This Mumbai-based platform offers a one-stop solution for startup funding
The Indian startup ecosystem, already the third-largest in the world, seems to have become a breeding ground for incredible funding opportunities. The birth of 42 unicorns in 2021 alone is reflective of the fund rush and the slew of investments pouring into Indian markets like never before.
Aniruddha Jog, Chaitanya Sapre, Malhar Potnis, and Shounak Devasthale foundedto contribute to realizing the dream of India being an innovation hub of the world. Empowering, encouraging, and facilitating early-stage startups with the right knowledge and investor, Arthayan aims to foster entrepreneurship in India.
Connecting the dots in the startup ecosystem
Founded in 2020, Mumbai-based Arthayan Advisory Services is a startup ecosystem enabler, providing funding facilitation to startups through their smart tech platform Funding Quest while connecting VCs, angel networks, family offices, and corporate VC wings with startups based on their investment thesis.
“The idea behind this platform dates back to a three-day virtual pitch event held in March, where we had received an overwhelming response from startups and investors. So, instead of periodical events, we implemented the seeds of a permanent virtual platform where investors get connected to the startup owners,” adds Chaitanya.
Arthayan also enables budding entrepreneurs with knowledge sessions taken by startup ecosystem stalwarts through entrepreneurship cohorts, events, and incubator tie-ups.
“We are predominantly focused on raising funds for startups, and Artha in Sanskrit means finance. Thus, we thought that the extension of Artha can particularly signify what we are dealing with while thriving in the sector of financial products and services,” he explains.
Currently, Arthayan is working on four parts as a platform. The first part is for investors, followed by startups, incubators being tied up for events or getting their startups on the platform, and finally the corporates with beneficial startup programmes.
“We have to interact with the investors and comprehend their needs from a startup to invest. We also need to communicate well and understand what the startup deals in, and fill in their required details for a smooth onboarding process on the platform,” says Chaitanya.
The startup has successfully partnered with 20 incubators, and completed the process of onboarding 50 incubators on the platform.
Arthayan is also known for its startup acceleration cohorts which include:
Entrepreneurship Development Programme- Customised training programme to promote and assist entrepreneurs in India, with knowledge sessions dealing with aspects of finance, marketing, and team building.
Funding Demystified- A 10-part knowledge series about the key aspects of fundraising, delivered by seasoned investors and founders who have raised money for their ventures.
Startup Acceleration- A holistic interactive program for startups to receive mentorship from subject matter experts with a customised curriculum conceptualised for participating startups.
Strategic Tie-ups- The startup ecosystem in India is quite fragmented and unorganised. Thus, team Arthayan assists stakeholders in it to make strategic tie-ups and partnerships which are mutually beneficial.
Incubation Setup- Building a state-of-the-art incubation centre for academic institutions which helps startups grow their ventures and generate employment for the youth of India.
“We are deeply rooted in the startup ecosystem and are founders ourselves. Additionally, we have a complementary founding team, a tech-enabled platform, and great connections with the industry to deliver some of the best possible knowledge sessions, thereby collating all our resources to contribute to the startup ecosystem”, adds Chaitanya.
Initially, Arthayan faced the issue of credibility, along with the problem of approaching speakers to deliver knowledge sessions. “Gradually things started easing for us, making way for stability. Besides, interacting with the startups was again a major challenge. But I guess in the last couple of years we have attained at least some form of credibility to be heard in the Indian startup ecosystem,” says Chaitanya.
Solving problems through tech, innovation, and business
Back in March 2021, Arthayan conducted a three-day virtual pitch event, 'Arthayan Funding Quest 1.0', where everything was done manually and one with a huge impact with the evolution of a few success stories. “Thus, we badly felt the need for technology and automation come into play,” says Chaitanya.
Opting for the .indomain was an obvious choice as Arthayan is run by Indians, for Indians who are motivated in solving problems of Indians and the world through technology, innovation, and business.
“We need our online components to have an identity that screams Indian. And a .in domain does that. It signifies that the parent business of a website is Indian while attracting the local market and making the business familiar to the Indian user,” says Chaitanya.
“The make-in-India initiative, I believe, is not just for manufacturing but can also be extended to digital products and services offered by Indian startups. So ‘arthayan.in’ instead of something like ‘arthayanindia.com’ makes it compact, increases the recall value and familiarity, and additionally gives a sense of being vocal for locals,” he adds.
The National Internet Exchange for India (NIXI) is helping many businesses across the country to get a .in or .Bharat domain. Enterprises irrespective of their scale and size can avail a .in domain with the help of NIXI. It is affordable and can be availed in more than 22 languages for businesses coming from all regions of the country.
Chaitanya also feels that small businesses should opt for websites over social media or e-commerce platforms to establish their businesses. “You need to establish your identity, shout out your brand values, and engage with customers in a way that will make them want to do business with you. That’s where a website is useful, to talk about only your brand and business,” he says.
Growth and future plans
Arthayan has a commercially engaged clientele of 5+ incubators and 15+ startups, along with two commercial pilot projects with AWS. “We are also trying to confirm our place in the ecosystem by reaching out through events and tech platforms, including 300+ early-stage startups, 50+ investors, and 50+ incubators,” adds Chaitanya.
“We hope to reach out our platform to anyone who is caught in a fix due to financial constraints, and that is not restricted to the startups. For the future, we also wish to build something for the angel investors, and might as well shift to a fintech platform enabling fundraising for startups,” he concludes.
The ‘Shaping India Inc's Online Growth’ series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how creating an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain powered their success stories.