In 2022, Venture Catalysts wants to invest $108 million in Indian businesses.
Vision and mission of Venture Catalysts-
The first and largest comprehensive incubator in India is Venture Catalyst. The primary concept of Venture Catalysts is to invest in people and their ideas, whether with money, effort, or time. The company is dedicated to transforming promising early-stage startup ideas into viable business concepts with a local, national, and global effect. Capital investment, mentorship, business networking, exposure, corporate collaborations, and other services are provided by Venture Catalysts. They combine incubation, mentorship, and funding into a single strategy. They have three major projects to achieve these objectives: 9Unicorns, Venture Catalysts, and 9Syndicate.
Their goal is to establish themselves as Asia’s largest and most influential startup incubator. In the United States, tech businesses dominate the top-10 equities listed on exchanges such as NASDAQ. They want to do the same thing in India and Asia.
On the other hand, they aim to apply their recipe for success globally. They seek to become the largest and most active early-stage integrated incubator globally.
Investors are Venture Catalysts’ second target audience after startups. They continue to network with existing angel investors and high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) looking to help companies with their funds and networks. They give clients access to handpicked early-stage firms in a variety of industries, as well as portfolio management services. Following the investment, the team oversees their portfolio and seeks out high-value exit opportunities that provide investors with multi-fold returns.
For the past four years, venture Catalysts has been India’s largest and most active early-stage investor. Thanks to their expanding global reach, they are also present in high-growth markets such as the United Kingdom, Singapore, the Middle East, and others.
Venture Catalysts – Industry details
In 2019, the Indian startup sector raised $14.5 billion in funding across 1,185 funding rounds. And only early-stage firms were able to secure $6.9 billion of it. Depending on the scenario, these investments are often spread out among 350-500 agreements costing $500,000 – $2 million each. Venture Catalysts invests in 55-70 firms every year, capturing 11% to 20% of early stages.
Venture Catalysts – Starting Up
Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, the company’s founder, recognised a significant void in the startup business. He saw a need in the industry for a comprehensive, growth-oriented approach to business incubation. Early-stage businesses lacked sight into finance networks. They had no idea how venture capital works, who to pitch to, or how to approach them. There was also a lack of or limited access to the right mentors.
These were significant obstacles. The bulk of the entrepreneurs had diluted their firms’ shares by the time they reached the second or third round of funding. Their lack of visibility over cash flows was the explanation, and it harmed their long-term value and growth potential. Many businesses struggled to strike the necessary balance between speed and sustainability without appropriate advice; they either scaled too quickly, burning funds or failed to develop quickly enough to keep ahead of their competition.
Dr Apoorva Ranjan devised a strategy that combines seed-stage angel financing with gap-based mentorship and networking to solve these issues. His vision was to create an integrated incubator that would connect promising early-stage entrepreneurs with Unicorn/Soonicorn company founders, top industry leaders, and corporate CXOs for crucial learning and growth opportunities and provide investment and financial visibility.
Dr Apoorva believes that geography has no bearing on thoughts. A valuable startup-like Beardo could arise from Ahmedabad just as quickly as something like ConfirmTKT might develop from Bengaluru. As a result, he desired to expand outside Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, and Hyderabad, which he considered traditional startup centres. In tier-2 and tier-3 markets, he aimed to find and cultivate high-potential company concepts.
Furthermore, one of his ideas was to take advantage of the increased interest in the startup world. He built relationships with the region’s HNIs and business elite by bringing them on board as investors, advisors, and mentors.
Venture Catalysts – The Service
9Unicorns, Venture Catalysts, and 9Syndicate are the three initiatives of Venture Catalysts, popularly known as VCats. These efforts are changing the way India invests in early-stage startups. They cover two significant gaps for the entrepreneurs by fostering them: finance and mentorship. Both of them are capable of making any startup a considerable success.
Venture Catalysts’ unique selling point is their dedication to generating incremental entrepreneurial value through a high-impact mix of capital, mentoring, business networking, and corporate alliances.
9Unicorns invests between INR 75 lakh and INR 1 crore in innovative enterprises at the very early phases of their development. This investment is made when these startups are just high-potential concepts on a drawing board, pushed by a motivated team. They facilitate INR 3-15 crore investments for them incubates through Venture Catalysts, while 9Syndicate provides growth capital to businesses in the range of INR 15-50 crore through 9Syndicate.
VCats give businesses in its portfolio with vital learning, networking, and growth possibilities in addition to financing. They’ve recruited on board veteran Unicorn and Soonicorn founders as mentors to help them achieve this goal. They also connect entrepreneurs with senior business executives and CXOs at major corporations.
Founders & Team of Venture Catalysts
Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma is the President and Co-Founder of Venture Catalysts.
Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma graduated from HBTI, Kanpur, with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and an MBA in marketing and finance from Asia Pacific Institute of Management. He also completed his doctorate at Amity Company School in Noida in management and the significance of business incubators in India’s economic growth. Dr Apoorva also has a certificate in mentoring startups from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
He began his career as a Project Manager at JSS Technology Incubator before moving on to Amity Innovation Incubator as General Manager, a post he held for five years. Dr Apoorva joined Indian Angel Network as Vice President in May 2010. (IAN). Between February 2012 and October 2015, he was the Executive Vice President and Partner at VentureNursery, where he worked for three and a half years before founding Venture Catalysts. He also joined TiE Global as a charter member in November 2016 and has been a member of its board of directors since July 2018. Dr Apoorva is in charge of selecting viable companies and overseeing the company’s investment initiatives at VCats.
