Enakshi, an online apparel brand for women has closed their first round of seed fund of 80 Lakhs from a private investor. The brand is also in talks with a clutch of other investors to secure a total funding of $1 million over the next two years to build on its distribution network.

Image Source – Funding

Founded in March 2018, by young founders in their early 20s, Maharsh Shah & Namya Patel, launched Enakshi, a virtual boutique for modern women that offers only exclusive pieces of garments with no two pieces alike. The brand plans to utilize the funding amount to increase the brand’s visibility, improve their existing logistics & technology and to empanel more designers from across the nation. Enakshi also plans to expand their business into brick and mortar stores as a next step to giving its customers a first-hand experience of their favorite Enakshi garments.

Enakshi was launched to address two primary concerns of modern women

  • Their everyday worry of ‘what to wear tomorrow’
  • Their need for exclusivity and novelty in their wardrobe

The virtual boutique helps women explore and discover fashion that is as unique as their individuality. With efficient logistics in place, the brand promises a quick turnaround time by ensuring dispatch on the very same day so that the customers get the garment of their choice sooner than anticipated.

Enakshi ensures novelty by launching a new collection every 21 days, where each collection is designed by a different pool of designers, empaneled by the brand from across the nation. Through this unique approach, the brand also aims at disrupting the fashion industry by providing a platform to many talented yet underappreciated designers from across the nation, to collaboratively showcase their creativity befitting the theme of the collection.

Enakshi Founders – Maharsh Shah [R], Namya Patel [L]

Maharsh Shah, Co-founder Enakshi, said

With the largest social media savvy youth population in the world, India as a market is becoming increasingly fashion conscious. With decades of experience in the women apparel industry through our parent brand Deepkala in Ahmedabad, we noticed that increasing number of women have now started seeking novelty in their every buy and aspire to create a wardrobe that showcases their own individuality. This catapulted the launch of brand Enakshi.

Namya Patel, Co-founder, Enakshi further added

At Enakshi, we brief our empaneled designers to create designs to suit the modern women’s preferences. Our primary target audience is women in the age group of 18-48 yr, that don many hats in their daily lives and pride over their individuality. Our designs, therefore, are fluid, to adorn the multiple roles of these women and our philosophy of ‘One Woman, One Design, One Garment’ ensures that there is only one distinctive piece per design. Our tech ensure that every design ordered is altered in the requested size and dispatched for delivery the same day to keep up with the paced life of a modern woman.

About Enakshi

Enakshi is an apparel brand catering to the modern women. The brand offers a virtual boutique for women to explore and discover fashion that is as unique as them.The designs on order have been created by a hand-picked pool of designers shortlisted by Enakshi and then further curated to suit the brand’s style and vision. Enakshi offers only fresh designs and no two designs are alike, which means only one distinctive piece per design. The company was launched in March, 2018 and is headquartered in Ahmedabad. Enakshi was conceptualized and created by Nilay Shah, Maharsh Shah, and Namya Patel. The early twenties Founders chose to launch from Ahmedabad since it is the hub for fashion designing and also their hometown.

Lingokids, an English language-learning platform has reached over 5 million downloads worldwide with the most number of downloads from India with over 4,00,000 users followed by Brazil and Mexico since its launch in 2016.  The percentage downloads from Maharashtra are at 22.9% being highest in India, 16.4% in Delhi followed by 10.5% in Karnataka.

The online Education market In India is expected to touch $1.96 billion by 2021 and witness a 8x growth in the next 5 years according to a recent report by Google, KPMG. The reason for demand of online education has been the growth in Internet penetration and easy accessibility to affordable and quality education online. Lingokids offers complete English courses with lots of activities for every learning style for kids from 2 to 8 years and offers well-researched, superior educational content through ELT, a division of the esteemed Oxford University Press and a global leader in multimedia English language teaching.

50% of the ability to learn is developed in the first years of life and Lingokids immersive program encourages early learning and development for children by constantly exposing children to various grammatical structures and more than 3,000 vocabulary words, the apps hits-and-errors algorithm adapts each lesson to the child’s learning speed and the curriculum follows a methodology guided by a prestigious Board of Educators from diverse backgrounds in the field of education with expertise in literacy instruction, vocabulary development, child psychology, ESL instruction, and educational technology.

