Startups in region catch fancy of investors

Wipro venture capital fund picks stake in Chandigarh firm

Startups in region catch fancy of investors

Illustration: Sandeep Joshi

Vijay C Roy

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26

It is believed that non-metros and small towns, especially in the northern region, are not suitable for startups in the absence of enabling ecosystem. However, defying this belief, the startups in the region are growing besides attracting funds from leading venture capitalists and angel investors.

Further, as the success stories of many entrepreneurs are celebrated, more funding agencies are eyeing startups in the hinterland to multiply their wealth. According to entrepreneurs, the number of entrepreneurs in tier-2 cities is increasing and the funding culture is also evolving.

Wipro Consumer Care Ventures, the venture capital fund of Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, has signed an agreement to invest in Chandigarh-based LetsShave Private Ltd. LetsShave is predominantly into the shaving domain and steadily expanding into grooming segment. It markets premium products for men and women under the brand name LetsShave. It has a strategic tie-up with over 60-year-old razor manufacturing Korean company Dorco.

Sidharth S Oberoi, founder of LetsShave, said: “We started our journey four years ago. We are excited to partner with Wipro which has a deep understanding of Indian consumers”. Considering its strong partnership with LetsShave, Dorco recently increased its stake from 10% to 15%.

Company’s chief marketing officer Asawari Pawar said: “We will effectively utilise the funds to expand our shaving and personal care product portfolio.”

Further, to tap the potential in smaller cities, “India Fund Fest” was recently held in Chandigarh.

The fund-raising event was organised following the success of its first three editions in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

As many as 28 companies from 20 cities made it to the finale and pitched to a panel of 14 investors from eight cities of India. There were over five companies from Chandigarh and the Punjab region that took part in the event. Nearly half a dozen startups from Chandigarh and other parts of the country raised around Rs 6 crore on the spot during the event. Bathinda-based RidezNow raised Rs 50 lakh while Patiala-based Anukai Solutrions Private Limited raised Rs 40 lakh during the fund-raising event.

“This is a great opportunity for the region to have access to startup capital with so many investors coming over to assess the startup pitches,” said Dr Madhu Chitkara, Vice-Chancellor, Chitkara University.

To propel the growth of startups, even Chandigarh Angel Network has funded over 17 startups across the country, including from Chandigarh and Punjab.

Earlier, Mohali-based AgNext, an Agtech company, got seed funding from IDEA NARM (Food and Agribusiness incubator and accelerator in Hyderabad) in 2017. It also got funding from Omnivore Capital (an impact venture fund) in 2018. In 2019, it received funds from Kalaari Capital (a technology-focused venture fund).


View All

Junior doctors, nurses in Amritsar confront Soni

Say seniors staying away from patients, nurses want proper a...

Jan Dhan a/c holders in Amritsar queue up outside banks

Not caring two hoots about social distancing, women come out...

A blessing in disguise for author Dev Dard

Says he has finally found time to maintain galleries of hist...

Seven more catch virus in Mohali district

All from Jawaharpur; district count 26, highest in Punjab

Chandigarh Administration makes mask must for residents at public places

To be deferred — water & power charges, rent of units in reh...

Don’t have PPE? Wear raincoat, Chandigarh cops told

SSP Jagadale’s order comes after curfew violations reported ...

Delhi readies 5-T plan to tackle Covid

Kejriwal says govt to focus on testing, tracing, treatment, ...

Ban on Tablighi Jamaat sought

Letter petition seeks CBI probe into ‘conspiracy to spread i...

CRPF DG among 200 personnel quarantined

Step comes days after Chief Medical Officer of paramilitary ...