Investment and scaling platform for early-stage startups, Anthill Ventures, in partnership with actor Rana Daggubati, on Monday, has launched Urban-i — a market access programme focused on accelerating the business growth of consumer brand startups in India.
Urban-i will serve as a strategically designed platform to bring together capital, consumer brands and celebrities under one platform. Notably, it is a six-month intensive programme designed to speed-scale consumer brand startups by providing them with support and mentorship.
For the first cohort of this programme, Urban-i will select five to nine startups working in areas such as personal care, fashion and accessories, food and beverages, health and nutrition, consumer tech, among others.
Through regular interventions, Urban-i will enable the startups to create business opportunities, engage with celebrities, raise investments, increase their customer base and generate more revenues.
Speaking to Inc42, Prasad Vanga, CEO, Anthill Ventures said that initially, the shortlisted startups will get a $100K support upfront and will become eligible to receive an additional $1 Mn fund upon programme completion.
Besides the capital investments, the startups will also get access to use case proof of concepts (POCs) at over 50 corporate market access channels. Moreover, the programme will also help consumer brand startups to work closely with retailers, distributors and ecommerce companies through strategic partnerships.
Further Rana Daggubati, speaking to Inc42, said that Urban-i will help startups in finding the right marketing approach for the selected startups. “We will help them in connecting with the right celebrities and influencers to promote their brands,” the actor added.
Under the Urban-i programme, the startups will also get access to add additional syndicated $3 Mn smart capital. Additionally, they will also receive infrastructure and digital support services up to $500K.
While the registration for the programme has been started and will go until December 23, 2019, Mumbai-based men’s clothing startup Herringbone & Sui has already joined the Urban-i programme.
On how the startups will get the mentorship, Vanga said that Urban-i will provide mentorship to these startups in two forms. “While founders of reputed startups will help startups in their scaling-up process, we have also got experts which will help in designing their marketing strategy,” Vanga added.
The programme for the first batch of chosen startups will commence from February 2020. Startups will be shortlisted from hundreds of applications after an extensive screening process.
For registering in Urban-i the startups must have raised the first round of funding and preferably generating revenue. Additionally, the startups should also have a full-fledged team and paying customers to become a part of the programme.
This is not the first time when Antill Ventures has come up for aiding in the growth of startups. Previously in March 2019, Anthill Ventures opened its $100 Mn fund for startups working in media and entertainment, healthtech and urbantech sectors across technologies.
Some popular startups in which Anthill Ventures has invested include Bengaluru-based coworking space provider 91springboard, Mumbai-based crowdfunding startup Ketto, Indonesia-based short-term home rental marketplace Travellio, New York-based bot prevention solution provider SheildSquare.