Cristobal Viedma, CEO and Founder, Lingokids said

The response from India for has been very positive and Lingokids has reached a milestone of over 400000 users.  The English language opens doors to the world and prepares children to become global citizens and our mission is to take down language barriers and provide equal opportunities for children across cultures. Lingokids is a perfect platform to give children a headstart at learning in a 100% ad-free and safe environment.

About Lingokids

Lingokids is the best way to teach kids languages in a fun and natural way. Lingokids offers an adaptive language-learning platform to teach English to children from 2~8 years of age, designed with Oxford University Press content.

Lingokids is a complete language-learning course, with activities that adapt to your child’s learning style. Our curriculum includes exciting educational games and a recommended playlist of activities based on your child’s level in a 100% ad-free and safe environment.

Ralph Pierre, a new fast fashion watch brand by Incosi Fashions is bringing transparency in the Indian fast fashion market to end customers. The brand has launched a premium collection of Men and Women watches that people can easily buy at affordable prices. The watches are inspired from trending European designs and are powered by Japanese CITIZEN Miyota Movement and SONY battery to make them one of the best products in the market segment. Ralph Pierre watches comes with 1 year manufacturing warranty.

Indian youth is demanding quality products at the best prices. With an improved living standard and exposure to worldwide fashion, there is a growing demand for fashion goods that meet international standards both in quality and design.

Ralph Pierre products are available on their website and all the popular market places. One can find the details about the cost of each and every part that goes into the making of the respective watch. By doing this, Ralph Pierre is helping people in understanding that they don’t have to pay through their nose to own a Premium Quality watch. Generally, an end customer pays a hefty amount owing to the several intermediaries and their respective markups. Ralph Pierre is cutting down the middleman and hence bringing a Premium watch to the end customer at an affordable price.

Shubham Khare – Cofounder, Ralph Pierre said

We believe in transparency and that’s why we reveal every small step to our customers. Ralph Pierre bridges the gap between the quality and affordability in the fast fashion segment. It has been launched with watches for now and soon other fashion categories are to be added. With trendy international designs and aggressive pricing, Ralph Pierre provides a viable option to users to own quality trendy fashion goods at reasonable prices.

About Ralph Pierre

Ralph Pierre is a fast fashion brand offering on-trend style watches catering to both young men & women. It is a flagship brand of Incosi Fashions Pvt. Ltd. Ralph Pierre watches offers high-performance features in trendy colors & design. It is designed to bring stylish & premium quality fashion goods at aggressive prices for today’s impulsively fashionable Indian youth.

About Incosi Fashions Pvt. Ltd

Incosi Fashions is an Indian Fast Fashion e-commerce company created by Fashion and Technology enthusiasts. It is a house of brands created with an aim to make innovative fashion and lifestyle technology products to fit all pockets. The current portfolio includes brands like Crossloop and Ralph Pierre that bring the latest technology fashion products at guilt-free prices. These two brands are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of fashion & lifestyle technology in Indian Market.

Compared to different common law jurisdictions, India has comparatively fewer hurdles in its way to Litigation finance. Judicial precedence since 1876 has held that the common law doctrines of champerty and maintenance are not applicable to India in stricto sensu. Therefore, litigation funding has not been held, per se, ineligible and hence, enforceable in most cases. This progressive outlook, therefore, provides fertile ground for the event of third-party funding in India.

Image Source – Advok8

Advok8.in help litigants raise funds for their lawsuit, proving them capital when they need it the most. Advok8.in is single-handedly dominating the litigation funding market in India. The company came into existence in 2016 and offers a host of services from litigation funding, case tracking, and digital appointment. Advok8.in sees a significant number of daily visits from its mobile app with 10000+ lawyers reading legal articles and the latest legal news on its Legisl8 platform. The Advok8.in mobile app also enables lawyers to see the latest developments in their case anywhere they wish to. Apart from it, a bulk of litigation funding requests also comes from the mobile app.

Advok8.in has received more than 350 requests for litigation funding till date. These cases were submitted by lawyers, law firms, individual litigants and business houses. After a careful evaluation,Advok8.in has finalized four cases for funding and two out of four have been successfully funded. The cases that were shortlisted are commercial disputes in nature namely, Breach of Contract, Trademark infringement, Medical Negligence and Patent infringement.

