Sarthi Group, a financial services company, has launched an angel platform called 'Sarthi Angel Venture Foundation (SAVF)'. The initiative was incorporated under section 25 of Companies Act, 1956, and aims to nurture and invest in early stage businesses. SAVF comprises high-net-worth angels, corporate and PEs/VCs/seed funds, and will invest in startups operating in sectors like e-commerce, IT, agriculture and food processing, consumer, clean tech, healthcare and media.
The platform can invest at any stage of a startup lifecycle (even in ideation stage companies) and the amount invested can go up to $2 million. In the first year itself, SAVF will look to invest in six-seven companies.
"An entrepreneurship-led economic growth is always more inclusive and sustainable. The network intends to work closely with entrepreneurs of early stage companies to provide credibility, mentoring and networking access, through its market reach, multi-disciplinary expertise and strong domain knowledge," read a statement issued by the group.
Founded by Deepak Sharma and Anand Lakhotia in 2009, the group provides a complete range of customised solutions to individuals and corporates in various financial service domains. Prior to Sarthi, Sharma was the COO and head - wealth business & retail sales at IL&FS Investsmart Ltd. With over 20 years of experience, he had also earlier worked at companies like Centrum Finance Ltd, SPA Capital Services Ltd, Jai Parabolic Springs Ltd and Hitech Drilling Services (India) Ltd.
Lakhotia was the managing partner at Gupta Lakhotia & Associates for over 15 years, prior to launching Sarthi. He also worked at Ernst & Young, and holds a CA degree from the Institute of Chartered Accountants Of India and a B.Com degree from Shri Ram College of Commerce. The group offers various initiatives in investment banking, merchant banking, advisory services and now the angel-funding network.
Last month, Rajasthan Angel Investor Network, or RAIN, also entered the angel investing space in the country. Based in the pink city Jaipur, RAIN is a group of angel investors that is looking to invest in, mentor and promote startups in the region. As of now, the group consists of 23 members that include Mahavir Pratap Sharma (also president of RAIN), founder and CEO, Oscar Exports and charter member of TiE Rajasthan; Manuj Goyal, MD, Pinkcity Colorstones; Rajesh Moondra, founder and CEO, Truworth; and Om Prakash Choudhary, founder, Opalsoft, Inc.
Started in April this year, RAIN already made its first investment of 2013. It had invested Rs 30 lakh ($49,370) in Organicshop.in, an online marketplace for organic products early this week. Of the 24 RAIN members, 13 had invested in the startup for 30 per cent equity and the deal saw Organicshop's valuation at Rs 1 crore. As part of the investment, Sharma had joined the board of the startup.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)