TapChief, the PitchOff Season 3 finalist startup which enables users to seek professional advice from industry experts in any domain via a simple phone call has received a fresh undisclosed investment from Paytm, the largest digital payment company. This funding round also saw participation from a cohort of angel investors including Aprameya Radhakrishna of TaxiSure, Subramanya Venkat of Fisdom, & Venk Krishnan of NuVentures, among others.

This funding round follows pursuit to the previous $150k investment by Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma earlier this year. It will enable the company to invest in product development and focus on its next phase of growth. The company has already completed over 50,000 minutes worth of interactions. But as told exclusively to The Tech Portal, it intends to scale its interactions to about 1.5 – 2 million minutes by the end of December 2017.

Commenting on the fundraising round, TapChief CEO Shashank Murali, says,

There is a strong onus on skill development across sectors due to the rapid pace at which the industry is evolving. Our vision is to break the numerous barriers in knowledge sharing through this thriving open community of help-seekers & experts across the globe. The backing of a strong consumer-centric brand like PayTm will help us gear up for the next phase of growth.

This cohesive advice platform was founded by BITS Pilani alumni Shashank Murali, Binay Krishna & Arjun Krishna earlier this year itself. It was launched with the primary aim of facilitating the discovery of experts and intuitively scheduling phone calls with them across numerous domains.

Currently, TapChief enables users to connect and schedule calls with any of the 5,000 listed experts on the platform. These experts, which include CEOs, entrepreneurs, consultants & senior executives from over two thousand organisations, facilitates career and business advice. It allows every expert to set their own consultation charges and the company charges a fixed commission on every paid consultation on the platform. Over 40 percent experts do consultations on a pro-bono basis while other who do charge for their time usually donate earnings to charitable organisations and NGOs.

The company also runs a Job Coach Program, which enables students to gain training for job interviews and placements by professionals from a company of their choice. In a telephonic conversation, Shashank has shared with us that TapChief plans to move beyond the 1-on-1 conversations and utilize the knowledge bank of its experts to create new offerings in the form of the aforementioned ‘Coach’ model.

In the coming months, one could expect to see a wide variety of these coach models for higher studies, data analytics, marketing and other specific skill sets. This will work on a long-term mentoring model and enable you to have a continuous engagement with any expert through a structured program, adds Shashank.

Commenting on the round, Paytm CFO Madhur Deora, says,

There is a strong onus on skill development across sectors as India’s startup landscape evolves.

This is Paytm’s fifth investment into a startup who is leading the race on the innovation front in India. CEO Vijay Sharma had already tested the waters with an investment in his personal capacity, before making a commitment on the company’s name.

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