The process includes inviting individual investors to invest in verified legal claim, with moderate investment cycle which typically matures within 2~4 years, shorter than any other asset class. The average funding size of a case is approx. 5 Lakhs. The value of the claims varies from 1 crore to 4 crores. Advok8.in has opened a different asset class for investment in India. The return on this investment is in an average of 150% to 200%. These Legal claims are uncorrelated to broader capital markets and macroeconomic factors.

As in-house counsel people are constantly trying to find ways to turn the cost center into a revenue center. By making use of advok8.in third-party funding, what was once a costly burden, now can transform into a functioning profit center.

Advok8 carefully vets every case listed on its portal through their expert case selection team, thereby mitigating any risk. The success ratio of cases on Advok8.in portal is very high. Thus, an investor just has to invest in a legal claim and track the progress of the case through Proprietary of advok8.in in case tracking system. Once the case is finalized Investors get the return from the recovery amount as decided in their contract. The entire process is very simple and transparent and advok8.in takes all endeavors to ensure the interest of the case investors are protected throughout the process.

About Advok8

Started in 2016, advok8.in is a legal tech company aiming to simplify a litigants journey in the litigation system of India. It is a one stop solution to a litigants and provide quality lawyer and also help litigants raise funds for their law suit, proving them capital when they need it the most. For more information, please visit advok8.in

When Verify.Wiki LLC – a start-up that fights False News through a methodology called reverse virality by combining crowdsourcing with social networking saw the recent lynching incidents in India due to False WhatsApp messages, it immediately sprang into action. The company picked Chennai as a pilot city to test if it could prevent another tragedy.

Image Source – Fake News

On July 13th, 2018, the company noticed two suspected False News stories propagating via WhatsApp, one asking people to punish a school teacher in Perambur, Chennai for hitting and kicking little children, and another circulating a young female doctor’s photo, claiming she was treating patients for free in Chennai. Both these posts went viral on WhatsApp and Facebook in Chennai.

Siva Nadarajah, an adviser and investor at Verify.Wiki who recently requested the company to help with the deadly False News crisis in India, said

The team immediately kicked off the pilot. They first learnt that the video that was circulated was from a school in Egypt, recorded in 2014, not from Perambur, Chennai. They also quickly uncovered the other story about the doctor was also false, propagated by a person who steals profile photos of young women from Facebook.

We were able to stop both the False News stories within a few hours. We also noticed the propagation of those two false stories completely stopping within 24 hours. Imagine if Wikipedia and Facebook had a baby. You combine crowdsourcing with social networking. It’s so powerful when it comes to transparency and credibility in fighting False News. We stopped seven False News stories just within two weeks of our pilot in Chennai. Some are harmless and some are deadly. The nice thing is anyone can anonymously submit a suspected False News and everyone can participate in the verification activities. It’s a democratic process to fight False News

Once the stories were verified to be false through crowdsourced research, Verify.Wiki said its reverse virality approach ensured the propagation of the False News was stopped within hours. With reverse virality, the corrected version of the False News, was propagated back through the same path the story originated, via WhatsApp and Facebook, targeting those who might have consumed the False News.

Facebook, the parent company of WhatsApp recently took full page newspaper advertisements to warn people of False News propagating via WhatsApp, after lynching incidents killed dozens of people across India.

About Verify.Wiki LLC

Verify.Wiki uses the power of collaboration and crowd-sourcing to fight unverified content shared across WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and other online sources. Every contribution goes through a crowd-sourced verification process to ensure further accuracy and transparency. Users receive badges and industry certifications for contributing and verifying content. For more information, please visit Verify.Wiki

Racetrack.ai – India’s First AI Innovation Hub for Sales & Support, has raised $5 Million funding from a clutch of national & international investors. The investors include Murali Krishnan [Ex-President & Founding Member, Biocon], Dov Kagan [a renowned USA based investor]. The list also has names of investors from Singapore, Mauritius, and most of its existing investors.

