Venture Garage conducts 4th Leg of “Find Your Investor” Programme in Mumbai, supported by Kotak Mahindra Bank

#dreamsinvited    #weloveentrepreneurs

Pune, 23th January, 2020: Keeping in the spirit of bringing investors and startups together in an environment of fostering free-flow interactions, we reached Pune, a town not really known for its startups vibrancy though it has sprouted startups like First cry, Agrostar, Loantap and Rebel foods. The FYI bandwagon was all gung-ho riding on the back of rocking sessions in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru were close to 60 investors and 450 startups interacted. Though we really judge our success by the applications received and turnouts, we see a few start-ups already close to negotiating term-sheets, so our best wishes to all of them.

The Pune edition of Find Your Investor (FYI) programme, conducted by Venture Garage, supported by Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak) was conducted at MCCIA Pune. Over 170 applications were received, and more than 150 startups and 15 investors attended the event. This edition not only attracted start-ups from Pune, but also from cities such as Mumbai, Nagpur, Ahmedabad as it hosted a new mix of 15 odd investors to include Windrose Capital, Rainforest Venture Network, Crucible network, Oceans Bridge, Better INC, Alacrity India, Indian Angel Network, Sprout Venture Partner, India Quotient, White Unicorn and a slew of active angel investors from Pune and Mumbai.

Fifteen startups were shortlisted for the one-on-one pitching sessions with investors which went on for 3 hours, over 1.5 hours beyond the budgeted time clearly reminiscent of the level of engagement this created both for startups as well as investors. Some of the ideas presented included:

1.A technology-driven lead generation payment platform that allows its partnered retail merchants to offer their end‑customers the ability to buy small/mid-sized ticket goods and services on their web sites/in-store on a ‘buy now, pay later’ basis without the end‑customer paying any interest or entering into traditional loan/credit card.

2.A network of digital screens available to all advertisers (big and small) to rent & display their message simply and conveniently.

3.A unique footwear which grows organically with the child’s feet, providing a comfortable fit and thus reduces the overall number of shoes bought between ages 1 to 8. It also keeps in mind various other factors with child’s growth and foot care.

4. An IIT-IBS team working towards solving the broken supply chain using data science to prevent price fluctuations in the FnV sector. With ML and past 24 months inflation data, they have been able to predict price fluctuations for the next 60 days This enables them to provide fixed prices to the end customer and still make profits.

5.A platform providing health Loans to patients who are uninsured or under insured at 0% interest, and is currently present in 6 Major cities, Pune/Nagpur/Mumbai/Bangalore/Hyd/Chennai.

6. A data driven health-tech platform that empowers various healthcare providers with technology, a seamless integration and a referral-based incentive system to improve overall consumer experience and the quality of healthcare.

Kotak conducted a session on banking for start-ups, which covered aspects such as a start-up focused current account, credit facilities, and making the road just a little bit easier with a customized suite of banking solutions for start-ups. Enthusiastic participation from the audience included queries around start-up current accounts and non-collateral loans.

“Venture Garage’s Find Your Investor programme is proving to be one of the key fund-raising platforms for start-ups with strong participation from both investors and start-ups. We are delighted to play our part in supporting the dreams of entrepreneurs. The Kotak Start-up Current Account is customized to meet the unique requirements of start-ups and help entrepreneurs scale their businesses and manage their day-to-day business needs efficiently.”

Puneet Kapoor, Senior Executive Vice President, Kotak Mahindra Bank

The Kotak Start-up Current Account comes with a host of features such as no balance commitment for the first 12 months, customized payment and collection solutions to suit each start-up’s business model, corporate salary accounts for employees, special forex pricing, cost-effective payment solutions and trade forex solutions.

The fireside chat saw Vivek Kumar from Venture Garage interact with Mr. Amitava Saha, an IIT-IIM alumni and co-founder of First Cry and Xpressbees. An entrepreneur par excellence he is one of the enviable few who has been able to raise money from Softbank to the tune of 400 mil USD en-route to building a Unicorn. Really humble, he was insightful in addressing how start-up founders should think and plan while building that illusive unicorn.

(L to R)
Vaibhav Domkundwar (Better Inc), Rohit Goyal (Windrose Capital), Avinash Kalia (Crucible Fund), Saurabh Lahoti(Alacrity India), Anirudh Kumar(Rainforest Venture Network)

A panel consisting of Rohit Goyal from Windrose Capital, Anirudh Kumar from Rain Forest Ventures, Avinash Kalia from Crucible Fund, Saurabh Lahoti from Alacrity Capital, and Moderated by Vaibhav Domkundwar from Better INC, addressed issues around

>> How do you select your sectors? What is the sector mix in your portfolio? What drives that selection of certain sectors?

>>Are your sectors fixed or do they change? And if they change, why do they change?

>> Why is rapid scaling up of the startup so important for a fund from an investment decision perspective?

>> While choosing a company for investment, pls rank them in your order of importance – Business Model /Team/ Traction / 4th item from your side – and why?

>>On popular demand: A lot of entrepreneurs/ founders feel that Investors prefer startups where founders are from IIT/ IIIT/ or IIM/ ISB for funding. What are your thoughts on that?

Avinash Kalia of Crucible Fund commented, “I realised during the panel discussion that one of the common suggestions from the investors to the founders was that just like a product market fit, they could also look at product investor fit. I mean they should ideally pitch to funds that are focused on that specific area. That’ll not only improve the chances of funding but once funded the start-up would be in the appropriate sectoral portfolio.”

“Considering the Total Addressable Market for a startup, the top-down approach to assess its potential scale is an inaccurate mechanism. India is a big country with a very large population and even if 1% of the population which is relevant to the product makes the market looks like a billion dollars. But by that approach every startup should become a unicorn. The bottom-up approach is more appropriate as cost of acquisition per customer, order size, repeat order rates can give a better and reasonable picture of the addressable market for a startup”

– Rohit Goyal Managing Partner at Windrose Capital

FYI has become the go-to platform for new-age entrepreneurs to interact one-on-one with investors, enabling them to meet the right investor(s) and equipping themselves with tools to build large, scalable businesses.

FYI FY2019-20 is being organised in five cities – Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and Chandigarh. For more details on FYI FY2019-20 and to register, visit

About Venture Garage

Venture Garage handholds startups to help them raise capital from its network of 700+ Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists, Strategic Investors and Family Funds. Venture Garage specializes in early-stage investments across Seed to Series B stages starting from $100K to $5mil. Established in 2015 and with offices present in Mumbai, Bengaluru and NCR, Venture Garage also manages a network of 30,000+ entrepreneurs.

For more information, please visit the company’s website at

About Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited

Established in 1985, Kotak Mahindra Group is one of India’s leading financial services conglomerates. In February 2003, Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd. (KMFL), the Group’s flagship company, received banking license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), becoming the first non-banking finance company in India to convert into a bank – Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

The Bank has four Strategic Business Units – Consumer Banking, Corporate Banking, Commercial Banking and Treasury, which cater to retail and corporate customers across urban and rural India. The premise of Kotak Mahindra Group’s business model is concentrated India, diversified financial services. The bold vision that underscores the Group’s growth is an inclusive one, with a host of products and services designed to address the needs of the unbanked and insufficiently banked. As on 30th September, 2019, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd has a national footprint of 1,512 branches and 2,429 ATMs, and branches in GIFT City and DIFC (Dubai).

For more information, please visit the company’s website at