Delving Deep to Invest
Six months after taking up the mantle as managing partner in venture capital firm Orios Venture Partners, Anup Jain shares his interest and management of the VC fund.
Riding on the back of a massive 20-year experience in the corporate sector, Anup Jain quickly climbed the ladder at venture capital investors Orios Investments, becoming its managing partner in June this year. His inclusion in the Orios' leadership team is aimed at targeting start-ups in FMCG and retail space. With the accessibility to Internet at every nook and corner of the country, he is now looking ahead to target the 300 million rural consumers who have remained ignored due to focus on metro cities. Entrepreneur India got in touch with the fund manager who touts “misfits” as the next consumer segment
of the modern-day India. “Self-belief is the key,” he says while batting for the rural consumers, who he feels will be the next big penetration in the consumer sector.
BOONBOX (Omni-channel e-commerce retailer)
“It was exciting,” chimes in Anup when quizzed about his interest in Boonbox, which was founded by Karthik Natarajan and R Ramanathan. “The idea of e-commerce is always enticing and their end-to-end delivery service in far-fetched areas of the country was the one that caught my eye,” he states. Boonbox sources and sells goods ranging from consumer durables to FMCG to the rural customer. It is available both as a
web portal and mobile app. The unique feature of the app is that it can work and
process orders in areas inaccessible via Internet. But one has to be associated
with Boonbox to place an order. “They not only provide a service but also
maintain contracts after the delivery. This gives them an edge over the
other e-commerce marketers. They are tapping the untapped,” says Anup, who
invested in Boonbox after becoming managing partner in Orios. The omnichannel platform raised Rs 25 crore from a clutch of investors including
Ventureast, Orios and IAN Fund in August this year.
LETSMD (Healthcare providers and financiers)
Stressing on the precarious situation of healthcare insurance in India, Anup feels sometimes the consumers end up spending more than their disposable income on their medical expenses for some uncertain illness. “LetsMD vowed to resolve that issue,” he says. The enterprise was founded by Nivesh Khandelwal, a Wharton MBA with entrepreneurial experience across food and beverages and healthcare; Prakhar Gupta, a Purdue university graduate with startup experience across Silicon Valley and India; Tenzin Thargay, an IIM-Bangalore alumnus with more than a decade of experience across consumer internet and digital health platforms. Orios pooled in an additional Rs 7.3 crore in the pre-Series A funding round. LetsMD provides an avenue for prospective patients to connect with
authentic healthcare service providers offering transparent and ‘true’ pricing. “A
massive chunk of population in India is still underinsured. Moreover, even when they have to go through the route of availing the benefit of the insurance through proper channels, they end up in the maze of paperwork and bureaucracy,” he says.
MISS MALINI (Entertainment website )
All the gossip news of Bollywood that the people are interested in are now being served on your platter dedicatedly by MissMalini.com, which was founded by Malini Agarwal and Mike Melli. The
effervescent logo clubbed with the showbiz gossip hooked the
Bollywood buffs to the ‘masala’ news they eagerly hunted for on their
social media feeds. “The dotcom era has long begun and we are just
feeling its effects at the moment. Though, funds were pumped into Miss Malini before me but I handled the portfolio. The entrepreneurial experience clubbed with innovation and market requirement is what inspired me to keep the portfolio
intact. Eventually, when the portal crossed the 8 million mark, it was
already making headlines,” Jain says. Miss Malini raked up Rs 5.2 crore in
the pre-series A fundraise, which came six years after it received angel funding.