Subrat Parida, Founder & CEO Racetrack.ai, said

This is really an overwhelming and positive moment for all of us. We are now looking forward and are excited to announce our next overseas operation base in USA, Mauritius and Singapore.

This move will help us delve into newer business verticals like retail, banking and healthcare. This boost in our physical presence will open new doors for us to partner with intercontinental brands and decision makers while helping us to create global footprint in the AI industry.

Being a pioneer in India’s AI sector, this AI startup offers two flagship products: MARVIN & TURING. While MARVIN is world’s first SmartBot for sales & support, TURING on the other hand is world’s smartest online & offline Business Accelerator that helps in better business planning and execution. With these two products, Racetrack.ai is targeting the fast booming $100 Billion AI market. Investors are positive on their recent moves and have high expectations on Racetrack.ai.

Subrat Parida -Founder & CEO, Racetrack.ai

As the global AI market is rocketing up, Racetrack.ai is focussing on business verticals like BFSI, Education, Health, Hospitality, and Real Estate. With the possibilities, capabilities, and scopes getting wider, Racetrack.ai is all set to expand its operation base to USA, Singapore, and Mauritius.

About Racetrack.ai

Racetrack.ai – India’s First AI Innovation Hub, endeavours to empower businesses by igniting meaningful communication with consumers. It helps businesses to understand consumers:  analyse their requirements & sentiments, suggest them solutions and ensures smooth on-boarding. Racetrack.ai believes Artificial Intelligence as a handshake between humans and modern-day machines to address the vital needs of consumers. For more information, please visit Racetrack.ai

There is a famous quote – ‘Risk & Rewards are two sides of the same coin’ and the same is applicable for monetary investments. However, the investment portfolio would differ from person to person since it is dependent on many factors like risk appetite, assets, liabilities, dependencies, etc. and hence, it becomes virtually impossible for any investment firm to cater to varied investment requirements of such a large audience.

Image Source – Fintech

There is a wrong notion that investing in Mutual Funds or SIP’s is similar & equally risky as investing in the stock market. Due to this, less than 1.5% of the Indian population invested in equity markets and only 2% of India’s household savings were exposed to equity [as per a report from Bloomberg]. However, times are changing and more & more people are willing to invest in SIP’s for long-term benefits, given that they get proper guidance.

This is the problem that many new-age Fintech companies are trying to solve using Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, etc. by giving investors more personalized tailor-made portfolio suggestions based on their persona, long-term & short-term goals, etc. As it is said, you learn from your own mistakes and the 2008 market crash resulted in an Aha moment for entrepreneur Arjun Sarkar. Though he lost a significant amount of money in the crash due to misguidance, he soon realized that it was a ‘larger’ problem that required to be solved. Arjun Sarkar, along with Anup Abhonkar co-founded Everguard Life Ventures Pvt. Ltd. and came up with their first product named SIPtm with the aim to make equity investing simpler by taking investor’s persona and various other data points into consideration. In this episode, we have a chat with Arjun Sarkar, Founder & CEO of the Pune-based startup. The Q&A revolves around the core product SIPtm, fintech, persona-based investing & more. Let’s get started with the Q&A…

Note – ‘I’ in the interview refers to Arjun Sarkar.

Can you walk us through the idea of SIPtm and the team behind the same ?

Idea of SIPtm came to solve the problem of investing for retail investors i.e. answering the questions – Where to invest?, When to invest?, and How much to invest? Because the investor does not know what to do, they invariably go for the default option i.e. trust their friendly neighbourhood bank which is the worst decision they can make. Personally I lost a significant portion of my net-worth in the 2008 crash because I was misled by my relationship manager and invested in the wrong product, that’s when I started taking this subject seriously.

The team comprises of myself – Arjun Sarkar, CEO & Founder of Everguard Life Ventures Pvt. Ltd., the parent company behind the development of SIPtm. I have an MBA from University of Toronto. I have personally managed money for CXO’s and NRI’s in tens of crores for close to a decade and 80% of my personal wealth is invested in mutual funds.

Anup Abhonkar, CTO & Co-Founder has over 18 years of IT experience across domains like Banking, Insurance and Securities. He has worked for leaders in the industry like, Accenture, Barclays and Wipro delivering business critical solutions for Fortune 500 organizations like Aviva and Charles Schwab.

