Venture Catalysts Group (Vcats++), an integrated incubator and full-fledged investor for early-stage startups, has announced that around 54 of its portfolio startups have passed $50 million valuation this year. Despite tough times that led to a 70 percent decline in funding this year, Venture Catalysts grew substantially, hosting more than 33 Soonicorns and more than 100 Minicorns. Individual valuations of at least two dozen companies have surpassed $100 million and some three startups – Shiprocket, BharatPe and Vendantu – have achieved unicorn status in the past year.
Vcats++ is an early growth stage fund that includes five funds ranging from seed stage to sector focus. The company first launched its $150 million accelerator fund in 2020, after which it launched four more, including the Venture Catalysts Angel Fund, a $200 million fintech-focused fund called Beams, the proptech fund Spyre, and the agnostic fund of the $200 million growth stage sector Elev8. The group has a combined portfolio of more than 300 startups whose consolidated valuation is pegged at around $10 billion, making it the largest early-stage investment platform in the country.
“Valuations take on importance at a time when fears around a possible funding winter continue to spook investors and startups not only in India but also around the world. It talks a lot about the growth and upswings of the portfolio companies. Most of our portfolios have done extremely well over the last two years and we see at least 3-4 Unicorns spinning next year,” he said. Dr Apoorva Ranjan SharmaCo-founder of Venture Catalysts Group.
The company, which has three other co-founders – anil jain, Anuj Golecha Y Gaurav Jain, also aims to close 100 exits and up-rounds by calendar year 2022. Venture Catalysts has invested in 301 deals across 200 startups since its inception, making it the leading early-stage investment platform in the India. Venture Catalysts believes in the strong mentorship program and timely guidance it provides to its portfolio that has helped those generate higher valuation rounds and help startups with the meaningful connections they need as they grow.
Speaking about the support that Venture Catalysts has provided, Somdutta Assidius said: “Finding a good mentor is the ‘secret sauce’ to a startup’s success, and 9Unicorns and VCAT have been the guiding force for Assiduus Global. We receive support and resources from 9Unicorn to fuel our growth. When properly equipped, we have been able to take Assiduus to establish our presence in our sector throughout the world. We were able to get off the ground effortlessly and quickly in the real world thanks to mentorship, financial insights, potential business opportunities, industry networking and access to a global network to provide comprehensive support,” he said. Somdutta Singhfounder and CEO of Assiduus Global.
Venture Catalysts has driven early-stage investments worth $100 million (approximately INR 782.4 crore) through its network. Across 67 startups, 94 deals were executed, of which, 27 deals gave partial or full exits, while the rest witnessed up-rounds. Corresponding to 17 deals, 13 startups have been canceled due to lack of asset recovery, or given less than 1x return.
The integrated incubator has invested in startups with significant value propositions, investing in pre-seed, seed and Series A rounds, and has continued to support its portfolio in subsequent rounds. Some of the biggest companies included in their portfolio are BharatPe, Vedantu, Zingbus, Beardo, SuprDaily, Innov8, Home Capital, BlowHorn, among others. Venture Catalysts has not only supported startups from their formative stage and helped them maneuver through the growth stage, but has also democratized the startup ecosystem in the country. With over 3,000 angel investors present in 55 cities, Venture Catalysts has the largest network in the country where it has helped raise awareness of startup investing through its masterclasses and custom startup programs.
Reflecting on the growth of the venture capital industry, Dr. Sharma added: “The rise of startups in India has set a new benchmark for entrepreneurship around the world. Venture Catalysts has taken proactive steps to build a diverse and holistic portfolio of companies with high growth potential, leveraging capital, mentorship and our network of HNIs, Family Offices, CXOs and more. Our goal is to democratize the business ecosystem, allowing more investors to explore higher yielding asset classes to achieve profitable returns in faster turnaround time. As a by-product of these initiatives, we have also contributed to the creation of wealth and employment in the country”.