Mumbai-based integrated incubator Venture Catalysts has announced the launch of the $43.41 Mn (INR 300 Cr) 9Unicorns Fund.
9Unicorns Fund will identify high potential early stage businesses across sectors including electric vehicles, mobility, augmented reality VR, AI and ML, fintech, retail and FMCG startups. The fund aims to be a one-stop mentoring, networking and growth facilitation platform for emerging businesses to grow to their full potential.
Of the INR 300 Cr, it plans to invest in more than 100 companies every year, promising a standard deal of INR 60 Lakh for 5% equity. This would also include further scope to invest INR 3 Cr – INR 5 Cr during subsequent funding rounds for startups that show sustained promise over a period of time.
The accelerator fund has also put in place a derisking strategy. The plan is to open up Venture Catalysts’ network to startuups for seed funding. This will ensure a runway of up to 18 months for the startup, post which it will be able to secure larger funds for Series A rounds and onwards from growth stage investors.
Venture Catalysts believes that this protective cushioning at an early stage gives it a strategy to lower the risk of sustenance for startups considerably distinguishes its value proposition.
In a period of 13 weeks, 9Unicorns Fund will help founders build scalable and sustainable business models, and develop a highly collaborative work culture .
Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, cofounder and managing director, 9Unicorns, said, “9Unicorns Fund will revive idea stage funding in India. Like in sports, timing is of great value in the business environment. With 9Unicorns Fund, we aim to do something similar. Identify budding businesses with terrific possibilities and ensure them every kind of assistance to ensure their success.”
Venture Catalysts is an integrated incubator and invests $250K – $1.5 Mn in early stage startups that has potential to create enduring value for over a long period of time. It has focussed on growing presence in Tier 2 and 3 markets to develop the startup ecosystem and nurture it. The early-stage investment firm believes that the strong growth and traction that upcoming ventures in hitherto untapped markets like Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat and Jaipur have registered of late, demonstrates the entrepreneurial potential that still remains untapped across different clusters in India.
It has established dedicated sector-specific accelerator programmes, and has closed 59 deals in the year 2018 alone which cumulatively invested INR 308 Cr for its portfolio companies. With the aim of filling the gap between accelerators and startups and guide them to achieve unicorn status, Venture Catalysts’ 9UnicornsFund has big ambitions.