Yes, startups have gone mainstream in India. From bollywood actors to cricketing stars, everyone has shown interest in the Indian growth story and the potential that startups have in this grander scheme of things. Internet penetration and low cost smartphones are playing a big role in bringing the next 500 million Indians online and this journey has just begun. About 100 million of a 1.3 billion people in India have made transactions online and this number is set to increase exponentially. And here is where online startups come into play. Indian cricket star Yuvraj Singh has now joined the bandwagon and has launched YouWeCan Ventures.
YouWeCan intends to invest INR 40-50 crores over the next 3-5 years (source). As per reports, the ticket size for investments are going to be in the range of INR 50 lakhs but the biggest support will come in terms of visibility. As the website says,
If you have an idea and the capability to bootstrap your idea, Yuvraj Singh is with you with all he has – Brand, Marketing Strength, Technology Team and Financial Consulting. Yuvraj will endorse your business idea and give you the kick-start you need.
Yuvraj has been associated with global brands like Puma, Reebok, Hero Motors, Oakleys, Ulysse Nardin etc. and associations such as these will be a great value add for a startup. Yuvraj has a team of technologists, management consultants and other experts in place and has long term plans. "I have spoken to a few friends and associates, we are trying to make it a — if they are going to come on board — we are going to try and invest up to Rs 250-300 crore and see what opportunities we get in the market," said Yuvraj Singh in an interview with MoneyControl.
Yuvraj Singh has had a rather turbulent last few years. In 2011, he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his left lung and underwent chemotherapy treatment in the US. Fighting cancer, Yuvi (as he is famously called) made his international comeback in September 2012 and was conferred with the Arjuna Award, India's second highest sporting award. He was also awarded the Padma Shri in 2014. In his second life, Yuvi wants to support young entrepreneurs in realising their dreams of creating the big brands. Alongside Yuvi, Nishant Singhal, Yuvi's business advisor since 2010 will be holding the fort for YouWeCan Ventures. Nishant is a Chartered Accountant by profession and has over 11 years of work experience with PwC. He has got a diverse experience in financial risk management, IT Strategy consulting, Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance during his PwC days.
YouWeCan has not made any investments as of now but says that is in discussions with 4-5 startups. YouWeCan Ventures is interested in online startups across sectors like e-commerce, healthcare, media, real estate, etc. Interested companies can send in their pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org.