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Venture Catalysts invests in former Pepperfry execs’ startup Cub McPaws
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Pochemuchka Kids Pvt. Ltd, which operates a children-focussed retail startup with augmented reality technology, has raised pre-seed funding from startup incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts.

Other investors that backed Cub McPaws include Pepperfry founder and CEO Ambareesh Murty, Venture Catalysts co-founder Anuj Golecha and Robin Joffe, a partner at Frost & Sullivan, Japan.

Company co-founder Kinnar Shah said in a statement the investment would help it in launching new products, scale its distribution capabilities and enhance its AR technology.

Cub McPaws, a direct-to-consumer brand that offers premium merchandise for children born after 2010, didn’t disclose the amount it raised.

“We plan to expand our customer base by reaching out to 200,000 additional customers over the coming months. We will also conduct hiring to on-board senior professionals who will help us drive growth and brand building,” Shah said.

Venture Catalysts founder Apoorv Ranjan Sharma said the incubator was confident in its investment because of Cub McPaws’ innovative product and service offerings.

“The market is still untapped and considering Cub McPaws’s stellar offering, I believe they can be the leaders in this space in a very short span,” Sharma said.

Mumbai-based Cub McPaws was founded by Shah and Abhay Bhat, both of whom were colleagues at Pepperfry. Its products include AR-enabled clothing line called Magic T-Shirts, and Terra, a chemical-free range of clothing.

Venture Catalysts

The firm was set up in December 2015 by Sharma, Golecha, Anil Jain and Gaurav Jain. It usually invests between $250,000 and $1 million in early-stage startups.

In August, it floated a fund, the 9Unicorns Fund, with a corpus of Rs 300 crore ($43.44 million) to help early-stage Indian startups expand their business. The fund will typically invest Rs 60 lakh for a 5% stake in a startup, and may put in additional Rs 3-5 crore in subsequent funding rounds depending on a company’s ability to meet its growth objectives.

Last month, it invested an undisclosed sum of money in WonDRx, a startup that seeks to bridge the gap between patients and healthcare providers through a data-driven approach. In October it took part in a seed funding round in online dermatology solutions provider Remedico.

In July, Venture Catalysts invested Rs 4 crore in Pariksha, a startup which helps aspirants prepare for government exams in their regional languages. It also put an undisclosed sum in Vested, an investment platform enabling Indian investors to invest in the US stock market.

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