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Why India’s thriving software talent base is important for the Seattle innovation ecosystem

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FUSE founding partner Kellan Carter (bottom row, fifth from left) recently visited India and stopped at the Chennai offices of Zuper, the Seattle-based software startup. (Photo courtesy of Zuper)

On a recent trip to India, something caught my attention inside a tech company office.

Bunk beds.

The Chennai-based team working for Zuper turned their conference room into a sleeping area for employees who were staying late at the office working to improve the company’s software platform.

This was just one example highlighting the unmatched determination of founders and teams in India — which has become a critical part of the innovation ecosystem in Seattle despite being halfway across the world.

FUSE recently led a $32 million Series B investment in Zuper, a Seattle-based field operations software startup that has co-founders and employees based in India. This was our third investment in Zuper, tripling down on the company.

Zuper follows a similar model to Icertis, the Bellevue, Wash-based contract management software giant. Icertis co-founder and CTO Monish Darda is based in Pune, India, along with about 75% of Icertisians. This cross-border model has become commonplace to many businesses based in the Pacific Northwest — and if executed correctly, can be a recipe for success.

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Based on our experience with Icertis and Zuper, there is a certain level of gratitude and pride unique to India-based teams, helping drive growth for the broader company. India also has an immense density of engineering talent, which is useful to help raise the bar and drive results internally.

Enjoying some cricket in Chennai with the Zuper team.

The Seattle tech and startup industry should look for ways to bolster connections to the India tech market.

There are already strong ties. Many startup founders and company executives with roots in India lead teams in Seattle. More than 40% of foreign-born IT workers in the Seattle area hail from India.

And the connection keeps getting stronger. India recently opened a new consulate in the Seattle region, which is also home to a new professional cricket team backed by tech execs such as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Icertis’ Samir Bodas.

How can we continue to build that bridge and share resources? How can we keep attracting elite founders and innovators from India to Seattle?

Zuper has offices in both Bellevue and India. Founder and CEO Anand Subbaraj said pairing roots in the Seattle tech market with deep integration into India’s thriving software ecosystem gives his company unparalleled access to world class talent.

“India boasts a dynamic talent pool, a rapidly growing market, and a collaborative spirit that aligns perfectly with Seattle’s innovative drive,” he said. “By building bridges and sharing resources, we can create a powerful force for global innovation.”

We look forward to investing in more founders from India and helping strengthen the tech ecosystem connectivity between Seattle and India.

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Source: Geek Wire

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