Exclusive: Former Flipkart CPO Punit Soni invests in Innov8

14 Oct, 2016


Former Flipkart chief product officer (CPO) Punit Soni has invested an undisclosed amount of capital in Innov8, a sector agnostic co-working space. Innov8 is one of the three Indian companies selected by Y Combinator, a famous Silicon Valley incubator, for its summer batch of 2016. The other two startups selected include Meesho, an app for sellers on Facebook and WhatsApp and JustRide, a self-drive car rental app.

Ritesh Malik, the founder of Innov8, said that the company has raised money from 20 other investors besides Soni. A formal announcement of the Innov8 investment is expected next week, he told Techcircle.

Soni quit Flipkart in April, a year after joining the company. In an earlier interaction with Techcircle, he said that he was open to mentoring and investing in early-stage startups.

Soni is already an adviser and investor in at least three startups, including Razor Pay, a payment gateway firm based in India, as well as two Silicon Valley based startups including HeadSpin, a global testing platform for mobile apps and Krypton, a mobile alternative service provider. He is also planning to start his own venture in Silicon Valley in the coming months.

Innov8 co-working space was founded by doctor-turned-investor Malik in 2015, who is also a serial entrepreneur. In 2012, he co-founded a technology startup Adstuck Consulting, which sold off its flagship product Alive App, an augmented realty software. In addition, he co-founded Harvin Academy that offers coaching for medical and engineering entrance examinations and Thinkpot, an inspirational merchandise startup.

Other co-founders of the startup include IIT alumnus Shailesh Gupta and Harvard University alumnus Sumit Ranka.

The company, run by Guerrilla Infra Solutions Private Limited, has centres in Delhi and Chandigarh currently. The company plans to open centres in Bengaluru and Mumbai by the end of this year.

Innov8 claimed to receive 1,000 applications when it opened in October last year, and now houses 50 companies and 150 members.

Malik has invested in over 26 startups through Guerilla Ventures, which was recently sold to Scale Ventures, new venture capital firm co-founded by Rathi Group scion and former CEO of NDTV's ethnic apparel e-commerce venture Rahul Navrekar.

Most recently, Delhi-based 91springboard raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Khattar Holdings, ThirtyThree Investments and others.

Co-working space BHIVE has raised about $1 million (around Rs 6.7 crore) in a funding round led by Blume Ventures.

Mycuteoffice and Nasscom Startup Warehouse and Kochi's Startup Village are similar space-sharing hubs for startups. In May 2015, Mycuteoffice had raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding.

In April last year, global venture capital firm Matrix Partners Indian unit tied up with realtor K Raheja Corp to launch a new co-working space called "The Space" in Powai, Mumbai for startups.