In a bid to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in cities beyond the metros, 9Unicorns, India’s first Accelerator VC fund, is roping in angel investors as venture partners. One such venture partner is Mr Parvesh Mehta, real estate developer and an industrial engineering professional-turned- angel investor from Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Mr. Mehta brings his tremendous company-building expertise and investor network to boost startup activity in the emerging cities and towns in India.
With keen eye for early investment opportunities, Mr Mehta was drawn towards the startup ecosystem by pumping in seed money in Droom, an online marketplace for used vehicles. The success of Droom becoming a Unicorn, led Mr Mehta to invest in 25 more startups since then. He also got associated with Venture Catalysts in 2018. 9Unicorns is the accelerator fund of Venture Catalysts.
Mr Mehta, as a Venture Partner at 9Unicorns, has committed around Rs 50 crore into the fund where he will along-with other investors, intend to help the entrepreneurs in smaller Indian cities and towns. He has already invested Rs 30 crore of his total commitment.
Welcoming Mr Mehta onboard, Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and MD, 9Unicorns, said, “We are excited to have Pravesh as a partner at 9Unicorns. His commitment towards our fund shows how successful business persons from tier II and tier III cities are interested in exploring their role as angel investors. As India’s largest integrated incubator and accelerator VC, it is our constant thrive to create a widespread network of investors beyond metros.”
In a career spanning over three decades, Mr. Mehta’s initiatives continue to make significant contributions to the city of Ahmedabad – from developing green residential projects on the expanding rural boundaries to leading heritage revitalisation in the heart of the old city. Partnering with 9 Unicorns, he envisions making Ahmedabad one of the leading hubs for Indian startups.
Mr. Mehta’s recent efforts have helped the accelerator achieve its first close of INR 100 crore. His current approach involves building local investor communities that bridge the enthusiasm of younger generations with the grounded understanding of seasoned professionals. These communities provide avenues for investor education and collaborative due diligence – nurturing a sustained interest and sense of comfort among new angel investors.
Pravesh Mehta, Venture Partner at 9Unicorns, commented, “I am extremely delighted to expand my collaboration with 9Unicorns. An accelerator-VC approach enables me to actively mentor startups throughout their growth journeys, and at the same time, keep it real for my investor communities. We see tremendous potential in mobilising startup and investment activity across tier II and tier III Indian cities, and I am thrilled to play a part in this journey”.
Mr Mehta is also, meanwhile, educating the business class residing in non-metros to look at startups as an alternate asset class and invest in promising idea stage companies for better returns.
“By investing in early-stage startups, the business community can not only get a chance to multiply their wealth bar better than what they could earn through traditional means but also get an opportunity to be a part of the country’s startup ecosystem. This is a win-win situation for everyone” Mehta said.
Initiatives such as 9Unicorns are needed to augment the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem. Engaging with this accelerator, startups will be able to access global VCs and family offices for series A/B, as well as, follow on committed investments of INR 3-15 crore by Venture Catalysts for deserving startups.
9Unicorns is an initiative by Venture Catalysts (VCats) founders — Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Anuj Golecha, Anil Jain and Gaurav Jain.