Venture Catalysts, an incubation platform that invests in early-stage startups, has invested $70 million in Indian startups across 63 deals in 2019.
Fintech platform Vested, co-living firm Grexter, virtual wireless platform Easyfi, software maker Jumpstart, technology-driven content platform Startup Instoried, vernacular competitive exam preparatory platform Pariksha and online gaming company Global eSports are some of the startups that were added to Venture Catalysts’ portfolio during the year.
Founded by Anil Jain, Anuj Goenka, Apoorv Sharma and Gaurav Jain, the firm invests $2.5 lakh to $1.5 million in early-stage startups with the potential to create enduring value over a long period.
The platform, supported by over 5,000 angel investors mostly from tier-2 and tier-3 cities, has closed 171 deals so far, with portfolio investments reaching $1.7 billion in valuation. Other than HNIs (high net worth individuals), Venture Catalysts receives funds from global and domestic entities such as Google, Jade Value, Axis Capital, Wavemaker, Amalthea Capital and Founders Factory.
Since 2016, Venture Catalysts has provided training and mentorship support to more than 14,000 startups. Car wash startup Cleansecar, eyewear platform Cleardekho, delivery app Supr, handicraft marketplace Rare Planet and concert live streaming platform Playtoome are some of its past investments.
Venture Catalysts has also completed 30 exits in less than four years, claiming to give returns in the range of three-fold to 70 times.
In 2019, Venture Catalysts also launched the accelerator VC 9Unicorns Fund, with an aim to identify high-potential early-stage startups across the country with confirmed commitments of Rs 300 crore, which will be invested in over 100 startups. The fund will invest Rs 60 lakh in each qualifying startup for 5% equity, with a focus on electric vehicles, mobility, augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, fintech and retail.
“Venture Catalysts identified the investment potential among HNIs from small towns who, till a few years ago, invested only in stock markets and real estate. But since the sub-prime crisis of 2008, this category of investors was looking for a new class of assets that could give them better returns on investment,” Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, president and co-founder of Venture Catalysts, said in a statement.