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Venture Catalysts’ fund leads pre-seed funding in fertility care firm Janani
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Janani, a startup aiming to develop a full-service fertility care platform providing personalised solutions, has raised Rs 1.5 crore (about $201,000) in a pre-seed funding round.

The round in Mothersense Technologies Pvt Ltd-operated Janani has been led by 9Unicorns, the venture fund set up by startup incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts.

Other participants in this round include Archana Priyadarshini and Sweta Rau via AngelList, as well as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) expert Nandita Palshetkar, and Astir Ventures partner Kishore Ganji.

Bengaluru-based Janani, set up by Nilay Mehrotra in June this year, says it is looking to make infertility treatments and assisted-fertilisation procedures more affordable and accessible.

The company says it will leverage features such as a laboratory environment and consultations with gynaecologists to achieve these objectives. It will use the capital it has raised for product development and developing infertility solutions.

“Janani is creating an AI and computer vision tool to help remove the subjectivity of embryologists while choosing the right embryo. This will increase the success rate of IVF and eventually help lower the costs,” Palshetkar said.

Venture Catalysts was set up in 2015 by Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Anuj Golecha, Anil Jain, and Gaurav Jain. It invests between $250,000 and $1.5 million in early-stage startups and provides networking and mentoring to its portfolio companies.

At the start of September, it hit the first close of the 9Unicorns Accelerator Fund – which is its maiden investment vehicle – at Rs 100 crore (around $13.7 million).

9Unicorns says it functions as a sector-agnostic fund. At the time of its first close, it said its investment plan will involve initially offering up to $100,000 for a 5-7% equity in a startup. Following an acceleration process, certain startups will be eligible for a follow-on round supplied by a syndicate of Venture Catalysts’ investors and other venture capital funds.

Last month, the fund led a seed round in Qans Consumer Products Pvt Ltd, which operates Generation Z-focussed snacks brand TagZ Foods.

Some of 9Unicorns' other bets include financial-technology firm Klub, deep-technology startup Deepsync, AI-based video meta-tagging platform Toch, education-technology startup Qin1, and fitness-focussed The Healthy Company.

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