money, funding, ian

Kstart, a start-up accelerator that is being run by VC firm Kalaari Capital, has today announced that it has invested $5,00,000 each in three start-ups in healthcare, financial services and online video content management.

The startups in which the firm has invested includes, Affordplan and Indee., founded by Ravi Shankar, Parikshit Paspulati and Shankar Narayanan, provides a tech platform for banks, wealth managers and financial services companies to interact with customers.

Affordplan is a technology product for doctors and patients to co-design payment plans for non-emergency healthcare services. Indee, founded by Sharan Reddy, is a web video streaming platform that helps film studios and entertainment companies to promote and test their content before releasing it to viewers.

Unlike most other VC firms in India, Kalaari Capital has stayed away from seed-stage investment till now. However, with its Kstart program, it is focusing on early stage startups.

KStart was launched in February with around $20 million allocated for the programme over the next two years to invest in around 40 startups. It will invest $100,000-500,000 in 6 to 9 other start-ups this year. Vaani Kola, MD of Kalaari Capital, said,

The three start-ups that we have picked out from the first batch of more than 40 are all run by relatively mature entrepreneurs. The three fields – financial services, healthcare and online video content management – are all large and the three start-ups are also at a stage where they require that much capital.

We are investing about $500,000 in each of them through a convertible note so that they can keep their options open in terms of future dilution and valuation.

To ensure that the startups under its program gets best advise for mentors, Kstart has gathered a set of notable advisers such as Ratan Tata, Zia Mody, Rajan Anandan, Varsha Rao, among others.

Kalaari Capital, which was launched in 2006 by Vaani Kola, has assets worth around $650 million under management including its third fund of $290 million that was launched last September.

The firm has invested in startup such as eCommerce platform Flipkart & Snapdeal, online furniture store Urban Ladder, education technology start-up Simplilearn and online lingerie store Zivame.

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