After its debut investment in MeriCAR.com, an online auto portal, MyFirstCheque, a seed-stage sector-agnostic fund is all set to sign its second investment for mKay, an online technical start-up. The technology firm aims to provide solutions, services and products for various domains such as IT, education, legal, healthcare, agriculture and social welfare.
The tech start-up has been founded by Karunjay Anand who is an IT professional with analytical, organisational and planning skills. He holds an M.Tech degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Jadavpur University and earlier worked with Wipro Technology for three years as software engineer. Anand then moved to Artoo, a tech start-up that builds software for the microfinance industry.
The company has launched its first pilot project – a web-based service called – which is likely to solve the problem that both a college applicant and an educational institution face during admission. “This service will benefit both applicants and institutions. It will help applicants fill just one application form and apply to multiple institutions at one go. Also, an applicant can instantly find all institutions at a given location. On the other hand, an institution also finds it easy to invite applications and shortlist those through , simply by creating the institution profile on ,” detailed Anand.
Also, Online Enrol Enlist Service (OEES) by mKay will automate and streamline application procedure by managing application forms, admission procedures, applicant profiles, fee payment modes and applicant-institution interactions on a single virtual platform.
According to Gautam Sinha, founder of MyFirstCheque, two things about the company have drawn the attention of the fund. First, it is the business model that is based on a huge education market in India and secondly, the profile of the entrepreneur is also important. “Anand is the strong player in the market with proper knowledge and experience, and he understands the business model very well. He is persistent and quite able to understand the market and its need. Also, we like the whole business model and the concept, and the way Anand is approaching institutions across the country to automate admission procedure. At the same time, simplifying the whole process within a short span of time makes it hassle free,” said Sinha.
As the name suggests, MyFirstCheque literally cuts the first cheque for the investee company, typically looks at an average investment of Rs 20 lakh in a start-up. The fund is eyeing an equity stake between 15 and 25 per cent in its portfolio firms.
The fund was established by entrepreneur Gautam Sinha (who operated TVA Infotech), along with his friends Monisha Advani (co-founder of executive search firm EmmayHR which was acquired by global leader Randstad Holding) and Prahlad Rao (director of Thomson Assessments Pvt Ltd).
MyFirstCheque follows the co-fun model of investing, as the fund occupies a role akin to a co-founder in its investee. So, the focus of the fund is on hands-on execution. Only two months ago, the fund had closed its debut investment with MeriCAR.com that helps car owners to search the neighbourhood car service centres, connect to the right car workshop and save on car servicing bill.
The Indian early stage investment ecosystem has seen a few new entrants in recent times such as Morpheus Venture Partners (that invests about Rs 5 lakh in a start-up), Grow VC (a crowd-funding programme) and Kolkata-based Seeders (that invests Rs 5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh in technology start-ups). Apart from these, there are organised angel networks such as Mumbai Angels, Chennai Fund and Indian Angel Network which are active in early stage investing.
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