gradCapital, India’s youngest student focused VC-backed by CIIE.CO, will host its demo day on November 27, 2021.
IIM-A and BITS Pilani graduates Abhishek Sethi and Prateek Behera launched gradCapital, a $1 million fund, to support and invest in startups founded by college students earlier this year, and are back with a demo day. It has invested $25,000 in 8 startups till date, 6 of which will go on the stage on 27th November.
The demo day is taking place after a strong 8-week long acceleration program, during which the startups met investors, operators, founders, and CXOs of startups.
Some of the investors included Ankur Warikoo, Sanjeev Bikhchandani (InfoEdge), Kailash Nadh (CTO, Zerodha), Mikhil Innani (Co-founder, Pharmeasy) amongst others. The demo day will be spanning across Indian and US investors, attracting interest from both national and international investing communities. About 100+ investors have already shown interest in the proceedings, for all members interested you can check out via this RSVP link (https://bit.ly/gradcapital).
The demo day will be moderated by three panelists, Anand Datta (Nexus Venture Partners), Farooq Adam (Co-founder, Fynd), and Swati Murarka (Inventus Capital India). Every pitch will be followed by questions from the panelists, followed by intent from fellow investors.
Prateek Behera, Co-Founder stated, “We have some exceptional students building really interesting products in our cohort. Surprisingly, 33 percent of the startups have founders who have dropped out of college. One has not even joined college. Before gC was even formalised, we had Aadit building Zepto (KiranaKart) in 12th grade last year in our experimental cohort. Now, he has gone on to raise $60m! Our belief in students has grown stronger every day, and hence this demo day is to showcase and transfer this belief to the outside world”
Here’s a brief on the companies participating in the Demo Day:
Beet: Beet launched an app that was in beta launched in a village, amassing 12,000+ downloads, engaging with 70 percent of the village population. The app allows people to make groups, communicate through text and short-form video and use other tools for enabling commerce. The team is being led by two brothers who sold their previous venture to an Indian unicorn.
AirBound: Backed by Peter Thiel’s 1517 fund, Airbound is building a drone with the ability to take off without an expensive launchpad & runs at high speeds. Due to this, they save more than 10x the costs used to build infrastructure. Naman & Faraaz are drop-outs who self-learned aeronautics, electronics and fluid mechanics. AirBound’s vision is to enable SMEs to use drones for hyper-local delivery.
Listnr: Listnr aims to become the Canva for audio. It lets users create, edit, distribute and monetise their audio in one place. The company has generated more than $300,000 in revenue from 9,000+ users in the past six months. Ananay is a dropout from York University.
Valerio Electric: With 10+ executed orders & 100+ pre-orders, Valerio Electric is competing to provide affordable EV charging points for all parking lots. The included IoT module provides battery health, electricity consumption and other assessments. Founders are recent BITS Pilani graduates, having built their first EV together in college.
YoZu: Yozu is building an AI companion for students to help students become better learners, having both founders hailing from IIT Bombay. They are empowering students to address their curiosity - which is otherwise killed in traditional education systems. 500+ students are part of their beta family.
Ripen: Ripen is a go-to adulting app for Gen Z. It takes a community-first approach to achieve goals together by enabling product discovery, cohorts and content. The solo founder from SRCC is on his way to a second venture after successfully launching his first. It is currently beta testing with 200+ users.
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