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What Makes Venture Catalysts the Largest Investor of 2018 Firm is India's first startup-focused network to venture into tier-2 and tier-3 cities

By Punita Sabharwal

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Since its launch in December 2016, Venture Catalysts has been holding regular pitch days across India and have developed around 7 physical incubation centers in various regions. Having started operations in Mumbai, it has expanded rapidly to become India's first startup-focused network to venture into tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Today, it has onground presence in 20 cities across India. In 2018, the venture facilitated around 57 startup investments making it the largest investor of 2018. "During the first two years of our operations, we were investing around Rs 1-5 crore per startup. Today, we are investing around Rs 3-15 crore into every startup, with six of our investee companies securing funding in the range of Rs 13-16 crore in the recent past," shares Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, president and co-founder of the VC fund.

Venture Catalysts is not restricted to a particular geography or industry; it invests wherever there is a scope for large-scale disruption through technology. They have invested in ventures across diverse market segments such as fintech, new-age media, IoT, AI, FMCG, AR/VR, mobility amongst others. Talking about his investment ideology, Sharma says, "We generally evaluate prospective incubatees on the disruptiveness of their idea, their business model, the expertise and competencies of their team, the market opportunity and competition, and the effort and the research that has gone into making the product/service market-ready. Moreover, we gauge the kind of returns that a potential incubatee will generate for us and the investors; the higher the future RoI, the better are the chances of securing an investment. We also analyze the long-term scalability, sustainability, profitability, and growth potential of the startups we incubate".

(This article was first published in the December issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Punita Sabharwal

Entrepreneur Staff

Managing Editor, Entrepreneur India

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