Bengaluru-based home rental startup NestAway Technologies launched an incubation programme called NestAwayStartup Lab on Monday. The company has partnered with startup accelerator Excubator for the six-month incubation programme, said a release.
Amarendra Sahu, CEO and Co-founder of NestAway said,
"In our experience, one of the largest determinants of startup success is early access to willing customers to test, fail and learn what works. Unfortunately, today customers are behind walled gardens and getting access to them to even learn is expensive, and thereby elite."
After registering for NestAwayStartup Lab, entrepreneurs will be shortlisted and invited for a six-month equity-free incubation programme. The three to four selected startups will also get access to NestAway's consumer base. Amarendra added:
"Given the cost involved in starting up, it is available to very few who could afford to or who could garner seed investments. Therefore, we wanted to allow startups to use our customer base to get access to consumers without any fee or expectation. While investment market funds with money (which anyway is used for customer acquisition), with NestAwayStartup Lab, we wanted to fund with our customer base."
The release said, Bengaluru-based startup accelerator Excubator will be mentoring the startups and helping them with external resources, if needed. Guhesh Ramanathan, CEO of Excubator, said:
"We believe that startups have the power to change the world. However, today starting up has been synonymous with raising money. This incubation is about broad-basing starting-up so that more and more people can think of it as real customer-acquisition, and not fundraise, as the precursor to starting up. It is heartening to see successful startups taking up their roles in society to make more people start up. We are super excited to be part of this journey.”
Founded in 2015 by Deepak Dhar, Jitendra Jagadev, Amarendra Sahu, and Smruti Parida, NestAway provides affordable rental solutions to individuals.
The company has so far raised six rounds of funding worth $94.2 million. It last raised an undisclosed venture round from Epiq Capital. Prior to that, NestAway also raised $51 million from Goldman Sachs, UC-RNT Fund, and Schroder Adveq. Existing investors IDG India and Tiger Global also participated in the round.
“It is our way to contribute to nation building via making starting up less expensive. We will consider this endeavour successful if it enables adding to starting-up diversity both in terms of people & product/services and inspires too,” added Amarendra.