Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubator, has facilitated an investment of Rs. 25 lakhs in the start-up idea pitched by ERA, the winning team on the recently-concluded Droom.in MTV Dropout. Venture Catalysts also served as the investor and incubation partner for the show, which enables aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their disruptive ideas into a viable business. In addition to investing in the start-up, Venture Catalysts will mentor the entrepreneurs and host the team at its co-working facility for 6 months.
ERA, India’s first integrated identity management platform, provides its users a safe and secure way to share their identities with the world. By building an ecosystem of real identities, organisations would be able to reliably and seamlessly authenticate users without an expensive & cumbersome KYC process, be it at a physical location or an online portal. The winners and cofounders of Autentico Pvt. Ltd, Ajay Vishnu, Priyansha Jain, and Karmaditya Bagga, will use the funds to hire technologists, build underlying technology, and explore strategic partnerships.
Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and President, Venture Catalysts said, “Both start-up ideas pitched to us were innovative and promising. However, our decision to invest in ERA as a product was taken since blockchain is a rapidly growing product segment in financial technology, and the market potentialfor such a product is significantly greater. The team’s pitch and business plan were also stronger and more comprehensive, which influenced our final funding decision.”
The winning team commented, “Winning a one-of-its-kind reality show like MTV Dropout is a moment of great pride for us, and we are very thankful to MTV & Venture Catalysts for providing us with a platform to showcase our skills and establish a funded company that is poised to solve a growing real-world problem. We have a team with diverse skills and experience, butas a new start-up, we believewe have a lot to learn from the ecosystem that we have just entered. Each one of us looks forward to mentoring under VCats and learning the ropes under their highly-experienced mentors.”
Amit Patni, RAAY Global Investments, said, “Blockchain is one of the most innovative and futuristic technologies at present, with massive potential implications in the Indian financial services and banking sectors. The winning team’s entrepreneurial drive and innovative product stood out amongst the other contestants, and this led to our decision of backing the venture.”
The mentors on Droom.in MTV Dropout include Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder &CEO of Droom.in; Anisha Singh, Cofounder & CEO of Mydala.com; and Alok Kejriwal, Cofounder & CEO of Games2Win. The show, which has already generated massive user engagement, was initiated to provide an impetus to the India’s growing start-up ecosystem. It aims to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among Indian youth and to reduce their more-than-necessary reliance on academic qualifications or professional achievements.