Both of us are passionate about our field. Ask our wives and you will find that we spend most of our time talking about the subject.

What does ‘tm’ stand for in SIPtm ?

TM stands for Through Mobile.

What are some of the data points that you take while recommending a particular SIP or Investment to a particular customer ?

We follow a thorough process backed by research, where we consider multiple quantitative and qualitative factors across domains like Economics [Macros and Micros] and Market and also take customer specific inputs like time-horizon and quantum of investment before suggesting a fund. Research further shows that some categories of funds are better suited for SIP mode of investments so we take that in to consideration as well.

In other words, it is not a cookie cutter approach of following ratings of funds or just looking at the past performance of funds. We are talking investments here, not buying e-commerce products where customer can buy just based on reviews and ratings, they may do well in the short term but will not able to sustain it for a meaningful period of time.

Please talk about ‘Persona Based Investing’ and how can millennials use a platform like SIPtm to plan their investments and maximize their savings ?

‘Persona based investing’ is a concept which maps life stage of investors to priority goals which then helps to filter the optimal investment mix for them. SIPtm is a great product for millennials as it is prescriptive in nature i.e. it is like a doctor listing out the medicine and the dosage which makes decision making very simple. More importantly, the dosage or SIP amounts are in the range of typical monthly savings which can be channelized in a disciplined manner thereby earning much higher returns than other traditional saving products like recurring deposits or insurance products.

Which is the target market segment of SIPtm and can you share some details about the customer demographics of SIPtm ?

Target market segment of SIPtm is people with regular income as SIP mode of investing is a good fit for them.

There are lot of Fintech companies like Scripbox, Sqrrl, etc. that are into goal-based investments, what are the USP’s of SIPtm over their competitors ?

SIPtm is a vehicle to achieve goals but takes a different route than its competitors to reach the goal faster, more predictably and with less volatility. The USP is in the name itself, the app is built ground up for SIP investments only i.e. no lump sum investments which makes the journey less bumpy and more predictable.

The other differentiator is that SIPtm offers a complete solution, right from prescribing the monthly SIP amount, to selection of funds, to distribution of monthly amount between the funds. More importantly, it re-balances the portfolio at appropriate times during the journey i.e. It does not take the fill it, shut and forget it approach.

We are a fintech company i.e. a financial services company that leverages technology to make life easier for our customers. Not the other way round i.e. a technology company that has built a financial app? The nuance is very important as you are suggesting an investment solution not a consumer commodity like laptops and mobile phones where ratings work.

As per a report, there is very small percentage of investors/would be investors who plan to invest in the Equity market [or MF], how does SIPtm plan to change this ‘resistant’ behavior from investors ?

Resistant behaviour is because of fear of loss – The answer is SIP mode of investing as SIPs manage volatility better and as a result, give higher returns at lower risks. Also, SIP amounts are small, so you are not putting a lot of money at risk at any point in time. In case of SIPtm there is another level of assurance, as the suggestions are coming from experts based on 5000+ hours of research. There is also a visible change in the behaviour in the recent times, as per latest figures, India is raking in over a billion dollars in SIPs per month now.

What is the Total Addressable Market [TAM] that you are trying to address with SIPtm?

20 Million SIPs with average investment of Rs 5000 per month

How is the response from the early adopters of SIPtm and what are some the best features that are liked by the community ?

The response from early adopters is great with SIP values ranging from Rs. 5000 right up to Rs. 20,000 per month. The best feature liked by the community is the prescriptive investment suggestion and the overall simplicity of the investment experience.

Currently how many AMC’s are syndicated on the SIPtm platform and how frequently the data is updated on the app ?

This is one more differentiator for us, we have shortlisted only the top 5 AMCs of the country based on some key criterion’s, one of them being the staying power and that is a conscious decision. We may add a couple more in the near future if they pass the criterion’s that we have laid out.

SIPtm Core Team – Anup Abhonkar, Co-founder & CTO [L], Arjun Sarkar, Founder & CEO [R]

Once the user has created an account on SIPtm [and all his investments from various AMCs are under one window], what other services does your team provide to the investors so that they can get more returns from their investments ?

