Pearl Uppal, former CEO and co-founder, Fashionandyou.com and Gaurav Kachru, former CEO and co-founder of Dealsandyou.com have launched 5ideas.in (www.5ideas.in), aimed at fuelling the tech start up ecosystem in India.
5ideas Startup Superfuel Fund will invest up to Rs 2.5 crore in selected start ups, and deeply collaborate as operating partners with the start up teams for a period of six months to a year. In this year-long collaboration programme, 5ideas will also provide access to experienced mentors and valuable industry connections that will help set the right foundations for early stage businesses to accelerate their commercial growth.
"In the early stages of venture capital-funded businesses, the venture is more important than the capital. The business often has significant challenges on human capital (people, experience and expertise) and social capital (business networks, ability to source talent), critical to take it to the next level. We address these gaps, work with the entrepreneurs and support their operations, in addition to financial capital, to create the formula for a growth super fuel," says Uppal.
Kachru says, "We help start ups in ways that other funds cannot. We work with businesses for a year to help take them to the next logical stage in their growth process. The first six months we work as close operating partners who have experience in scaling businesses and can help them avoid the pitfalls a typical first time entrepreneur may face. The next six months we will assist to accelerate the business and help raise capital. While our core focus is start ups, we will also work collaboratively with start up accelerators on one hand and the institutional venture capital players on the other. 5ideas will actively seek and further collaborative networks across the start up ecosystem."
However, 5ideas will be very selective and will work with only up to five start ups at a time. The Superfuel fund has already opened applications for the first batch of investments. 5ideas aims to shortlist the first batch of start ups by the end of December and initiate the programme by the end of January, 2013.