Start-up incubator Venture Catalysts has unveiled an early-stage venture capital 9Unicorns Fund with a corpus of Rs 300 crore to identify high potential early-stage startups across the country. The fund will be invested in more than 100 startups with an allocation of Rs 60 lakh in each startup for 5 per cent equity in two years. It will further invest Rs 3-5 crore depending on the merit of the ventures in subsequent funding rounds.
At present, the company is focusing on electric vehicles, mobility, augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, fintech, retail and fast-moving consumer goods startups.
“A significant number of startups die within the first few years mostly due to lack of funding because they are unable to raise the right amount of funding at the right time,” pointed out Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, co-founder and MD, 9Unicorns.
“Like in sports, timing is of great value in the business environment. Could Sachin Tendulkar have become the legend he is today if his family and coach had failed to identify his early promise? 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,” Sharma added.
Of the 25 unicorns in India, he pointed out, only one of them was a part of the 600 accelerators. He is of the view that there are lack of accelerators in India compared to China which has over 32,000 accelerators.“As the number of startups in India continue to rise, the absence of dedicated startups have become problematic.”
To help entrepreneurs, 9Unicorns promised to come up with sustainable business models in a span of 13 weeks. The chosen startups will get a three-month-long product and acceleration guidance in three batches annually and 10 startups per batch. Further, these will have access to a network of more than 4,500 business angels across six countries, mentorship by Unicorn founders, chief experience officers, and industry leaders, and market access in over 20 Indian cities and six cities globally.