The most relevant and important service provided is the rebalancing of the portfolio and timely interventions to ensure that the customer goal is achieved in time.

Can you give a small glimpse about the tech behind SIPtm ?

SIPtm App has a very simple process flow and UI only because, underneath lies a network of multiple systems, including the App back-end, payment gateway, our back-office tech and RTAs and these systems talking to each in a secure and efficient manner through APIs.

What is the on-boarding process for customers on SIPtm and how has initiatives like IndiaStack, Aadhaar, etc. helped Fintech companies like SIPtm in on-boarding & other services ?

The Customer on-boarding process is very simple and totally paperless. We take minimalistic information from the customer as a one time setup. We know paper work is boring, however this basic information is a part of the Regulatory requirements. After verifying the Customer information, we activate the customer. The customer then goes for the eMandate process. Here is where we use the Aadhaar based e-Sign process that is very simple and reduces the manual 15 days process to just 3 days. So yes, Aadhaar helping immensely in reducing the cycle time as well as going paperless.

SIPtm is currently limited to MF’s/SIP’s, are there any plans/timeline on whether it would be expanded to cover other financial instruments ?

Not in the immediate future as we want to focus all our energy in one area that we are really good at and an area that is under penetrated.

With growing investor and entrepreneur interest in Fintech, many wallet companies like Paytm via PaytmMoney, FreeCharge, MobiKwik, etc. have launched a boutique of finance products on their platform, does this growing competition have an impact on a startup like SIPtm and how it could result in expansion of the fintech ecosystem ?

We do not consider wallet companies as competitors as they do not have the expertise or experience in mutual fund investments. It is like going to a pharmacist who just stocks different products and asking them for a recommendation on medicines to treat a serious disease. But  the fintech ecosystem can benefit if the wallet companies tie up with players like SIPtm as, as they can generate an incremental revenue stream and actually add real value to their users by helping them generate wealth vs earning cashbacks.

Does SIPtm charge any commission from the investment that is being done on the platform ?

Not directly from the customer but through the AMCs we have partnered with. That being said, we do not push mutual funds suggested by the asset management companies as a typical distributor does, just position funds shortlisted by our algorithm.

What is the revenue model of SIPtm and does it follow the Freemium model & do you plan to be a preferred investment partner for enterprise customers ?

As of today our revenue model is commissions. Yes, we plan to partner with enterprise customers in the future but the value proposition for them has to be worked upon.

There is a growing demand of products like SIPtm in Tier-2, Tier-3 cities [and beyond], what are some of the marketing initiatives that your team has taken in order to penetrate into that particular market ?

Yes, we are in talks with potential partners who have a strong existing network in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.

SIPtm is backed by a very experienced founding team and there are very experienced domain-expert mentors behind SIPtm, how has the mentorship helped your team in building the ‘right set’ of features on SIPtm ?

The mentorship has helped us focus on the essentials and cut out the noise. Some of our key decisions on the product road-map have come through the regular calls we have with our advisors. The right set of features has come through a market research project we conducted for our target segment before developing SIPtm and we continue to collect feedback from our live customers.

Can you touch upon the funding of EverguardLife Ventures & are looking for institutional funding in the near future ?

Everguard is internally funded as of now, but we are looking for institutional funding this year for product development and marketing.

The app is currently present on Google Play Store, is there any timeline for the app to be released on the iOS platform ?

We are currently focussing on building traction and incorporating valuable feedback into the Android version. Work on the iOS version is underway and we shall release it shortly.

Do you plan to follow an app-only strategy or there is a plan to open-up a desktop version of the SIPtm platform [since it would definitely be useful for users who log-on the platform from their work location] ?

SIPtm is an app as mobile phones are the preferred mode for our target segment based on our customer research. That being said the algorithm that runs SIPtm is based on our earlier desktop platform called Finanswer which we plan to develop further for other target segments.

After demonetization, there has been a huge demand for payment apps [including UPI], wallet providers providing investment options like Digital Gold, etc. do you see that trend working in favor of apps like SIPtm [that makes an investor’s life smoother] ?

Absolutely, as users get more comfortable using and moving money through Apps it will help apps like SIPtm. We however, do not see payment apps as serious competitors because of the differentiators we touched upon earlier.

