lean on green
Of the various hurdles that startups face, lack of starting capital is a commonality. As traditional banking provides limited options for small companies, it’s good news that new fund providers are slowly coming into the picture. If you have a company that’s been grounded for lack of funds, check if some of these companies might be useful for you.
One to Watch
Having started two years ago as an Asset Management Company, One2Watch helps connect international investors to emerging ventures. It matches local entrepreneurs with funding from entrepreneurs in Netherlands who provide everything from managerial skills and tips on financing. One2Watch works on the principle of Equity investment where more than 51% of the company share is provided to the entrepreneurs. Working as a growth fund, One2Watch invests in growing companies which have been stable for two years, and have started and are generating some amount of revenue. The Fund works on the basis of joint ventures where One to Watch shares the position of founders along with the entrepreneurs. They have been helping companies scale up mainly in the agricultural industry. It has a five-year exit plan which leaves the company to its own when the time period is over and if the venture is ready to set out alone. Their criterion is simply young entrepreneurs with a good track record and those who have had experience working in other ventures. The company has been working to promote entrepreneurs mainly in the agricultural industry with companies like Kalash Milk Industry, Alpine Coffee and Organic Mountain Flavour.
Udhyami Impact Fund
An initiative of Biruwa Ventures, Udhyami Seed Fund was started a year ago with an aim to promote entrepreneurship. The Udhyami Seed Fund provides Seed Funding to startups and provides Growth Funds to already established companies. On the lookout for new startups, Udhyami has flexible criteria for financing new ventures. “We know that when ventures start out, they will not go into profit immediately. So we have a policy where we don’t take interest from them for up to six months after investing,” says Dristy Shrestha, Program Manager at Udhyami Impact Fund.
Till now they have been providing funds in the form of Loan and Equity Funds. Their flexible working policy however, means that they are open to any sort of investing policies. Having understood the working mechanism of startups, Udhyami also provides experienced mentors to help guide young entrepreneurs with fund management and business strategies. They provide Venture Capital of around 5 ton 10 lakh in the starting phase and plan to invest up to three to five years in a venture depending on its type. Udhyami Impact Fund also organizes events like Udhyami Bhetghat where entrepreneurs can build networks and find possible future investors.
The Udhyami Impact Fund has been funding Karkhana, which has been actively promoting robotics in school education and DND Kitchen Equipment, which locally manufactures big scale kitchen equipment for cafes and restaurants alike.
Gazaab Social Ventures
“We believe in earning and in social impact,” says Rijendra Pradhanang, Business Consultant of Gazaab Social Ventures. The venture has been supporting four entrepreneurs who have become examples of hard work in their local communities. From candle makers to mushroom farmers, these entrepreneurs were selected through a competition organized by Gazaab Social Ventures which intended to find potential small scale industries to invest in. Although they aren’t funding new companies at the moment, Gazaab Social Ventures has been actively supporting the four entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses and plan to invest in these ventures for up to three years. They are providing business consulting to these entrepreneurs and helping them improve their management and costing issues. The company is also working in the planning phase of a project called the Back Street Academy. With the project, they intend to bring together clients involved in distinctly Nepali vocations such as traditional handicraft and authentic Nepali recipes to create a platform for tourists to learn such skills. As social impact is an important pillar of their foundation, they are planning to include sixty percent of such ventures from the underprivileged community. They hope to find future entrepreneurs they can work with through the project.