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Exclusive: TurningIdeas floats Angel network to back tech startups

Ashish Mittal, Co-Founder & Chief Mentor, TurningIdeas

Ashish Mittal, Co-Founder & Chief Mentor, TurningIdeas

Incubation and acceleration platform TurningIdeas Solutions has launched an Angel investor network, TurningIdeas Venture Partners (TVP), to back technology-oriented startups.

Ashish Mittal, co-founder and chief mentor at TurningIdeas, told VCCircle that leading Angel investors have come together under the TVP umbrella to provide initial investment to technology-led startups.

“The fund will be domain agnostic within the technology space and will look to support innovations in areas ranging from social to mobile, analytics to cloud computing technologies,” Mittal said.

The fund, which has a total corpus of RS 33 crore ($5 million), will be investing in 10 startups. “The average ticket size can range from $50,000 to $2,00,000,” he said.

Among those who are already part of TVP network include Orissa Cement Ltd joint-CEO Amandeep Gupta and Australian investor Dr Andrew Seit.

The company is already in an advanced stage of discussion with few startups in the ed-tech and retail sectors. Mittal, however, declined to share details. “The fund will target high-growth startups and ventures that take advantage of market opportunities, but are still very nascent in their journey,” he said.

The company claimed that the network will work on the lines of Indian Angel Network (IAN) and the applications from startups will be processed by TVP, which will carry out the initial due diligence, legal checks and establish the financial frameworks.

“Once the first level of checks has been carried out and the startup has been vetted, TVP will assist in fund-raising by connecting the startup with active interested investors,” Mittal added.

TurningIdeas invested in several startups last year. It backed AskMyGift — a mobile app that allows users to create a personalised wish list for gifts —by investing an undisclosed amount in the company.

Later in December, it invested in digital seller management startup Focus Digit.

Angel investments have been on the rise in India, primarily driven by successful tech entrepreneurs and top corporate professionals who want to put in their spare cash in startups with high growth potential.

Angel investing kicked off in India in mid-2000 with the formation of networks such as IAN. It has now spread across the country with several high-net-worth individuals showing the risk appetite for investing in startups and with the emergence of newer platforms such as Lead Angels and LetsVenture, among others.

Early-stage funding in the beginning of 2016 has shown an uptick, indicating that the Angel and seed-stage investors have kept the initial cheques coming for startups. Based on the deal activity in the first quarter of 2016, VCCEdge’s Startup India report estimated in late April that close to 1,000 Indian startups may get funded in 2016.

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