New Delhi-based Information Technology and Services company Technology 9 Labs (T9L), which touts itself as India's first startup studio, has received an undisclosed strategic investment from Japanese venture fund Spiral Ventures and MyNavi Corporation.

T9L was founded in 2005 by Fahad Moti Khan, a serial entrepreneur who has incubated, founded, funded, advised and validated new business ideas across finance, consumer internet, media, food, fashion, CRM and digital marketing - some of which have grown into established businesses - the rest were buried with learnings and fond memories. Nitin Awasthi joined T9L as a co-founder and COO in 2013 with the vision firmly on early stage companies.

Since it’s pivot to a Startup Studio in 2014, T9L has helped launch 16 companies generating a cumulative worth in the approximation of US$ 200 million. These startups include Pluss, a hyperlocal medicine delivery app acquired NetMeds, in 2017, Crownit, Docquity, crowdfunding platform BitGiving and Gigstart, a marketplace platform for artists eventually acquired by Kwan Entertainment.

Fahad Moti Khan, Founder, T9L said "Internationally start-up studios are fast emerging as an exciting and new way to build successful companies through a proven model. We at T9L partner with select founders and help them bring new ideas to life. We will deploy these funds to build a robust ecosystem to help grow businesses using our strengths and those of our partners".

Established in 2014, T9L has so far worked with 19 companies including NirogStreet, and Docquity, among others. “We are looking at working with 200 startups over the next five years, in India, as well as South East Asia, Latin America and Africa,” he said. While sector agnostic, the studio would try and work with startups that are either made for India and targeting Indian consumers or are made in India.

Yasuhiro Seo, General Partner, Spiral Ventures said, “Japanese investors’ especially corporate investors who aim strategic synergy with Indian local businesses have been extremely bullish nowadays. The challenge lies in the identification of the strong businesses and investing at the right time. T9L has a vast experience and passionate team to powerfully elevate potential companies to the growth stage, which the most early stage start-ups tend to struggle. It has been an amazing journey of over two years with T9L and 6 out of our 7 investments in India have been T9L's portfolio. Going forward we strongly believe that with T9L, we can build one of the strongest start-up ecosystem and tech community, together with technology building, fully connected with industry's stakeholders, and motivating the community".

Hidekazu Ito, Director, MyNavi Corporation said “We’re seeking to build a network of partners and invest in promising ideas at all stage of operation. We want to be actively involved in India's growth story through our collaboration with T9L in the long run and we needed a trusted partner who understands the local market and T9L was an ideal fit for us."

Source - Economic Times

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