Small Towns Get Big-time Angels

Angel investors are now cropping up in small cities to fund their new entrepreneurs

As India’s startup fever spills from the brinks of metros to smaller cities and towns across the country, new angel investors too are cropping up in these places to fund their new entrepreneurs. Chandigarh Angel Network, Swan Angel Network located in Indore, and Native Angel Network based in Madurai are among regional angel groups that have come up over the last one year.

“There are multiple informal groups in Chandigarh to mentor startups, but in order to raise money, startups had to go to metros,” said Vineet Khurana, VP, operations, at Chandigarh Angel Network (CAN) that started off nearly nine months back.

“Also, there are ample angel investors in the city but they were not essentially part of a formal network, hence education about the nitty-gritties of angel investing was missing,” he said.

There is a whole new bunch of investors, including non-resident Indians and high net-worth individuals, tapping into these regional angel groups for memberships.

Swan Angel Network, which started off with about 15 members, has seen its investor base swell to 38 in the last six months, mostly professionals and people running family businesses.

Swan plans to invest between ‘50 lakh and ‘2 crore in startups and looks to make 7-8 investments by the end of this calendar year, said Abhishek Sanghvi, founder of the Swan Angel Network.

It recently invested in event and brand partnership startup Onspon and has issued term sheets to six startups.

There is enough startup potential latent in some cities and Indore is one of them for multiple reasons.

Sanghvi pointed out that Indore is home to 15,000-20,000 technology professionals and is a large trading hub for nearby regions, being surrounded by three industrial hubs of Pithampur, Dewas and Ghatabillod.

“Also launching a startup and product testing can be done at a fraction of the cost of bigger cities making it an ideal ground for bootstrapping,” he said.

Sanghvi estimates that there are around 60 startups in the city. CAN, which has on-boarded 26 angel investors in various profiles as in first or second generation entrepreneurs from industrial and professional backgrounds, on an average sees 400 pitches from startups across India, out of which five are shortlisted to pitch before investors. Targeting ticket size of $100,000-300,000, it has so far invested in Jump Basket, Qlivery and Eckovation.

Source : The Economic Times ( Delhi)

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Author:

Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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