Startup incubator Venture Catalysts has made the first round of its accelerator fund 9Unicorns at 100 crores. Modeled on the lines of Silicon Valley’s influential startup accelerator Y Combinator, the fund has a target of 300 crores.
It plans on investing in over 100 early-stage startups, with the goal of writing the first external cheque. Venture Catalysts has in the past backed startups such as BharatPe, Beardo, PeeSafe, and Fynd. 9Unicorns will offer $100,000 for 5-7% equity per startup, along with a focussed three-month mentorship program.
Shortlisted startups would then be eligible for a follow-on round of $500,000 to $2 million funded by a syndicate of VCats Network and global VC funds. “We are witnessing a surge in startups who are focused on solving Indian and global problems born out of various parts of India,” Apoorva Sharma, partner at 9Unicorns, told ET.
In a highly-competitive early-stage ecosystem, Sharma says the key differentiator for the accelerator lies in its vast network of over 4,000 investors, founders, and executives spread across smaller towns and cities, enabling startups to get early customers and forge distribution partnerships.