Anuj Golecha is a Venture Catalysts co-founder.
Anuj Golecha is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and experienced Chartered Accountant qualified by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Anuj owns Chanvim Plastics and Dezire Jewels. He is currently a Partner at Banshi Jain and Associates (BJAA), where he has excelled since 2004. CoutLoot, Siftr, Beardo, Fynd, Innov8, PeeSafe, Rapid Retail, BharatPe, and Koinex are among the startups he has invested in through his Samyakth Group.
Anuj co-founded Samyakth Capital and was a founding member of Venture Catalysts. India’s first hybrid growth fund is investing in and partnering with businesses that provide long-term value to customers. He leads the value addition to VCats’ network and oversees the company’s pan-India expansion.
CofounderCofounder of Venture Catalysts and 9Unicorns, Anil Jain
Anil Jain is a co-founder of Wallfort Properties and has been a PropCatalyst adviser since 2019. He is a seasoned businessperson and financial sector experience. He’s also the co-founder of 9Unicorns, a one-of-a-kind idea-stage fund that’s revolutionising India’s early-stage investing and mentorship. Anil uses his considerable industry knowledge and business contacts to expand the Venture Catalysts network of trustworthy people, including investors, partners, and entrepreneurs.
Gaurav Jain is a Venture Catalysts co-founder.
The company’s think-tank is Gaurav Jain. He is a technological professional who graduated from IIT Roorkee with a Bachelor’s degree. In the United States, he is also a Chartered Financial Analyst with the CFA Institute. Gaurav also has a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He has held positions as an Investment Banking Analyst at Credit Suisse, an Associate at GenNext Ventures (Reliance Industries Ltd.’s venture capital arm), a Product Manager (Chief Technology & Architecture Office) at Cisco, and a Director of Product at AirDev. He is in charge of overseeing the end-to-end technical framework at Venture Catalysts and delivering tech-led interventions to optimise existing workflows and find how technology may make operations more efficient.
The VCats Team
Venture Catalysts employs more than 45 full-time experts across several areas. Through 80+ regional and venture partners, they also have a strong pan-India presence.
Like most companies, VCats has a horizontal hierarchy that encourages individual ownership and accountability. They are always open to fresh ideas from their staff to help them do something different or make a current procedure more efficient. Around the Christmas-New Year season, the corporation offers a 15-day vacation, which is on top of the annual leave balance that every employee receives.
This is why, while employing new employees, they ensure that the prospects are culturally compatible. They prefer to hire driven and unstoppable people, have high integrity and put the team first. These characteristics are necessary for establishing trust with internal team members and external stakeholders, which is a non-negotiable demand in the investing business.
Venture Catalysts, an early-stage startup investor, wants to invest USD 108 million (about Rs 824 crore) in over 300 firms by 2022.
Venture Catalysts invest $108 million in Indian businesses-
In a statement, Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Co-Founder and President of Venture Catalysts Group, said, “We want to invest USD 108 million in 2022 and are targeting 300 distinct startupsstartups.”
“We will continue to invest in industries such as FinTech, EduTech, AgriTech, FMCG, e-commerce, logistics, and supply chain management,” Sharma said, adding that “we expect D2C and DeepTech to dominate in 2022, and many of these businesses will come from tiny towns.”
The sector-agnostic group includes Sequoia Surge, DSG Consumer Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, Matrix Partners, and other early-stage and angel investors such as Astarc Ventures, Earlsfield Capital, Anicut Capital, Titan Capital, and others.
The group’s entire portfolio comprises 15% startups from small towns, like Silvassa-based MyFitness, Panaji-based Nomadic, Lucknow-based IGP.com and Keeros, and Bhopal-based Agrigator, among others “
The pandemic has generated numerous service delivery gaps, which companies are filling. We believe that investing in companies in their early phases of development offers a tremendous blue-ocean potential. “Considering the stage of investment, the valuations assist us in realising profitable exits, hence contributing significantly to our business growth,” Sharma said.
The group claims to be in the top ten most active accelerators and incubators globally for the second year in a row, having surpassed well-known accelerators such as Techstars, Bpifrance, 500 Global, and SOSV and is currently only behind YCombinator.
BluSmart, Dukaan, Klub, Melorra, Kala Gato, Mitron TV, Rage Coffee, Power Gummies, Coutloot, Prescinto, Resolve AI, Toch, Zingbus, RoundLabs, and Stage are among Venture Catalysts’ investments during the year.
“Venture Catalysts experienced 62 total exits and liquidity occurrences in 2021, undisturbed by the pandemic’s ongoing socioeconomic turmoil.” According to the statement, “BharatPe remains the year’s most successful exit, with 80 times returns, as well as other significant exits including Dukaan, ImpactGuru, and Rooter.”
Edited and Proofread by Ashlyn Joy