Cross Border Angels commits $500K into eight startups
Mandar Gadkari, Head, APAC & MEA at Cross Border Angels

Cross Border Angels (CBA), the investment network started by US-based Scaale Group three years ago, has committed to invest at least $500,000 (Rs 3.3 crore) in eight Indian startups, a top executive told VCCircle.

“We are looking if we can raise our investment commitment to as much as $1 million,” said Mandar Gadkari, who heads the network’s Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa operations.

The eight were selected from about 100 companies that pitched for funding at the second edition of ‘Startup India Rocks’, the CBA’s annual conference, held at Bangalore recently.

The 100-odd participants were shortlisted from more than 1,000 startups that the CBA reached out to as part of a 16-city road show held across the country during August-September 2016. About 75 corporate houses and investors took part in the conference, said Gadkari.

The eight selected companies are also looking to raise around $2-3 million in total from other investors. “We are in discussions with various investors to close the funding rounds,” he said, but refused to divulge details of the other investors.

The selected startups operate in segments such as education technology, real estate tech, gaming, health tech and B2B marketplaces. The startups include Mumbai-based Shirsa Labs Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad-based EdgeFx Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Jaipur’s eShiksa and Pune-based 14Square.

Gadkari declined to name the other startups due to confidentiality reasons.

Shirsa Labs designs educational products and experiences for schoolchildren, in collaboration with parents, educationists and partners. In November 2015, Shirsa received $250,000 in angel funding from ah! Ventures.

EdgeFx provides do-it-yourself project kits for engineering students. eShiksa helps about 150 educational institutes manage their administrative, academic and accounting activities. The startup has received funding commitment of $100,000 and is looking to raise another $150,000 from CBA.

14Square, operated by Bricwealth Hospitality Pvt. Ltd, operates a chain of serviced apartments in 20 cities across India. The CBA first invested in the startup last year and is now putting in more money.

Cross Border Network was founded in 2014 by US-based serial entrepreneur Kaushal Chokshi. The platform has close to 100 investors registered on its platform from countries that include the US, the UK, China and Spain.

The CBA typically makes investments ranging from $250,000 to $1 million. While the network is sector agnostic, it is bullish on sectors that include Internet of Things, Big Data, robotics, education and clean energy. It has so far made 16 investments across the US, the UK, Spain, Estonia, Finland, India and Singapore, said Gadkari.

In India, the CBA’s earlier bets include Bangalore-based enterprise tech startup Stelae Technologies; Delhi-based 5By7, an online platform to order custom corporate gifts; Bangalore-based ed-tech startup Carveniche Technologies; and ed-tech startup Jay Robotix.

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