Integrated incubator Venture Catalysts (VCats) has introduced launched the 9Unicorns Fund, claiming it to be India’s first accelerator VC in India. This accelerator VC will help in the identification of the best ideas and early stage startups from India.
It will also be identifying high-potential, early stage businesses across sectors such as electric vehicles, mobility, AR, VR, AI, ML, fintech, retail, and FMCG.
Venture Catalysts said that India has 26 unicorns at the moment, however, only one of them was a part of the 600 accelerators in the country. The number of accelerators is much lower in India as compared to China (32k+) and US (20k+).
“While the pace at which number of unicorns continue to grow is healthy (India added eight unicorns in 2018 alone compared with nine in a span of six years from 2011-2017), the absence of dedicated accelerators is a problem. 9Unicorns Fund has been envisaged to fill this gap by becoming a one-stop mentoring, networking, and growth facilitation platform for emerging businesses to grow to their full potential,” Venture Catalysts shared in a statement.
The new accelerator VC has an allocated fund of Rs.300 crore from Venture Catalysts which it plans to plunge in 100 companies over the time span of three years. It promises a standard deal of Rs. 60 lakhs for five percent equity along with a further plan of investing Rs. 3 to 5 crores in the subsequent funding rounds for startups.
These startups will have Venture Catalysts as their facilitator which will provide them with an access to the firm’s extensive support for seed funding.
Dr Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-Founder and Managing Director, 9Unicorns, said the Indian startups ecosystem form to be the third largest ecosystem in terms of number of startups as well as unicorns and ‘soonicorns’. However, they are still not able to perform well because of hindrances like Complex deal structures, slow customer acquisition, and lack of accelerators.
He said that 9Unicorns Fund will change the landscape by reviving the idea of stage funding in India and enable the startups to have access to the global VCs and family offices for Series A and B apart from committed investments of Rs 3-15 crore from Venture Catalysts.