- The three startups – Perspect.AI, Millet Bowl and Lauriko have received the funding that will enable them to accelerate their growth journey.
- T-Fund initiative to create an investment portfolio of around 100 startups in the next five years.
India, 28 March 2022: T-Hub, which leads India’s pioneering innovation ecosystem, today announced that it has disbursed INR 15 million to three startups through T-Fund. The selected startups, Perspect.Ai received INR 1 crore, Millet Bowl and Lauriko received INR 25 lakhs each.
T-Fund is led by the Telangana government under its State Innovation Policy to support early-stage technology startups of Telangana with funding that will be sponsored by the ITE&C Department. The Telangana government has appointed T-Hub as the Investment Manager for this fund and allocated INR 15 Cr in the budget of 2021-22 to initiate the T-Fund operations. T-Fund plans to fund 15-20 startups each year with an average ticket size of INR 25 lakh to 1 crore to each startup, with an aim to support around 100 startups over the course of five years.
MSR, CEO of T-Hub said, “Startups have the potential to become engines of job creation, and each successful startup helps us in creating a robust and thriving innovation ecosystem. With T-Fund, our priority is to accelerate the process to innovate and provide scaling opportunities with funding support to the deserving startups. Ultimately, benefiting entrepreneurs to get enabled for the growth in global markets.”
T-Fund is primarily a Co-Investment Fund where it shall invest alongside established Angels, Angel Networks, and venture capitalists. It will primarily invest in equity, equity-linked instruments, compulsory convertible debt instruments, and other instruments such as compulsory convertible preference shares (CCPS) and compulsorily convertible debentures (CCDs).
T-Hub as the Investment Manager will be formulating investment and business development strategies for the T-Fund and will keep constantly updating them. For the fund, it will source startups from various sectors including but not restricted to Information Technology, Cleantech, AgriTech, FinTech, Health-tech, Logistics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, AR/VR, Hardware, Blockchain, and Consumer Tech.
T-Hub has appointed an Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) of members to operate and manage the fund efficiently. The IAC includes industry experts, government representatives and investors, namely Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) Departments of the Telangana government, BVR Mohan Reddy, Director and Founder of Cyient, Sateesh Andra, Managing Director at Endiya Partners, Venkat Vallabhaneni, Managing Partner in Inflexor Technology Fund and IDFC Parampara Early-Stage Opportunities Fund, Keshav G V, Vice President of GVK– Airports and Managing Partner of Reddy Futures Fund, and Uma Kollareddy, Executive Director at Midwest Group.
Various metrics of evaluation are considered before selecting the startups and deciding the funding amount as it is an early growth fund. The startups were selected based on the following criteria which were evaluated by IAC.
- The startup should be incorporated in the state of Telangana or have Telangana as a principal place of business with at least 50% of the qualified workforce based out of the state.
- The startup should have an innovative product/service and past the stage of an MVP.
- The startup should be able to demonstrate the size of the large market that they are addressing, a clear pain point for the target market, early success in serving the market, and a team that is geared up for growth.
- The startup should have received commitments for at least 50% of the total fund-raise for the current round in the form of a signed term sheet.
- The startup should have clocked early revenues.
The funds will be utilized by the startups for market entry, commercialization, and growth to ensure that they scale from their current stage. A substantial proportion of funds will be diverted towards marketing efforts, hiring good talent and expansion. The startups will focus on achieving their next milestone set based on their projections and T-Hub will extend all the support in terms of mentoring, access to potential clients, distribution networks and corporate connections to help the startups achieve the same.
T-Hub will continue to curate and work on funding initiatives like these along with governments’ support. Interested startups can apply for T-Fund using this link https://bit.ly/3D5wJvU.
Testimonial from selected three startups:
- Jignesh Talasila, Co-founder & CEO of Perspect.AI said, “We took a terrible hit during the first wave and, with great determination, have pivoted and rebuilt an entire product. T-Fund investing in PerspectAI is a strong validation of the excellent show my team has put up in the past 18 months. This money will help us reach our next milestone at least six months in advance— by strengthening our product and sales teams.”
- Sanjay Kumar, CEO and Managing Director of Millet Bowl said, “With an aim to provide healthy, transparently sourced, and sustainable food, Millet Bowl is strongly working towards increasing the level of healthy snacking games with its innovative products. We are thankful to T-Hub and T-Fund initiative for this fund which will be utilized for scaling up and reaching out to consumers across India. This fund will also enable us in providing incentives and equitable benefits to the millet farmers in Telangana.
- Lavanya Sunkari, Founder and CEO of Lauriko said, “Being World’s 1st D2C brand to work on Lauric composition in the Nutraceutical segment, we shall utilize the current funds towards research and development(R&D), technology and team expansion. We are incredibly thankful to our customers, team, existing investors and T-Hub for believing in us.”