this very large family office. People will take issue with me for naming names and I don’t want to do that. But a large family office in Kolkata. The patriarch came and sat. It is a ‘baithak’. (Like a sit-down.) Some of these meetings are like this, so, there are eight guys on the other side. Patriarch. Son. Grandson. Uncle. CFO. A white man, who is a consultant. Everybody is sitting. I am with the wealth manager who took me to the meeting.

This is Fund II, not even Fund I. In Fund I, I have done this 500 times. Even after establishing ourselves with Fund I, we were a marquee fund and which is why we were being presented to this family. So, they said, “aap bataiye, aapka tax lagta hai.” (Tell me, does one have to pay tax?) I said, “yes”.


Ashish K. Mishra

Ashish edits and writes stories at The Ken. Across subjects. In his last assignment, he was a Deputy Editor at Mint, a financial daily published by HT Media. At the paper, he wrote long, deeply reported feature stories. His earlier assignments: Forbes India magazine and The Economic Times. Born in Kolkata. Studied in New Delhi – B.Com from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. Works out of anywhere, where there is a good story to be told.

View Full Profile

Available exclusively to subscribers of The Ken India

This story is a part of The Ken India edition. Subscribe. Questions?


Annual Subscription

12-month access to 200+ stories, archive of 800+ stories from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 2,750


Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 60+ new stories with 3-months worth of archives from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 1,750


Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

Rs. 500


Annual Subscription

12-month access to 150+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 120


Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 35+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 50


Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

$ 20



What is The Ken?

The Ken is a subscription-only business journalism website and app that provides coverage across two editions - India and Southeast Asia.

What kind of stories do you write?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics.

We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

What do I get if I subscribe?

For subscribers of the India edition, we publish a new story every weekday, a premium daily newsletter, Beyond The First Order and a weekly newsletter - The Nutgraf.

For subscribers of the Southeast Asia edition, we publish a new story three days a week and a weekly newsletter, Strait Up.

The annual subscription will get you complete, exclusive access to our archive of previously published stories for your edition, along with access to our subscriber-only mobile apps, our premium comment sections, our newsletter archives and several other gifts and benefits.

Do I need to pay separately for your premium newsletters?

Nope. Paid, premium subscribers of The Ken get our newsletters delivered for free.

Does a subscription to the India edition grant me access to Southeast Asia stories? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

Do you offer an all-access joint subscription for both editions?

Not yet. If you’d like to access both editions, you’ll have to purchase two subscriptions separately - one for India and the other for Southeast Asia.

Do you offer any discounts?

No. We have a zero discounts policy.

Is there a free trial I can opt for?

We don’t offer any trials, but you can sign up for a free account which will give you access to the weekly free story, our archive of free stories and summaries of the paid stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

Do you offer refunds?

We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Please write to us at [email protected] detailing the error or queries.