Events & News

Going beyond investment to make a difference
: December 25, 2017

Rema Subramanian and Ritu Verma, co-founders and managing partners of impact investment venture capital firm Ankur Capital, come from entirely different backgrounds.When the two got together and started a venture capital firm, they decided to focus on start-ups that made an impact on the lives of a large number of people. Ankur Capital was born in 2014, when they set up their first fund.

The two decided to focus on agriculture, affordable healthcare and education, three sectors that they felt were in need of not just large amounts of capital, but also expertise in building and sustaining businesses.

The idea, according to Rema, was to focus on sectors where technology and innovation could make a difference. “We focus on affordability and accessibility,” she says.

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Google shortlists 4 Indian startups in the latest batch of Launchpad Accelerator
: December 1, 2017

Google has shortlisted four startups from India for the fifth batch of its mentorship program Launchpad Accelerator that kicks off on January 29, 2018, at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco.

Google shortlists 4 Indian startups in the latest batch of Launchpad AcceleratorGoogle has shortlisted four startups from India for the fifth batch of its mentorship program Launchpad Accelerator that kicks off on January 29, 2018, at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco.

Google said with this batch, a total of 30 Indian startups have so far joined the launchpad accelerator program from India. The four startups shortlisted in the current batch include:

Niramai: A breast cancer screening startup that is building a non-invasive, non-touch, non-radiation approach to detect breast cancer. It has raised funding from pi Ventures, Axilor Ventures, Ankur Capital, 500 Startups, and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal in April this year.

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How Skillveri is powering acquisition of skills with passion
: October 4, 2017

The name Skillveri can be read in two classical languages, Tamil and Latin. In Tamil, the name stands for acquiring skills with utmost passion. In Latin the name stands for the right or authentic skill and veri being the root word for verify, said Sabarinath C, CEO of Skillveri, a Chennai-based start up.

Founded by Sabarinath C and L Kannan, Skillveri, which pioneered India’s first welding simulator, is helping in addressing India’s skill gap.

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Agri-tech startup CropIn raises pre-Series A funding
: September 26, 2017

As reported by a leading daily, BEENEXT an investment fund established by Teruhide Sato, a famed Japanese ecommerce entrepreneur and investor has invested an amount thatis undisclosed in a pre-series A round of the agri-tech startup CropIn Technology Solutions, Bangalore.

In addition to an existing investor, Ankur Capital, another institutional investor from Boston, Invested Development has participated in this round. BEENEXT, based in Singapore is currently investing funds from its $60 million corpus and lists 30 companies in its portfolio of startups.

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CropIn's new app helps data-driven farming
: September 24, 2017

Bengaluru-based agri-tech company CropIn Technologies, which provides Software as a service (SaaS) based services to agribusinesses globally, wants to maximise per acre value of farmers, and make every farm traceable.

The company, which was founded in 2010, is targeting more farmers to use its newly launched app, which enables them to do connected and data driven farming.

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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Takes a Shine to Chennai Startup Skillveri
: September 22, 2017

Chief Minister of Delhi Shri. Arvind Kejriwal visited Skillveri, a startup showing great promise, during his visit to Chennai yesterday. Kejriwal discussed the role and potential of technology in enabling skill development among the youth with the Skillveri team. Backed by venture capital firms Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Ankur Capital, Skillveri aims to address India’s skill gap through its simulators.

The Skillveri team started off by describing to Kejriwal the company’s innovative simulators and its applications and then even led the Chief Minister through a detailed demonstration of their Aura series of welding simulators, the Chroma series of painting simulators (which recently won an award at NACE International CORCON in Mumbai), and veriSpray for painter skill assessment developed in-house. The team explained how the simulators would play a key role in upskilling youth across sectors through vocational training institutes in the country.

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This Indian agritech firm helps farmers predict yield and improve sales, thus saving them from bankruptcy and suicides
: September 20, 2017

CropIn claims to have digitised over 1.8M acres of farmland, impacting 500,000-plus farmers while working with 120-plus clients.

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With Over 125 Clients Across 12 Countries, CropIn Aims to be a Global Leader in AgTech Sector
: September 19, 2017

Krishna Kumar created AgTech startup, CropIn Technology in 2010, along with co-founders Kunal Prasad and Chittranjan Jena. The trio went on to develop a state of the art, innovative solutions system to address several pain points of various stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem globally.

Today, CropIn is one of the leading AgTech companies that provide SaaS based services to agribusinesses globally, with the vision to maximize per acre value and the mission to make every farm traceable. With robust solutions that are crop and region agnostic, CropIn has digitized over 1.8 million acres of farmland, enriching the lives of 500,000 + farmers while working with 125+ clients.

