LetsVenture, an online deal-making platform that connects startups with investors, has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round led by Accel Partners, People Group's Anupam Mittal and 16 other investors.
Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Wipro’s Rishad Premji, Manipal Global Education’s Mohandas Pai and Freshdesk’s Girish Mathrubootham among others, have put money in LetsVenture, as per a press statement.
As part of the transaction, iSPIRT's Sharad Sharma and Sanat Rao have joined the advisory board of LetsVenture.
"In the last year, LetsVenture has unlocked a new category of angel investors online—entrepreneurs-turned investors, second-generation family businesses and global Indians who are looking for a trusted marketplace to discover high-quality, curated Indian startups they could invest in," said Shanti Mohan, founder of LetsVenture.
Founded in 2013 by Shanti Mohan and Sanjay Jha, LetsVenture currently has more than 5,400 registered startups and about 1,300 investors from 20 countries on its platform. LetsVenture claims to have assisted in raising around $17 million for 53 startups to date.
“Although we had a lot of angel funding groups, we never had a systematic market where angel investors can invest," Nilekani said.
“Just like the last 10 years was about creating doctors and engineers, this decade will be about creating entrepreneurs. It's a foundational period now. To have a high success rate, we need high failure rate, and for that we need more risk capital,” he added.
In the last few months, startups such as Amigobulls, Belita, Inkmonk, Ketto, PosterGully, iTraveller, Aureus Analytics and Testbook.com among others raised funding via LetsVenture. Startups can sign up with LetsVenture for free. However, LetsVenture charges a syndicate fee of two per cent for the funds raised on its platform. Of the two per cent, LetsVenture has the option of investing one per cent back into the startup as equity.
LetsVenture also allows startups to get their business plans reviewed by experts and helps them connect with mentors. The firm’s legal partner is Bangalore-based K Law, which helps startups/investors draft term sheets and shareholder agreements.
In May 2014, Bangalore-based LetsVenture had received Rs 4 crore in seed funding from 21 investors led by Eka Software’s co-founder Manav Garg, InMobi’s co-founder Naveen Tewari, angel investor Rajan Anandan and iSPIRT’s Sharad Sharma.
LetsVenture plans to double its team to 40 from 22 by the end of the current year. It had recently launched an education technology incubator.
LetsVenture competes with the likes of Globevestor and ah!Ventures in India, and is often compared with AngelList in the US.
Unlike in India, the quantum of early-stage investments in the US is equal or more than the total quantum of late-stage investments. In the US, early-stage companies captured $15.8 billion in investments in 2014, while late-stage deals amounted to $12 billion, according to a report by PwC and National Venture Capital Association.
A recent study by NASSCOM and Zinnov Consulting had noted that India’s startup ecosystem is being propelled by a 123 per cent rise in the country’s active investor count. While the number of startup accelerators and incubators in India grew 40 per cent to 110 this year, the angel investor count grew 150 per cent to 292, the study found.