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Venture Catalysts leads funding for marketing platform ClanConnect.ai
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Irida Interactive Pvt Ltd, which operates influencer marketing platform ClanConnect.ai infused with artificial intelligence, has raised Rs 5 crore ($680,000 at current exchange rates) in a seed funding round.

The round in the Delhi-based firm has been led by startup incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts, along with participation from angel investors including Forest Essentials managing director Samarth Bedi and Droom founder Sandeep Aggarwal.

Haptik co-founder Aakrit Vaish and Redchillies VFX chief creative officer Haresh Hingorani also took part in the seed round, ClanConnect.ai said in a statement.

ClanConnect.ai was set up by Kunal Kishore Sinha, co-founder of public relations agency Value 360 Communications; Sagar Pushp, former head of digital media at Cheil India; and filmmaker Anshai Lal.

The company says its platform allows brands to make their influencer-focussed marketing campaigns more data and result-oriented. It offers up to 30 different parameters to quantify the reach and suitability of an influencer and allows for simpler communication between all parties using features such as analytics and progress reports.

“With the pandemic giving boost to digital adoption, we are confident that people-to-people marketing will become a mainstream marketing tool,” Venture Catalysts co-founder and president Apoorva Ranjan Sharma said.

Pushp added that ClanConnect.ai’s marketing and collaboration platform would be able to help address the largely untapped network of influencers across sectors in the country.

Some segments that the startup says it is focussing on include automobile, travel, fashion, fitness, food, lifestyle, and technology. It says its platform also lets smaller influencers engage with large brands.

Venture Catalysts

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

It has made several bets despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. At the start of this month, it announced that it had hit the first close of its maiden vehicle – the 9Unicorns Accelerator Fund – at Rs 100 crore (around $13.7 million).

Some of its bets this year include chit-fund platform The Money Club, herbal products brand Green Cure, robotics startup Peppermint, blue-collar-focussed recruitment platform MyKaam, dietary supplement brand Power Gummies, and insure-tech startup Insurance Samadhan.

Venture Catalysts said its network of high-net-worth individual investors had struck 60 investment deals and 27 exit transactions in 2019. Last year marked the largest number of exits since its inception in 2015; it had made only three portfolio exits in 2018 and none prior to that.

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