Accelerator Tandem will start funding mobile startups in India

When mobile-focused Silicon Valley accelerator Tandem Entrepreneurs started recruiting new partners last month, it promised it would start thinking globally about investments. It turns out India will be the first the target of its international expansion.

Tandem said on Tuesday it has opened an office in India’s tech-hub Bangalore and plans to fund between 10 and 20 new startups on the subcontinent over the next year. Partner Rohit Bhagat will lead Tandem’s global push, but the accelerator has also brought on two new Bangalore-based partners, Indian entrepreneurs Ranjan Pai and Mohandas Pai (unrelated).

As with its U.S. investments, Tandem will continue to focus on mobile startups, but said it would look for companies that have a cross-border outlook rather than companies targeting just the local Indian market.

Tandem raised $32 million for its second fund last June. Typically it has invested in three or four companies each quarter, but the accelerator also claims to take a much more hands-on approach – an approach it calls “muscle capital” — to the companies it backs, moving beyond mentoring to day-to-day operational and strategic support. That approach had kept its portfolio small, but now that its partnership ranks have nearly tripled, Tandem plans to grow the size of its accelerator classes.