2017 was a tough year for startups [especially from funding point of view], how according to you should entrepreneurs deal with such adverse situations ?

Entrepreneurs should always be prepared and focus on their customers to earn revenue. Also, look out for investors who understand your domain well and who can help raise money when it is required, so that the team can focus on the product and business development.

SIPtm team is currently working out from a co-working space in Pune, what are some of the advantages for a startup/growth company while working out from a co-working space ?

You grow your network and get a chance to test your ideas quickly since the target segment is around you and more accessible.

There is lot of talk about implementation of Blockchain, AI, etc. in Finance & Fintech, what are your comments on the same and where do you see the tech moving ahead in the next 3~5 years ?

The ‘Blockchain’ and ‘AI’ landscape looks promising in delivering value to businesses and thereby increasing customer service levels which is very important in Finance. Organizations currently are trying to get a hang of it in multiple use cases and it will be a mainstay in the near future.

Some books that you highly recommend for entrepreneurs and some closing comments for our readers ?

The books I would recommend are E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, Founder of Michael E Gerber Companies and Zero to One by Peter Thiel, Founder of PayPal

We work really hard all our lives to earn money but do make our money work hard for us, by the time we realize this, half our working life is over. I would advise your readers to start investing early as time in the market is the most important factor and it is totally under our control. Investing is a process, boring maybe, but definitely life changing if taken up seriously.

SIPtm for Android can be downloaded from here. We thank Arjun Sarkar for sharing his insights with our readers and walking us through his journey. If you have any questions for him, please share them via a comment to this article or email them to himanshu.sheth@gmail.com

Tessol, a Mumbai-based startup in the CleanTech-led cold chain logistics space, has recently raised an undisclosed amount in follow-on equity funding from early stage venture capital firm 1Crowd, and existing investors Infuse Ventures and Ankur Capital.

Image Source – Tessol

Founded by IIT Delhi – Harvard alumnus Rajat Gupta, Tessol aims to revolutionize the cold chain distribution in India using its proprietary ‘Energy Storage’ technology based solutions. These products and solutions, while being environmentally sustainable, reduce the lifetime cost of cooling by more than 50% therefore making cold chain on low value products viable.

Over the last few years, Tessol has developed solutions ranging from farm level collection to home delivery and works with the largest FMCG, food processing and e-commerce players in India. Funds raised in this round would be utilized by Tessol for strengthening the current product suite and bringing some disruptive products that were under development to pilot and commercialization.

Rajat Gupta, CEO of Tessol, who has several years of past industry experience, said

There are huge gaps in the Indian food supply chain and while there are several cold chain products available in the market, there is a dearth of viable solutions. At Tessol, we believe in partnering with our customers and working out system level solutions that can drastically impact costs while improving the performance.

Anil Gudibande, Co-founder – 1Crowd, said

We see Tessol occupy a sweet spot at the intersection of India’s underserved cold chain architecture and a vacuum in environmentally-friendly clean energy solutions. Tessol’s farm-to-fork product range serves myriad use cases, application segments and customer profiles, and the breadth and depth of their client roster bears ample testimony to the efficacy of their innovation-driven offerings.

Amber Maheshwari, Vice President – Infuse Ventures, said

Tessol is one of the very few innovation-driven cold chain product companies. With their superior energy-efficient technology, already adopted by many marquee clients across industries, the company is well-positioned to service the growing demand for cold chain infrastructure.

Krishnan Neelakantan, Senior Director – Ankur Capital, said

We are excited about the rapid growth in Tessol’s range of cost efficient, high performance cold-chain solutions, which is bringing in new, quality-conscious customers across end-user segments. We believe Tessol’s technology can, over the longer-term, aid significant reduction in losses in the agri/food chain from the current high levels.

About 1crowd

1Crowd is an early stage investor and startup ecosystem with a unique co-investment lead equity crowdfunding platform and seed & early stage Fund. Launched in 2015 by a team of experienced bankers, with two offices in Mumbai and Bengaluru, the platform has invested in over 17 ventures, with over Rs. 40 crores in AUM. Recently, 1Crowd announced the first close of its seed & early stage Fund. For more information, please visit 1Crowd.