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Shot in the arm for Health Sutra
: June 25, 2017

Fountainhead Foods, the company behind Health Sutra brand of millet-based products, has raised investment from early stage venture capital fund Ankur Capital and Hyderabad Angels.

The money will be used to expand the distribution network, build the brand and introduce more products, a release said without giving details of the investment.

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Tech As a Bridge
: May 29, 2017

ThinkAg2030 aims to foster technological innovation in the agriculture sector

What piques your interest at ThinkAg2030 (hosted by Ankur Capital), a event for startups that develop advanced technological solutions to aid farmers initially is the number of tech firms involved in the sector.

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Ankur Capital Powers First ThinkAg2030 to Foster Collective Thinking on Future of Agriculture in India
: May 29, 2017

Between now and 2030 the planet's population is likely to rise to 8.5 billion, from 7.3 billion now. Those people will not only need to eat, they will want to eat better than people do now, because by then most are likely to have middling incomes, and many will be well off. Food and Agriculture Organisation, the United Nations' agency suggested that by 2030 agricultural production will have to rise by 45% to meet projected demand.

How are we going to do this? Technology is one solution, but technology is really just a small part of the solution we're looking for. The real future of farming isn't growing plants or animals; it's growing businesses.

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Health Sutra raises money from Ankur Capital, Hyderabad Angels
: May 24, 2017

Early stage venture capital fund, Ankur Capital, along with Hyderabad Angels, has invested in Health Sutra, a millet-based products manufacturer.

Sai Krishna Popuri, founder and chief executive officer, Health Sutra said, “We plan to use 50% of this funding to set up our own processing plant in Nacharam in Hyderabad with a capacity of 150 tons and look at expanding our business to Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru in the next eight months. The rest of the funds would be used for creating awareness amongst the consumers about the health benefits of millets.”

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New crop of start-ups
: May 1, 2017

Hoping to bring about a transformation in Indian agriculture is a bunch of entrepreneurs who are trying to change the way farming is done. There are ventures that provide men and machinery to help farmers from soil preparation to harvest, those that source fruits and vegetables and market them after cleaning, grading and packing them, some even export the produce, and others that provide scientific storage facilities.

Supporting them with funds are venture capital firms such as Aspada, Aavishkaar, Ankur Capital, Bestseller Foundation, Unitus Impact, Unilazer Ventures and some wealthy individuals.

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Why SIDBI’s rise as a sovereign fund is a game changer for venture capital industry
: April 28, 2017

Around June last year, entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist Manish Singhal was looking to raise his first venture fund, and he thought it was the toughest task he had ever undertaken. Singhal had earlier co-founded startup financing platform Letsventure. As he searched far and wide for investors in his maiden fund, the Small Industries Development Bank of India, or SIDBI, came to his rescue, committing significant investments.

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Breast cancer screening startup NIRAMAI bags funds
: April 24, 2017

NIRAMAI Health Analytix, a breast cancer screening startup, has raised undisclosed seed funding in a round that was led by pi Ventures and included Ankur Capital, Axilor Ventures, 500 Startups and Flipkart cofounder Binny Bansal.

NIRAMAI is building a non-invasive, non-touch, non-radiation approach to detect breast cancer. The startup's hardware software technology solution, called Thermalytix, uses artificial intelligence over thermal images to address the issues of early detection of breast cancer and removes technological, logistical and cultural barriers that hinder breast cancer screening.

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These Two Women from Niramai Just Raised Funds for Patented Breast Cancer Technology
: April 24, 2017

Niramai Health Analytix, a startup that’s building a revolutionary non-invasive, non-touch, non-radiation approach to detect breast cancer has raised seed funding led by pi Ventures with participation from Ankur Capital, Axilor Ventures, 500 Startups and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal. Niramai (which stands for Non Invasive Risk Assessment with Machine Learning) is a pioneer of a new patented technology called Thermalytix© that can remove technological, logistical, and cultural barriers that hinder breast cancer screening among women today. The start-up’s solution uses artificial intelligence over thermal images to address the issues of early detection of breast cancer.

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Indian start-up in global limelight
: April 1, 2017

Tessol is basking in the limelight, having won global attention at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue last week for its mobile refrigeration technology.

The company was one of the six winners of the prestigious Startup Energy Transition awards instituted by the Deutsche Energie–Agentur, the German Energy Agency, for innovative business ideas in energy transition from across the world.

