The start-up ecosystem seems to be holding up the jury is still out on this as these are still early days.
Will the economic slowdown bite the Indian Start-up ecosystem? This is the question that many people are asking… while several sectors including automobile, real estate, financial services - non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) in particular, and manufacturing have shown signs of impact from this economic slowdown. The start-up ecosystem seems to be holding up the jury is still out on this as these are still early days.
In the last few years several start-ups have raised millions. While the valuations game is still not fully understood,and funding continues to be a double-edged sword. While funding is crucial for all types of companies, a well-funded company can create immense value and disrupt markets, mismanagement of funds or over funding can be a recipe for disaster.
The Indian start-up environment is highly unforgiving. Failures are not celebrated but looked down on so a failed enterprise entrepreneur will find it difficult to regain investor confidence. Entrepreneurs sometimes lack the understanding as to if he needs to expose himself to fresh funding and what needs to be done. There is a need for start-ups to get access to a good mentor or advisor.
Operating in this very environment is what Radar India Advisors does. Radar India Advisors was founded with the objective to be an advisor to these start-ups and also help them with access to funds. Set up in 2017, Radar India Advisors is an entrepreneur led outfit built to empower and engage entrepreneurs in their various stages of growth. The management of Radar has built and exited 3 different businesses themselves which helps the sensitise first time and even veteran entrepreneurs.
In the last 2 years, the investments in start-ups advised by Radar has grown 10 times. Some of the start-ups managed by Radar include Smartivity, Avishkar Box, Coffee bond, Clevergene Biocorp and Pikapika.
In the case of Smartivity and Avishkar Box, has worked closely right from the seed stage funding. Radar facilitated an early stage investment of Rs 60 lakhs from S Chand group into Smartivity. Today, Smartivity has raised a total of 22 crores is currently valued at 100 cr that’s a jump in valuation from 2 cr to 100 cr in 4 years. The revenues of Smartivity stand at Rs 20 cr. Similarly, Radar India Advisors was instrumental in facilitating a Pre-Series A funding of Rs 5 crore into Avishkar Box from Auxano Trust, their revenues stand at 18crore a jump of 800% from the initial 2cr. They are currently valued at 100cr.
In the case of Coffee Bond, Radar facilitated a “Pre Series A” funding of Rs 1.5 crore from Auxano Trust in January 2019- revenue jump from Rs 80 Lakhs annually to Rs 3.23 crores in one year and their footprint has grown from one cafe outlet to 13 outlets of sale.
Rahul Gupta, CEO, Radar India Advisors
Clevergene Biocorp another company advised by Radar is in the process of closing a Pre-Series A funding from Auxano Trust and has seen a revenue jump from 2 crore to 6 crore(expected for FY 2019-20). PikaPika a kids app to censor content on phone for kids is another client for whom Radar has raised Rs 1 crore from Auxano trust in October and they have seen a big spike in users.
Speaking on the success that Radar has had so far Rahul Gupta CEO, Radar India Advisors Said, “It is important that when working with any start-up, it is critical that we understand what to look for I believe there are six main points that we need to look at, number one is to look for the right fight entrepreneur in diverse industries. People who understand their business and the environment they operate in. Number two is to build a personal touch with the entrepreneurs. Number three is to put your money where your mouth is or to invest into the client yourself. Number four is to look for businesses who are solution providers and not valuation hunters. And finally, we try and give PE level advisory to startups. In terms of investors we work with a host of family offices as well as big business houses like S Chand and Auxano trust, here the key is to Giving investors a sector agnostic approach and a wide range of businesses to invest in.”
Radar India Advisors has been steadily adding to its portfolio and is currently advising the Made Easy group on strategy and investment in start-ups. Made Easy has revenues of over Rs 400 cr.