A Gurugram-based startup accelerator is turbocharging entrepreneurs’ journey

Founded in April 2021, PedalStart is a startup accelerator and founders’ community that guides founders from ideation to fundraising and beyond.

When Devashish Goyal, Founder & CEO of OhLocal, was struggling with the product and business development for his venture, he turned to PedalStart—a startup accelerator and founders’ community platform.


He had the idea—an AI (artificial intelligence)-enabled smart bidding platform for buyers and sellers—and an MVP (most viable product). However, it was PedalStart, he says, that helped him take his idea to the next level. 

“They helped me with my product strategy and its development to place the startup better in the market,” he says.

Like Devashish, many entrepreneurs across India struggle to launch their startups due to a lack of ongoing mentoring and funds. This is especially true for people who are not from top-tier colleges.

PedalStart, launched in April 2021 by Aditya Darolia and Manas Pal, removes these hurdles by guiding founders from the ideation stage all the way to their first funding. 

The platform’s USP, according to Aditya, lies in its continuous engagement with the founders.  

“Our community-based model where we work and enable all startup enthusiasts with our wishlist concept. We do not select anyone based on PPT and a few interview rounds. Weekly we organise 1-to-1 brainstorming calls with experienced peers that helps a lot of founders to move faster with their own speed and stage,” he adds. 

The Gurugram-based startup says it offers founders mentoring and help startups get funds without random dilution of equity. 

Team PedalStart

“These startup founders now have a choice to not dilute the equity at Day-1. They can simply join PedalStart with a subscription and see how PedalStart is adding values in their startup life and then only take the decision to further move ahead with the equity dilution,” adds Aditya.

PedalStart, the co-founder says, provides entrepreneurs access to experienced peers.  “Secondly, after the successful journey from ideation to POC (Proof of concept) /MVP, we open an investment round for raising angel/pre-seed investment,” Aditya tells YourStory.

Earlier this month, the platform launched an Internal Company Fund of Rs 2.5 crore for early stage startups. 

Aditya says, “With these Rs 2.5 crore funds we will fund some of the best performing startups and promising founders from our community. The main aim with these funds is to smooth & fasten the process of raising angel and pre-seed investment for founders so that they can solely focus on startup building.”

The onboarding process

To join PedalStart, founders are required to sign up for a wishlist. The startup’s team then screens applicants based on their ideas before onboarding them into the community. 

Speaking about the platform, Aditya says, “Founders join our wishlist after that our team connects with each founder on one-hour call to understand the idea.”

Apart from one-to-one brainstorming with experienced peers, PedalStart provides live learning, peer-to-peer connects, group brainstorming forums and investor connects. 

“We are also working on a platform for the community with live learning and idea movement tracking and investors portal for new investments and portfolio tracking,” adds Manas.

Market size and traction

According to YourStory analysis, India's startup count stood at 66,359 as of March 21, 2022.

With only organic marketing, over 2,000 founders joined PedalStart in the last two months, out of which about 600 founders have joined the community.

Explaining further, Aditya adds, “We work on a wishlist model where startup enthusiasts share details of their idea and then we connect with them on a detailed call to understand it in-depth after that we select a few founders and allow them to join PedalStart community. For the rest of the founders, we try to give them some free discussion with domain experts and successful founders.”

YS Design team

According to PedalStart, 35 startups on its platform have already started generating early revenue while four others have raised initial funding—$400,000 in total. The platform has 150 startups exploring POC/MVP.

On the other side, the platform has 50 successful startup founders and domain experts as well as 250 angel investors, 10 micro VCs, and VC firms. 

Some of them include Mandeep Manocha, CEO, Cashify; Vivek Aggarwal, CTO, SquareYards; Mayank Jain, CPO, Snapdeal, and Abhinav Kumar, VP of Marketing, Paytm. 

Business model and revenue

The startup works on a subscription model and a form of equity and investment commissions.

“It is a process that starts with Rs 1,000 monthly subscription fee, until the founder reaches the POC/MVP stage after that we charge 2 percent-4 percent equity and a successful investment charge of 2 percent -4 percent investment commission. We work on an outcome-based model where founders only pay when they're convinced enough to deal in the long term,” highlights Manas.

Currently, PedalStart has touched $50,000 ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) with its subscription model and charged equity in over 15 startups worth $0.5 million. 

“We are planning to expand our reach with 4× subscription numbers (Onboarding startup enthusiasts) and 2× startup equity (Onboarding/building some mature ideas),” states Aditya.

Funding and way ahead

The startup closed its strategic investment round of $50,000 in April this year. 

Aditya says, over the last few months, the company has been receiving traction from the US, UAE, Southern Asia and South-Eastern Asia

Speaking of competition, Aditya says, “Our competitors are all the accelerator platforms but we are building a unique model with our outcome-driven charging model with hand holding the founders till they reach fundraising.”

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti


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