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Company : Venture Catalysts 
Thursday, December 17, 2015 5:15PM IST (11:45AM GMT)
 
Venture Catalysts, India's First Seed Investment and Innovation Platform, Pioneers the Next Level of Start-up Evolution
Set to revolutionise the country's start-up ecosystem by altering the approach to early stage investment
 
New Delhi, Delhi, India

The common perception suggests that investors in any start-up are involved only in the financial aspect of the business, funding the venture with capital and reaping dividends in due course of time. That image, however, is about to be irrevocably changed with the entry of Venture Catalysts into the fray. With an aim to improve the Innovation Quotient in India, the Mumbai-based company has launched itself as India’s first Seed Investment & Innovation platform.
 
Founded by Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Mr. Anil Jain, Mr. Anuj Golecha and Mr. Gaurav Jain, VCats is established as a first-of-its-kind pioneering effort aimed at nurturing India’s first global start-up success. Through its angel network, venture fund, co-working facility and effective post-investment support, VCats has set about its task to revolutionise and reinvigorate the seed investment landscape in the country.
 
Speaking on the launch, Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder, Venture Catalysts, said, “The early stage investment sector in India is disorganised and in need of an urgent revival to match with the pace at which the start-up ecosystem is growing. Venture Catalysts has been launched as a pioneering attempt to revitalise the angel investment landscape by bringing HNIs to actively participate in the start-up growth while at the same time also provide start-ups with a comprehensive umbrella network for all their venture’s requirements. Be it funding, technology, infrastructural and logistics support, mentoring, industry connections or scaling-up, VCats will provide the most tailored solutions for all start-up needs with its unique, integrated, innovation-driven platform.”
 
This unique understanding of the start-up ecosystem as well as the strong industry linkages are driven by the extensive expertise and industry acumen aggregated by its founders over their careers. Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, in particular, has been one of the doyennes of the early stage investment industry in India and has been associated with the market sector since its beginning in 2002. He is one of the very few professionals with a PhD in Incubation and Early Stage Investment who is currently active in the start-up field, and has been integral to the establishment of several angel networks as well as early stage investment initiatives such as Indian Angel Network (IAN), VentureNursery and Amity Incubator & Family Office Fund.  He has also led several investment drives into budding ventures, and has a portfolio including more than 10 companies with 100 crore valuation.
 
The other co-founders at VCats further strengthen the team with invaluable experience in their respective fields. Anuj Golecha has been involved with over 1200 business houses as a part of his CA duties and has strong links to several business houses which can provide ventures with critical advantage. Anil Jain is a HNI individual with extensive experience in Financial and Real Estate business, whereas Gaurav Jain was previous associated with Reliance Pvt. Equity. He is also currently pursuing his Stanford graduation to gather quality academic insights into various business functions.
 
The early stage investment industry in India is pretty nascent as compared to the global leaders, USA and China. The US has 3000 active angel networks with over 3 lakh angel investors driving 3000 seed investments annually, whereas China has nearly 16200 angels with an annual seed investment count standing at 2000. In comparison, India’s early stage investment network stands at 400-500 active angels who drive a total of around 200 investments annually through various angel networks, accelerators and incubators. This gap is what VCats is looking to fill through its first-of-its-kind services and disruptive business model. The company is aiming to create a new league of angels comprising seasoned investors as well as a vibrant network of high net-worth individuals such as stockbrokers, businessmen and builders etc. These individuals, with their extensive industry connections and experience as well as their capital resources, will participate in the early stage investment and contribute to growth of the start-up ecosystems in the country.
 
Explaining the concept behind its inception, Dr. Apoorv said, “India’s seed stage investment industry is much below par as compared to the global leaders despite the country’s start-up segment considered to be a high-growth proposition. Venture Catalysts was established as a response to this glaring disparity in the global and Indian standards through seed investment as well as post-investment support to start-ups in the country in order to facilitate growth and add value for all key stakeholders. We are targeting raising a fund of INR 100 crore from multiple investors that will drive seed stage investments. We will initially invest in about 15-20 start-ups through our angel network on an annual basis before rapidly increasing the scale of our operations to a much higher number.”
 
However, VCats’ offerings go much beyond just seed investments. To better understand the potential impact that it can create on the start-up ecosystem, consider a small example. Any start-up venture requires three primary requirements to commence operation – an operations team, capital funds and office space. Once operations kick-start, the venture then requires a technological framework to support its business offerings across a digital medium, CA and financial advisory services to keep a tab on the finances, mentoring to attract Series investments and guide growth strategy as well as myriad other services and products that support it and aid in its business journey. VCats brings together all these start-up requirements under a single integrated platform to provide comprehensive early stage support to budding ventures, delivered by a highly experienced team with deep, in-depth understanding of various start-up requirements such as Finance, Investments, Incubation, Technology, Team building, CA services, Community and Connections.
 
“As there are no Indian competitors who have the capability for the integrated, one-stop start-up solutions that we offer, we have the advantage of being the pioneers of a new seed investment approach in India which promotes a focus on early stage investment and innovation. This unique brand proposition is further enhanced by our extensive industry links and strong tie-ups with corporate and global accelerators. Additionally, with our dedication to add even more value for entrepreneurs, investors and all other key stakeholders, not only do we optimise investments through robust, structured programmes, but also offer technological support to our investee companies as well as other start-ups looking to leverage our holistic business solutions for fuelling their growth,” he added.
 
In order to provide comprehensive single-point start-up solutions, Venture Catalysts incorporates various verticals such as Start-ups, Mentors, Seed & Angel Investors, Venture Capital & Private Equity, Investment Banking Services, Co-working space, Accelerators/Incubators, OEMS/Vendors, Technology Enablers, Co-founders & Technologists, Business Coaching with specialised domain expertise, Start-up Events & Media, Researchers, Traction & Data Analysts, Global Access & Exposure, Tech/Business/Financial Audit and connections to enhance business. VCats will also be introducing a new breed of Angel investors called Catalysts, who will enable investments and investors.

With the launch of its services, VCats will now be looking at incorporating 800-1000 active angels within its network.
 
About Venture Catalysts
 
Venture Catalysts is India’s first Seed Investment & Innovation Platform which adds value to start-ups through its angel network, venture fund, co-working facility and effective post-investment support. Founded by Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, former Executive Vice President at VentureNursery, Mr. Anil Jain (Co-founder, Wallfort Financial Services Ltd. One of the largest institutional broking firms of India), Mr. Anuj Golecha (Angel Investor & Partner, Banshi Jain & Associates) and Mr. Gaurav Jain, (Former Executive, Reliance Pvt. Equity, pursuing graduation from Stanford), Venture Catalysts brings lethal combination of Capital, Mentoring and Business Network to help investee companies to succeed.

With an end-goal of disrupting the Seed Investment industry, VCats will be looking to integrate services to address the various start-up requirements on a single platform. The company is looking to have about 800-1000 active angels onboard its platform in the near future.

 
For News Release background on Venture Catalysts click here
 
Media Contact Details
Abhishek Kumar, Value 360 Communications, +91-9650570935, abhishek@value360india.com
 
 
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