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Even farmers begin to pay through digital modes
: March 10, 2017

Demonetisation has pushed many farmers to go digital. Platforms like TheAgrihub, AgroStar, BigHaat, and RML AgTech that provide services and products to farmers say there's been a significant increase in payments done through debit cards, credit cards, netbanking and other digital modes.

BigHaat, an e-commerce platform that sells agricultural products including seeds and fertilisers, has seen its online payment transactions grow from 5% of overall transactions six months ago, to 30%. Over 5,000 farmers, mainly in Punjab, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh in the north and Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra in the south, transact on it.

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Impact Investor Ankur Capital to invest in seven companies this year
: March 8, 2017

Mumbai-based impact investor focused on innovative businesses in agriculture, healthcare, education, skill development and rural access – is positioning for the next leg of growth.

Having seven companies in its portfolio, Ankur Capital is in the process of adding three more companies – one each in the agriculture, health and education segments – in a couple of weeks, said Rema Subramanian, co-founder of Ankur Capital.

“We would be investing in 6-7 more companies this year. We will primarily look at these three sectors but are also interested in opportunities in fintech, where startups may be looking at innovative ways to enable access to savings products for the base of the Indian population,” she added. The investment will be focused only on Indian companies.

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Gender was Never a Concern For These Two Women Investors
: March 8, 2017

India has seen its share of women entrepreneurs and powerful executives. However, what we haven’t seen is a lot of fund managers. Rema Subramanian and Ritu Verma gate-crashed the territory, which was predominately dominated by the big, industry boys.

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Sowing data for a rich harvest
: March 6, 2017

Krishna Kumar talks passionately about geo-tagging of farm plots, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence in the context of farming and you wonder what these have to do with agriculture, especially when technology is the last thing on the mind of a vast majority of farmers.

But very soon he dispels this notion and says agriculture technology and data-driven farming are the way forward if farmers are to increase their productivity and reduce wastage.

That is exactly what his venture, CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd, based in Bengaluru, is attempting to do, as it provides information to the farmers ranging from weather and climatic conditions, the likely yield, problem areas in the field to when the farmer can expect a harvest.

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Are VCs missing out on a huge India opportunity?
: February 7, 2017

Is it possible to thrive financially, while benefiting society? Investors seem to be warming up to this idea, but very slowly.

The real market lies in wider India, outside the large urban centres. Ritu Verma, CEO of Ankur Capital, said, “A lot of these businesses are catering to the top cream of the Indian population, but there are 700 million people who are part of a not-very-efficient market and will benefit from impact investing. We are focusing on that.”

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CropIn Technology on Road to Become the Backbone of Crop Insurances, to Benefit Over 25 Million Farmers in India by 2018
: February 6, 2017

A 6-Year-Young Startup is now Betting Big on its Data Algorithms Fuelled by 'Farm Insights and Artificial Intelligence,' to Create Holistic Solutions for Crop Loan and Farm Insurances, to the Root Level Farmers in India

CropIn Technology Solutions , a Bengaluru-based startup is now on an onslaught of initiatives to implement the benefit of Agriculture Technology (AgTech) to the last mile.

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India’s first welding simulator, SkillVeri, raises Rs 8 Cr from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Ankur Capital
: January 12, 2017

Skillveri Pvt. Ltd, a skilling platform that trains workers for manufacturing and production jobs, has raised a Series A round of investment of Rs 8 crore from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Ankur Capital. Ankur Capital had already infused some funds into the startup in the form of a seed investment in 2015. The creators of the first welding simulator made in India, Skillveri will leverage this investment to enable the training of 500,000 youth for well-paying aspirational manufacturing jobs over the next five years.

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SkillVeri raises Rs 8 cr from Dell Foundation, Ankur Capital
: January 12, 2017

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and impact investor Ankur Capital have invested Rs 8 crore in Chennai-based startup SkillVeri.

“This investment will enable Skillveri to expand its presence into new geographies as well as foray into multiple new skill domains, such as painting, paramedical procedures, jewelry making, where manual dexterity is highly valued,” Skillveri founder and CEO Sabarinath Nair said.

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SkillVeri raises Rs 8 cr from Dell Foundation, Ankur Capital
: January 12, 2017

Chennai-based Skillveri Training Solutions Pvt Ltd, which makes simulators to train workers on various industrial jobs, has raised 8 crore in a Series A round from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and existing investor Ankur Capital.

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Entrepreneurs Must Know About These 4 Sector-Focused Funds
: January 2, 2017

2016 saw a year of funding slowdown, 2017 might just see the reign of sector-focussed funds in India. These are funds that cater to only a particular sector which are very niche and less explored.

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