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Excl: Gaurav Kachru, Pearl Uppal to launch seedfund cum startup accelerator with $10M corpus

Husband-wife duo Gaurav Kachru and Pearl Uppal, the former chief executive and co-founder of Smile Group's daily deal site Dealsandyou and former co-founder and CEO of Smile Group's flash sales site Fashionandyou.com respectively, are set to launch 5ideas, which is a  combination of a seedfund and an accelerator programme targeted at mobile and internet startups with proven concepts.

Speaking exclusively to Techcircle.in, Kachru said the organization is scouting to raise $10 million (Rs 54 crore) soon, of which a significant portion has already been raised from investors inside and outside the country.

"Through this venture we are targeting businesses where the incubation has happened and we will help to take them to the next level by providing them with mentorship and funding," he said.

5ideas will invest anywhere between Rs 50 lakh-Rs 2.5 crore in these startups and will become their operating partners working closely with them for about six months to twelve months. At one go, the firm will work with a limited set of startups of up to six, according to Pearl Uppal.  "We will work closely with them, help them fill up their gaps, help them network, instrument concepts and eventually help them raise next round of institutional funding," she added.

Earlier, when Techcircle.in first reported about Kachru quitting Smile Group, he said, "I have a business plan in mind, which will be a blend of both online and offline models, and it will not be a pure play game."

Another Indian accelerator run by the husband-wife duo Sameer Guglani and Nandini Hirianniah, The Morpheus, founded in 2008, has emerged as a prominent player in the startup ecosystem.

The new accelerator comes amidst a bunch of entrants. On Thursday, Rajesh Sawhney, former president of Reliance Entertainment and founder of GSF Superangels in India, also announced the launch of GSF Accelerator for startups in the country. The programme has also got backing from 30 entrepreneurs and five venture funds, including Dave McClure's 500 Startups, among others.

In March this year, VentureNursery, an angel-backed startup accelerator was launched by Shravan Shroff (founder and former MD of Fame Cinemas) and Ravi Kiran (former CEO, South East & South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group, and co-founder & managing partner at Friends of Ambition), to provide a platform for graduating startups, so that they can pitch for mentoring and seed funding by seasoned and active angel investors.

Other than these, there is also iAccelarator, a flagship programme of the Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at IIM Ahmedabad. Till date, this programme has helped 17 successful start-ups launch themselves in the Internet and the mobile domain.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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