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Mumbai-based seed investment and innovation platform, Venture Catalysts (VCats), has raised $500K from Zaffiro Ventures at a post money valuation of $6 Mn (INR 40 Cr).

Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, co-founder, Venture Catalysts, said, “The investment from Zaffiro will help us in expanding to multiple cities across India and promote entrepreneurship beyond the metropolitan and tier-1 geographies. It will also allow us to access industry insights and business acumen gained by individuals such as Revathi Roy and Jagdish Gothi adding great value to our business approach and allowing us to reach newer heights.”

VCats recently expanded its operations to Surat and plans to establish its physical presence in five more cities in 2016. Venture Catalysts plans to establish a holistic, end-to-end startup investment and support ecosystem across the country, including tier-2 and tier-3 cities. It plans to extend its reach to another five cities in two years.

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Anuj Golecha, co-founder, Venture Catalysts added, “The capital will also be used to diversify our offerings by adding a bouquet of services such as corporate acceleration, women incubation programmes, added support infrastructure to our portfolio companies. This will allow us to take the Indian startup ecosystem to the next level and drive healthy growth for the country’s economy.”

Venture Catalysts will leverage its association with Zaffiro to mobilise local HNIs as mentors and investors by connecting them to global ideas developed by disruptive startups under incubation at VCats. The platform already has over 600 angels as a part of its investor network and is looking to add 100 new angels in the next few months. It will also leverage the strong industry relationships enabled through Zaffiro to augment its own array of strategic partnerships with the likes of Cox and Kings, HDFC, Plug and Play, etc.

Founded by Anil Jain, Anuj Golecha, Apoorva Sharma and Gaurav Jain, Venture Catalysts (VCats), launched itself as India’s first Seed Investment & Innovation platform aims to provide venture fund, co-working facility, angel network and post-investment support to boost startups in their early stage of growth. It ideally invests $100K to $250K in early stage startups that has the potential to create enduring value over a long period of time.

Since its inception, Venture Catalysts has invested in about 7 startups with a total deal size exceeding $3 Mn, including fashion recommerce platform CoutLoot, photography curation platform SIFTR Labs, AI platform vPhrase, peer-to-peer lending startup LenDenClub and more. It is planning to invest in more ventures across sectors like IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Ad Tech, Virtual Reality, Education, E Commerce, and Retail.


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