Start-up nurturing platform India Accelerator plans to expand its start-up portfolio by over three-folds in 2021 with investment in around 100 such ventures. The company invests Rs 25 lakh in select startups every year then mentors them and connects them with other investors as they mature, India Accelerator founder Ashish Bhatia told PTI. He said the company is close to launching SEBI-approved alternate investment funds both for category 1 angel fund and category 2 venture capital fund, which will be providing more funding opportunities for startups.
“While Accelerator programme is the core foundation for the success of our startups, there are other critical pieces needed to help grow a startup, these (new funds) help us in expand even further — to new geographies and in other domains, thus helping us to move forward with our target of picking up 100 high-pot startups every year,” Bhatia said. He said India Accelerator (IA) had invested in around 30 startups in 2020. According to TiE report, there are around 38,000 active startups in the country, out of which 26 are unicorns. The startup ecosystem in India had attracted USD 14.5 billion of funding in 2019. Since Aug 2017, IA has selected around 70 companies for acceleration.
In 2020, IA has closed 27 funding transactions and around two-third of portfolio companies have raised their follow-on round of funding. Bhatia said that IA has partially exited from five startups with up to six-fold return on investments. He said that during the Covid-19 pandemic the company has expanded footprint to select startups from across India and is now planning to launch its programme overseas as well in Dubai, Africa, Singapore, London and USA. “Covid was of course unplanned disaster, a lot of startups sank. Nevertheless, it helped us move to remote areas. Earlier you heard about startups from NCR, Jaipur, Rajasthan, Gujrat, they only could come and apply. Now we are mentoring startups from Kerala, Chennai, West Bengal, we have become a pan India entity,” Bhatia said.