Pune, Maharashtra, India | 25th January 2020: Venture Garage conducted the fourth leg of the FY2019-20 edition of the Find Your Investor (FYI) programme in Pune, in association with Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak) at MCCIA Pune. After three super successful sessions in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru where close to 60 investors and 450 start-ups participated, over 170 applications were received, and more than 150 start-ups interacted with 15 investors at the FYI Pune event, which is a fund-raising platform for start-ups. FYI Pune not only attracted the local start-ups but also start-ups from cities such as Mumbai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad. It hosted a new mix of investors like Windrose Capital, Rainforest Venture Network, Crucible Fund, Oceans Bridge, Better INC, Alacrity India, Indian Angel Network, Sprout Venture Partners, India Quotient, White Unicorn and a slew of active angel investors from Pune and Mumbai.
A set of 16 shortlisted start-ups got to pitch one-on-one to investors. Some of the ideas presented included:
- A technology-driven lead generation payment platform that allows its partner, retail merchants, to offer their end customers the ability to buy small- and mid-sized ticket goods and services on their websites/in-store on a ‘buy now, pay later’ basis without the end customer paying any interest or entering into a traditional loan/credit card arrangement.
- A network of digital screens available to all advertisers (big and small) to rent and display their messages simply and conveniently.
- A unique footwear, which grows organically with the child’s feet, providing a comfortable fit and thus reduces the overall number of shoes bought between ages one to eight. It also keeps in mind various other factors focused on a child’s growth and foot care.
- An IIT-IBS team working towards solving a broken supply chain using data science to prevent price fluctuations in the fruits and vegetables sector. With the help of machine learning and inflation data of the past 24 months, they have been able to predict price fluctuations for the next 60 days. This enables them to provide fixed prices to the end customer and still make profits.
- A platform providing health loans to patients who are uninsured or underinsured at 0% interest, and is currently present in six major cities – Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Nagpur and Hyderabad.
- A data driven health-tech platform that empowers various healthcare providers with technology, a seamless integration and a referral-based incentive system to improve overall consumer experience and the quality of healthcare.
Further, Kotak conducted a session on banking for start-ups, which covered aspects such as a start-up focused current account, credit facilities, and making the road just a little bit easier with a customised suite of banking solutions for start-ups. Enthusiastic participation from the audience included queries around start-up current accounts and non-collateral loans.
Puneet Kapoor, Senior Executive Vice President, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “Venture Garage’s Find Your Investor programme is proving to be one of the key fund-raising platforms for start-ups with strong participation from both investors and start-ups. We are delighted to play our part in supporting the dreams of entrepreneurs. The Kotak Start-up Current Account is customised to meet the unique requirements of start-ups and help entrepreneurs scale their businesses and manage their day-to-day business needs efficiently.”
The Kotak Start-up Current Account comes with a host of features such as no balance commitment for the first 12 months, customised payment and collection solutions to suit each start-up’s business model, corporate salary accounts for employees, special forex pricing, cost-effective payment solutions and trade forex solutions.
A fireside chat saw Vivek Kumar from Venture Garage interact with Amitava Saha, an IIT-IIM alumni and Co-founder of Firstcry.com and Xpressbees. He was insightful in addressing how start-up founders should think and plan while building a unicorn.
A panel consisting of Rohit Goyal from Windrose Capital, Anirudh Kumar from Rainforest Venture Network, Avinash Kalia from Crucible Fund, Saurabh Lahoti from Alacrity India, and moderated by Vaibhav Domkundwar from Better INC, addressed issues around the selection of sectors, sectoral mix in the portfolio, the importance of rapid scaling up of start-ups for a fund, choosing a company for investment and the preference of investors for founders from IIT, IIIT, IIM and ISB for funding.
Avinash Kalia of Crucible Fund said, “I realised during the panel discussion that one of the common suggestions from investors to founders was that just like a product market fit, they could also look at product investor fit. I mean they should ideally pitch to funds that are focused on that specific area. That will not only improve the chances of funding but once funded, the start-up would be in the appropriate sectoral portfolio.”
Rohit Goyal of Windrose Capital said, “Considering the total addressable market for a start-up, the top-down approach to assess its potential scale is an inaccurate mechanism. India is a big country with a large population and even 1% of the population relevant to the product makes it a sizeable market. But by that approach, every start-up should become a unicorn. The bottom-up approach is more appropriate as the cost of acquisition per customer, order size and repeat order rates can give a better and more reasonable picture of the addressable market for a start-up.”
FYI has become the go-to platform for new-age entrepreneurs to interact one-on-one with investors, enabling them to meet the right investor(s) and equipping themselves with tools to build large, scalable businesses.
FYI FY2019-20 is being organised in five cities – Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and Chandigarh.