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Exclusive: U2opia Mobile rolls out accelerator programme for startups

U2opia-MobileSingapore-based mobile value-added services (VAS) firm U2opia Mobile Pte Ltd has rolled out a launchpad accelerator programme for startups in India.

The company plans to invest over $3 million in the next three years in the programme christened Catapult.

“Given that the investment sentiment in the market indicates a prolonged winter for startups, it’s imperative that we support the community by creating opportunities for young entrepreneurs to continue building great products without the fear of failure,” Sumesh Menon, co-founder and managing director, U2opia Mobile, told Techcircle.

The Catapult accelerator programme, which will be based in the Gurgaon office of U2opia, will focus on Indian startups in the telecom, mobile ad-tech, utility apps and mobile gaming space. The objective is to help early-stage startups and entrepreneurial teams focused on innovation in scalable mobile technology. As part of the programme, the startups will be given access to technology infrastructure, working space, brand and marketing support, management and financial cover, and can also leverage on U2opia Mobile’s global reach.

Shortlisted startups will be incubated and supported for a period of six months.

Sumesh Menon, co-founder & MD, U2opia Mobile

Sumesh Menon, co-founder & MD, U2opia Mobile

U2opia was founded in 2010 by Sumesh Menon and Ankit Nautiyal. Prior to starting U2opia, Menon was a senior marketing director at mobile applications firm Bubble Motion Inc., and is now an adviser there. Menon joined Bubble Motion from Bharti Airtel Ltd. Nautiyal was previously employed at Bubble Motion in Singapore and, prior to that, at Bharti Telesoft. He is now vice president (engineering) at U2opia.

Last year, U2opia had launched dating app Woo in India. Earlier this year, it had launched Foneverify, a mobile authentication solution that verifies users in real time.

In 2011, U2opia had raised its first round of institutional funding from Matrix Partners India and Omidyar Network. U2opia Mobile runs operations from Singapore, Delhi, Dubai and San Francisco.

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