Nine Sri Lankan tech startups have been shortlisted to receive a total of Rs 10 crore from Indian Angel Network and Blue Ocean Ventures. In a joint initiative called Venture Engine, the investors selected the nine 9 startups from 70 nominations.
24/7 Techies, a computer support company that provides technical support on Cloud, was the winner of the contest. Run by Eureka Technology Partner, the company can be reached via phone or online and claims to solve all the technical problems one can face with a computer. It also have clients in seven countries including the US, UK, Canada, Ireland and Australia.
The first runner up was Lankan BPO Academy, which aims to provide training for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in Sri Lanka. It offers entry level, specialist and manager level courses for freshers as well as experienced human resources professionals. BPO courses cover areas such as call customer interaction, business processes, technical support and financial accounting. The second runner up was Trekurious, a startup catering to the trekking community. The other finalists were Wild Trails a tourism-focussed startup aiming to capitalise on Sri Lankan tourism in affordable packages; Wedding Wish List, a wedding registry venture; What's Up Lanka; Nithya; House of Lonali and Takas.
Blue Ocean Ventures was founded by Rajan Anandan and Prajeeth Balasubramaniam. Anandan is a noted angel investor and has funded many startups like Capillary, Reach Accountant, Innovize, Druva to name a few. Venture Engine was a contest where around 70 pitches were made by startups and after several mentoring sessions nine startups were shortlisted. Apparently, all of them have been committed funding --five by IAN and the rest by Blue Ocean Ventures.
"We are excited about our partnership with the Indian Angel Network, and are thrilled with the results of Venture Engine 2012, which showcased the enormous potential for entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka. The guidance and support of the IAN played a crucial role in the success of the event and we look forward to even greater success next year," Prajeeth Balasubramanium, co-founder & managing director, Blue Ocean Ventures, said in a statement.
"Venture Engine was initiated to respond to the lack of seed-stage capital for startups in Sri Lanka. Indian Angel Network endeavours to improve and scale up the startup landscape in Sri Lanka by providing an opportunity to execute their ideas with quality mentorship," Rehan Yar Khan, Board Member, Indian Angel Network, said in a statement.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)