Nine startups, spread across fintech, consumer food products, artificial intelligence and social network sectors, have come out of early-stage venture capital firm Orios Venture Partners’ third cohort of its Misfits programme.
The two-year-old Misfits, which held its first virtual Demo Day on Tuesday, is a seed-stage acceleration programme that provides mentorship and funding in the range of $500,000-$1.5 million to early-stage ventures.
The six-month programme, which typically admits between 8 and 10 startups, and operates twice a year, has, till date, overseen more than 20 startups graduate since launching in 2018.
Some of the marquee venture capital firms that have attended this year’s Demo Day, include Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners India, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Norwest Venture Partners.
Additionally, global investors such as Global Founders Capital, Vertex Ventures, the VC arm of Temasek, Picus Capital and ADB Ventures, the newly-established venture unit of the Asian Development Bank, also attended the virtual event.
“Orios Venture Partners believes in that building great companies requires great support and one important part of this is Misfits a six-month comprehensive program with our invested startups, that culminates in Expand, where graduates showcase their pitches to next-stage investors,” Anup Jain, managing partner of Orios Venture Partners, said.
“In these cohorts, we address the most common challenges faced by these young startups, that is, scaling up efficiently, hiring the right talent and raising funds. We are proud of the response from 200-plus VC funds received to the latest batch from Misfits-3. It is a validation of the program,” Jain added.
The Misfits-3 cohort, the first one of 2020, includes Karbon Card, a corporate credit card aimed at Indian and Southeast Asian startups, and CityCash, an offline transit-based payment ecosystem that allows users to make tap-and-pay based payments in public buses, metros and small retail.
Other startups in the latest batch include MoneyOnClick, a social distribution fintech lender that provides joint liability family loans for lower-income households in tier-2 to tier-4 cities, who are, otherwise, forced to take loans from informal money lenders, Gully Network Retail, a technology-enabled chain of small-format kirana stores, and Intelligence Node, a real-time retail price intelligence platform.
Seed-stage acceleration programmes such as Misfits have mushroomed over the last two years in the Indian venture capital ecosystem, as investors look to go in earlier and deeper, snapping up early-stage ventures at reasonable valuations, and at the beginning of their respective lifecycles.
Apart from Orios Venture Partners, other leading venture capital firms that have launched their seed-stage and super accelerator programmes include, Sequoia Capital, Kalaari Capital, Accel Partners, WaterBridge Ventures and YourNest Venture Capital.