They believe in angels

Sep 02, 2012, 11:55 IST | Kareena Gianani

Next month, three software developers will start India's first online platform to connect angel investors with innovation startups across the country

Chembur-based software developers Nameet Potnis, Anant Garg and Anuj Garg have much more in common than their age (26) — they also love the idea of an India having its own Silicon Valley for great ideas and innovative startups.

The trio, in fact, have taken the idea a step further. Next month, Nameet, Anant and Anuj will launch Nurtured (.in), the first such online platform for angel investors, to help them discover and manage early-stage investments. The website also aims to enable entrepreneurs across the country find and collaborate with interested investors.

Anuj Garg and Nameet Potnis at the Inscripts office in Chembur. Pic/ Sameer Markande

Nurtured is a venture of the software company, Inscripts, started by Anant and Anuj in 2005. “We are at a very interesting stage in India. There are innovative startups coming up all over the country — we aren’t relying on Silicon Valley to emulate their models. On the other hand, we have many people interested in angel funding — wealthy CEOs of large companies who want to invest in new ventures — but the space has been largely unorganised.

That’s where Nurtured comes in,” says Nameet, who describes Nurtured as an ecosystem created to fill the gap between startups and angel investors.

Nurtured was born out of the idea that startups scattered across the country have no platform to attract individuals interested in angel funding. However, to ensure transparency and quality, only those startups who have some customers to their credit can sign up on the website.

“This includes everyone, say, students who have come up with a great product which some people are using. After a point, the entrepreneurs cannot scale their operations due to lack of funds — that’s where our angel investors will come in.”

Every entrepreneur who signs up with Nurtured will get a tag and will be able to design a profile for himself on the website’s allotted space. “Here, the entrepreneur can put up his work, his activity, upcoming plans and so on, so the investors, too, can track his progress and decide to invest accordingly,” says Anant.

Part of the platform, for instance, is a Karnataka-based research firm which is building tools to help researchers accelerate the invention process by creating a framework which enables them to collaborate and overcome known bottlenecks (the trio do not wish to name the startups or the angel investors yet, since they are in the process of signing documents).

A Haryana-based company, too, has signed up, which would like to attract angel investors to scale up its startup which creates a line of health and beauty products with ayurvedic ingredients. “We notice that most of the startups who have approached us work in areas of web applications/social media management, healthcare and travel. There are many who are working around payments (mobile and web) and e-commerce, too.”

The point, says Anant, is not only to put up a connecting portal out there — it is also about generating pride in Indian startups.  

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