Kstart, a seed initiative by Kalaari Capital, announced that two of their portfolio companies – Active Intelligence and AffordPlan – have raised Series-A funding from IDG and Prime Ventures respectively. Kalaari Capital also participated in both funding rounds.

AffordPlan is an alternative finance platform that enables healthcare affordability through planned savings. Hospitals and patients can co-design flexi payment plans so that patients can obtain medical treatment and products through a manageable payment structure developed based on individual need and cash flow. Founded by Tejbir Singh (CEO) and Hemal Bhatt (COO), AffordPlan looks to address a large problem that affects a sizable chunk of the Indian population.

Active Intelligence is an AI service platform for financial services. The platform is designed to automate customer interactions, using insights powered by algorithms. Co-founded by Ravi Shankar, Shankar Narayanan and Parikshit Paspulati, the Active AI team’s expertise enables the platform to be deeply connected to a financials platform via APIs or messaging interfaces, thereby automating customer service at a lower cost.

Speaking about the companies, Kalaari Capital MD Vani Kola says “AffordPlan started with a massive problem that they identified, one that is underserved and unmet today. They then brought together deep domain expertise to understand the nuances of the problem, and creating a solution for it. They did all of that in a structured but condensed time period.” Speaking about Active Intelligence, she continues, “They have a very impressive team. They come from many years of significant management experience in the banking industry, a deep network of relationships, and a lot of domain understanding”

These are the first companies to graduate from the Kstart seed initiative to the Kalaari portfolio.

“The biggest advantage we have from a Kalaari standpoint when we work with Kstart companies, is the previously unavailable ability to observe these companies at very close quarters – the way they challenge each other as a team, the way they solve problems, the way they define and refine their strategy”, says Bala Srinivasa, Partner at Kalaari Capital. “This makes it a lot easier when they come to us for Series-A funding. Having seen them through their journey so far, we have great conviction in being able to back them.”

Muthiah Venkateswaran, Partner at Kstart adds, “Both companies have displayed incredible resilience and focus on the end game. As a startup, it is easy to get swept up in the hundreds of things you can do, and lose sight of what you need to do. Both Active Intelligence and AffordPlan have stayed focused on what they needed to do to scale and succeed, and the Kstart team is excited to watch them grow.”

The company founders expressed excitement, adding that the Kstart program played an important role in supporting and preparing them for the leap to Series-A. Says Tejbir Singh of AffordPlan, “Kstart has been a wonderful experience, with a mix of great people and invaluable advice. We feel like we had the best of both worlds – the early-stage ecosystem and guidance of Kstart, and the mature environment and mentorship of Kalaari. It has been a rich experience.”
Ravi Shankar of Active Intelligence concurs, “We were one of the first companies to enter Kstart, and it has been a fascinating ride. We had the benefit of having Bala from Kalaari be on our board from the very beginning, and have had several in-depth interactions with other senior members of Kalaari, including Vani [Kola]. Both Kstart and Kalaari are constantly enabling us to be a successful company in a competitive market.”

Active Intelligence raised $3 million in a joint round with IDG Ventures and Kalaari Capital, while AffordPlan raised $3 million in a joint round with Prime Ventures and Kalaari Capital.

Image Source: ShutterStock

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