China’s APUS buys Siftr Labs; Venture Catalysts makes partial exit
Core Team of Siftr Labs

Chinese mobile Internet firm APUS has acquired Jaipur-based photography curation startup SIFTR Labs for an undisclosed amount in a cash and equity deal, a company statement said.

The deal will give Mumbai-based seed investment platform Venture Catalysts, which invested $150,000 (Rs 1 crore) in Siftr Labs last year, an exit, the statement added.

“We have only made a partial exit and it will be about two years before we make a complete exit. While I will not be able to reveal the multiple, I can say that it will be a double digit exit,” Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, co-founder of Venture Catalysts told VCCircle over a telephonic interaction.

Siftr Labs was founded in 2015 by Romil Mittal and Mayank Bhagya. Mittal has a decade’s experience at Adobe, and Bhagya is an NIT Suratkal graduate who was a technical architect at Adobe. Siftr Labs uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to help photographers manage their photographs. Its first product, Siftr Photo Websites, curates users’ photos from their social media accounts such as Instagram, Flickr and Facebook on a single platform. The firm’s other product Siftr Magic enables users to delete junk and irrelevant photos on their devices.

Venture Catalysts has facilitated total investment of $3 million (Rs 20 crore) in 16 startups till date. The platform typically makes investments in the range of $100,000 to $500,000 in early stage startups acoss sectors such as e-commerce, fintech, artificial intelligence, and logistics among others. Currently, the platform has more than 2,000 investors associated with it. Some of its other portfolio firms include AI-based data analytics platform vPhrase, Bangalore-based train ticket discovery platform ConfirmTKT, Mumbai-based online peer-to-peer lending startup LenDen Club and fashion e-commerce platform Coutloot among others.

A couple of days ago, online fashion marketplace Fynd, run by Shopsense Retail Technologies Pvt. Ltd, raised $500,000 (Rs 3.3 crore) from Venture Catalysts in its Series A round of investment.

As part of its engagement strategy with the Indian startup ecosystem, APUS had last year floated a fund in India with an initial corpus of Rs 300 crore (about $45 million) to invest in startups in the mobile internet space.

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