Green House Ventures (GHV), started by serial entrepreneur and Indian Angel Network member Vikram Upadhyaya, is on a roll. Growing at an aggressively, the sector agnostic, GHV is accelerating startups from various domains under its 12-month acceleration program.
Launched with an aim to fund and mentor startups between the incubation and venture capital stages, GHV Accelerator, has 5 innovative and disruptive startups on board, these include LazyLad, MyTaxiIndia, Foodport, PickMyLaundry and FitMeIn, all from diverse domains such as food-tech, hyperlocal, laundry, taxi, fitness etc – almost a mini-ecosystem in itself !!
What is noteworthy is that each of GHV’s startups is alleviating major pain points of customers, making their lives simpler.
Here’s a snapshot of these startups:
- LazyLad offers a platform to customers to get access to anything and everything their neighbourhood market has to offer without having to physically step out to accomplish the mundane household chores. From ordering vegetables and groceries, to stationery and florists in your vicinity, the nCommerce innovator offers it all with a simple tap on the phone. The concept is unique, unlike other ecommerce platforms, LazyLad adopted a more inclusive approach where small retailers could leverage the ecommerce wave. In fact, the term ‘nCommerce’ was coined by Vikram Upadhyaya.
- My Taxi India (MTI) is a B2B and B2C company that offers cabs and other vehicles such as tempo travelers and buses etc. for both intra and inter-city travel across 200 cities in India directly to customers as well as to travel agents and corporates for their customers. Customers can check the availability of taxis in real time for any given date. What makes MTI unique is that it offers the entire bouquet of transportation under one umbrella in a seamless manner, unlike other cab companies where one can only book a certain type of vehicle. Thus saving customers and travel agents from the hassle of calling multiple vehicle operators.
- Foodport connects consumers to a unique menu that’s prepared daily, featuring gourmet international standard food prepared in a centralized kitchen. It is like ordering exotic meals from your own private high quality chef through an app. While other food delivery startups either focus on technology or food, FoodPort strikes a perfect balance between both to offer true ‘customer delight’, thus changing the online food delivery market.
- PickMyLaundry is a laundry booking service that offers an affordable solution for premium washing, dry-cleaning services and wardrobe management, whereby customers can place an order anytime at their convenience. Their services include Wash & Fold, Wash & Iron, Dry Clean, Steam Press, Shoe Servicing, Carpet Cleaning etc., and the laundry is dry-cleaned in a world class setup using Italian equipments and German chemicals. The company picks up laundry from the customers’ doorstep and then delivers clean clothes in 48 hours. Thus making a cumbersome process of managing laundry a hassle-free and economical affair.
- FitMeIn is an online platform, which offers multi-studio fitness centre membership facility in Delhi/NCR. For a monthly member fee of INR 2499, the customers of FitMeIn are spoilt for choice, as they can use any fitness centre on the platform’s network. Customers can also add workout options such as zumba, Pilates, serial yoga, crossfit, bootcamp, spinning, and swimming etc. to add variety to their otherwise monotonous workout routine. This concept of fitness tech business model is very new and unique for a country like India and with people getting increasingly health-conscious, the market will only get bigger.
GHV has handheld the startups and provides them a controlled environment. With pre-established resources and a pool of network that helps expedite faster turnarounds in the industry marketing, PR, HR, MR, technology and networking; GHV claims to empower these startups to scale 10X at an accelerated speed. As the name itself suggests – GHV renders the greenhouse effect on all its startups, thereby reducing the chances of any misses that may impact the growth of startup.
Also, being well entrenched in the ecosystem with access to senior, experienced and able mentors and advisors like Masa Matsumoto, Gen Isayama, Rajan Anandan and Rajiv Sodhi, the startups get a 360 degree perspective, getting the best out of them.
A notable accomplishment is that two of GHV’s onboarded startups – Lazylad and MTI – have already bagged Pre-Series A funding within 60 days of signing up. While LazyLad closed a Pre-Series-A funding of $500K from foreign high net worth individuals, online car rental startup MyTaxiIndia (MTI) Pvt. Ltd also raised $500K in Pre-Series A funding from Japan’s largest taxi company Nihon Kotsu Co.
Saurabh Singhla, co-founder at LazyLad, says that being from a technical background and as a co-founder to us, GHV provided them with a go-to market, market research, PR and fundraising strategies. “We took 60 days from term sheet to term sheet and all the credit goes to GHV,” he added.
Speaking about his experiences with GHV, Anshuman Mihir, Co-Founder at MTI another startup at GHV says that they had a great idea, a wonderful team and a passion to create that idea in reality, but some of their key matrices were missing. GHV believed and helped them to find those matrices, and gave wings to fly high.
GHV has also tied up with industry bodies and platforms that also adds to its credibility and its strong network base both in India and abroad. The accelerator has a partnership with World Innovation Labs (WiL), a Japan based VC fund that invests in disruptive startups with global appeal.
Indian software Industry association NASSCOM too is on GHV’s board as a collaborative partner. Through NASSCOM’s 10000 Startups program, GHV gets access to a wider pool of startups for acceleration, and thereafter to give them access to the investors in NASSCOM’s network for Series-A funding. Further, in order to create easier access to capital for seed ventures, GHV has also tied-up with deal discovery platform, LetsVenture. The tie-up offers GHV access to a pool of curated startups that need further funding. Then there is Applyifi, a startup ecosystem enabler, whose unique 36-point assessment scorecard will be used to identify the potential ‘stars’ for acceleration.
Vikram Upadhyaya says, “I had a singular goal at the inception of GHV a year back, of creating the robust startup eco system that India deserves. I am glad that the government of India, Department of Telecom especially, is taking desirable steps for the betterment of the ecosystem. As an investor and a serial entrepreneur, somebody who has seen both sides of the table, I feel it is vital not just to educate and skill the youth, but also fuel those who have that innate fire in their belly to become job-creators.”
GHV has a large investor base in Japan owing to Vikram’s strong network in the country and GHV’s exclusive partnership with WiL, a Japanese VC fund based out of Tokyo and Silicon Valley. He is the first entrepreneur nominated by Japan’s ICT Ministry in India-Japan ICT Committee (2009-2010). Upon its launch in October last year, GHV had received interest from 350+ startups, since its inception it now has over interest from over 5,000 startups, all within a year’s time. It not only ensures its carefully chosen startup’s 10X growth, but its own as well.
Speaking about GHV’s future plans, Vikram said that they are targeting to onboard 25 startups by early 2017 and the signup process for some new startups is already underway. Selected startups get funding up to $100K. Thereafter, the startups are given access to the resources and connections in the industry and ecosystem in order to fast-track their growth.
The focus is on strengthening their business metrics in order to get Series-A funding within a time frame of just 12 months.
In fact, GHV operates like a mini-ecosystem, complete in itself, that can serve as the perfect platform to catapult unique and disruptive startups into the ‘big league’.