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Want to invest in startups with a sound business model: Kunal Kapoor

Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor is no stranger to startups. Ketto, the crowdfunding platform he founded in 2012 with Varun Sheth and Zaheer Adenwala, this month won the Wharton India Startup Competition, getting $30,000 as prize money in the bargain.

And now, Kapoor wants to turn investor.

“I’m looking to invest in a couple of startups,” Kapoor tells Techcircle.in. His criteria is simple: Startups that have a solid business model.

“When it comes to movies, I do only a few films in which I believe. Similarly, I would like to invest only in startups that I really believe in — companies that are looking to build a solid business and have a solid revenue model as opposed to ones that are just looking to increase their valuation and cash out,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ketto is planning to raise another round of funding.

“We are looking to raise another round of funding. We have only scratched the surface now,” says Kapoor. “Worldwide also, the crowdfunding industry is growing and a lot of that growth is led by Asia. I think Ketto is best placed to lead that growth. We are looking to expand throughout the country and Asia and, of course, we are looking for funding for that,” he added.

In July 2015, Ketto Online Ventures Pvt Ltd, which runs Ketto, raised Rs 4.4 crore ($700,000) in a fresh angel investment round led by one of its existing investors, Pradyumna Dalmia, co-founder of Calcutta Angels, and Sudhir Rao, deal champion of The Chennai Angels and co-founder of IndusAge Partners.

In 2013, it had raised Rs 77 lakh in angel funding from Club ah!, a network of investors and part of ah! Ventures, and not-for-profit angel network Calcutta Angels.

Ketto, which helps non-government organisations and individuals raise funds for social and creative causes, had enabled Indian luger Shiva Keshavan’s participation in the 2014 Winter Olympics, besides raising funds in the aftermath of several natural disasters.

“One of the big campaigns we did when we launched was a fund-raising drive to send Shiva Keshavan to the Winter Olympics. We have helped athletics go to Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games besides helping people during disasters. We have helped raise funds in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, and during the recent Chennai floods and the Kashmir floods last year,” says Sheth, who quit financial services firm ICAP, to start Ketto with Kapoor and Adenwala, a former Directi Group executive.

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