IAN Impact, a sub-group of Indian Angel Network (IAN), and Unitus Seed Fund have invested an undisclosed amount in GoCoop Solutions and Services Pvt Ltd. The company owns and operates GoCoop.com, a social marketplace for co-operatives and community-based enterprises to list and sell their produce online. The funds will be invested in building the online platform, among others. IAN member Nagaraja Prakasam led the round, and will be joining the board of the company.
Launched in early 2012, GoCoop.com's or Global Collabration Platform for Cooperatives' marketplace acts as an aggregator of all the listed enterprises and is based on a unique algorithm for market linkage between potential buyers and sellers. According to the company, the services offered by its marketplace include-
Directory Service: Contains business profile of cooperative enterprises with advanced keyword and location-based search across industries, geographies, products, and service categories; Listing Service: Micro-websites for cooperative enterprises with advanced online merchandising capabilities and unlimited trade enquiries; E-commerce Service: An e-commerce shop for co-operative enterprises with product catalogue, online ordering, payments, delivery tracking, and inventory management; and Connect Service: Social networking services to enable buyers and sellers on the marketplace to search, connect and communicate with other business partners and members through web, voice, SMS and email.
The site already has 2,614 co-operatives as of now, and the marketplace offers a total of 4,178 products in five categories (that are further divided into sub categories) including arts & crafts, apparel & accessories, home & garden, food & beverages, and industrial products.
Launched in July this year, IAN Impact comprises of around 50 IAN members and focuses on social enterprises addressing the problems of people living at the bottom of the pyramid. This is the second investment from IAN Impact, which plans to invest up to Rs 2 crore ($333,000) in six early-stage companies per year. It had earlier invested in Delhi-based Gram Vaani, a social tech company which provides a social platform that features voice and video-based local media offerings. The company had received a total of $500,000 in its first equity investment round from IAN and a few other investors.
IAN Impact is led by a core group of active angel investors including Saurabh Srivastava, Alok Mittal, Srikant Sastri, Ravi Krishnappa, Nagaraja Prakasam and Sadeesh Raghavan, among others. It does not have a separate fund and is sector agnostic, with focus on startups operating in areas like energy and cleantech, water, healthcare, IT, education, etc.
Other impact investors in India include Lok Capital, Omidyar Network, Aavishkaar and Acumen Fund. But most of those focus on later-stage social ventures while IAN Impact targets early-stage startups.
IAN has over 250 members and has funded around 60 startups across sectors like IT, mobile, healthcare, gaming, hospitality and education—both in India and abroad. In 2011, IAN invested over $8 million in 11 startups and last year, this amount increased to $11 million, invested in 17 companies. Here's a quick relook at its other investments in 2013.
Last month, High Street Essentials Pvt Ltd, the company that owns and operates FabAlley.com, an online fashion brand exclusively for women, had raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Indian Angel Network (IAN). The funding was led by IAN members Tushar Singh and Mohit Goyal, and as part of the investment, Singh joined the board of the startup.
Bangalore based Mukunda Foods Pvt Ltd received its angel round of funding from IAN. The investment was led by IAN members Hari Balasubramaniam and P Gopinath who had also mentored the company post incubation. IAN also invested an undisclosed amount in AM Edumedia Pvt Ltd, which runs IndiaCollegeSearch.com, an online search engine for Indian colleges and universities. The investment was led by IAN members Anupam Mittal, Vikram Upadhyaya and Varun Khurana and as part of the investment, Upadhyaya and Khurana joined the board of the startup.
SnapLion Global Ltd, the company that owns and operates SnapLion.com, an online platform to create sleek, interactive mobile apps for anyone wishing to engage their fans in real time, received an undisclosed round of funding from India Internet Group, Blume Ventures and Rehan Yar Khan-led Orios Venture Partners. Silicon Valley-based investors including Vuclip CEO Nickhil Jakatdar and Piyush Shah, apart from Indian Angel Network members Rajan Anandan, Sandeep Soni and Gaurav Sharma, also participated in the round. Prior to that, it invested an undisclosed amount in online education company Rank Junction Pvt Ltd which runs RankJunction.com, a ranking platform for competitive exams.
Early this year, it had invested an undisclosed amount in Seattle-based Mobilewalla, a search portal for mobile apps, with IAN members Rajan Anandan, Venkat Raju and Sharad Sharma leading the investment round. As part of the investment, Raju joined the Mobilewalla board.