How Bengaluru-based Horses Stable is providing a platform for startups to pitch and win investors
Today, while most television reality shows strike a chord with its viewers, competition-based reality shows are providing an opportunity for people to showcase their talent.
Twenty-nine-year-old Prashant Agarwal, during his travels across the world as an engineer, realised that Indian entrepreneurs did not have a platform to raise money from investors easily. Inspired by business reality programme Shark Tank in the US, Prashant started Horses Table in India to bring entrepreneurs’ ideas to life.
Started in January 2019, Bengaluru-based Horses Stable is a platform where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business model to a panel of investors and persuade them to invest money in their business on the same day. The startup aims to help businesses find the ideal investor and open up exciting opportunities to investors too.
Before starting up, Prashant worked as a software engineer for seven years and also worked at Décor India. He invested Rs 1 crore to start Horses Stable.
How it works?
At Horses Stable, entrepreneurs are given a chance to pitch their business idea along with execution plans and product or service offerings to the investors who are associated with Horses Stable.
The investors, who are called “Horses”, evaluate each business idea based on the details given by the startups and in-person while pitching on the show.
“In the startup ecosystem, there are various players who tend to solve the same issue. Our focus is mainly to close the round in a span of 30-45 days right after the pitch. The term sheet will be given on the spot, which helps in processing faster,” says Prashant.
He adds that investors are an important element for any startup.
Horses Stable acts as a mediator between the entrepreneurs and the investors. It also organises various events where it strives to offer a funding platform for Indian businesses.
The platform is currently selecting startups from networks like Build For India, Startups International Business Exchange, and Bengaluru Startup Network.
It claims to have so far helped around 18 companies successfully get funded from 39 selected participants.
While it refused to divulge further details about the companies, it said it received Rs 5.75 crore from a payment startup.
Prashant says the company makes money when the investors invest in a company. According to Horses Stable, it charges Rs 3,000 for a startup to pitch and Rs 3,000 for exhibits at its pitching event. However, the company refused to disclose further details about its revenue.
It said it has also successfully managed to raise $6 million from an undisclosed set of investors.
“I have bootstrapped the startup with an initial investment of close to Rs 1 crore. For every successful deal closed over the course of the show, we receive a fee, both from the funded entrepreneur (ranging between five to seven percent), and from the investor (two-three percent),” says Prashant.
Winning overseas customers
Prashant says he is tying in a network of family offices, investors, and sponsors who support the platform. This year, it is planning to select startups and then take them to a pitch event in Delhi on January 28, 2020.
The pitching session will also be going to Ukraine in February this year, will be in Singapore in March first week, and then will go to London. The company expects to take at least 200 startups to investors over the next 12 months.
“It is India’s first and only show where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors and persuade them to invest money in their business. The show also provides them with training to help them deliver a pitch to the investors,” says Prashant.
The market and future plans
According to YourStory Research, a total of $49 billion was raised between 2015 and 2019 in the Indian startup ecosystem. There is a need for a million successful startups if India has to generate at least 20 million jobs by 2030.
The company wants to hold several pitch sessions with startup over the coming years. It has a team of ten members.
The startup currently competes with all media companies in the startup space, which hosts events and run startup platforms.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)