Delhi-based Radar capital was born from a simple observation: several investment banks are operational but most are reluctant to work with small companies.
The lack of entrepreneurship among many investment bankers – most only wanting to serve “established” firms – compounds this problem.
Radar capital, an investment advisory boutique for startups and high growth companies founded in 2018, aims to solve this problem.
“We have brought a hands-on entrepreneurial approach to this industry,” says Rahul Gupta, Founder and Managing Director of Radar Capital.
Rahul, who has taken on most of a seed entrepreneur’s challenges related to branding, fundraising and survival, believes his background gives him a unique understanding of this space.
Rahul Gupta, Founder and Managing Director, Radar Capital
“In addition, we understand that every startup is unique and needs a tailored growth strategy. This is why Radar offers unique solutions for each of its customers, ”explains Rahul.
Radar Capital is involved in Fund raising and growth consulting for its customers. He takes care of entrepreneurs and guides them on product development, marketing communications – and finally fundraising.
“We operate from seed to series A and we also enter into LP (limited partner) agreements for venture capital funds,” says Rahul.
The portfolio and the newsletter
Radar Capital now employs a team of 12, with Rahul leading strategy and business development while the rest of the team is involved in data mining and research.
Rahul, MBA from SPJIMR (Mumbai), is a seasoned entrepreneur who has been successful in four businesses spanning graduate college publishing, trade shows / events in the children’s space, and film production. In 2003, he launched Biztantra, a management education company, and in 2012 launched World Children Expo, India’s first B2B / B2C event platform for children’s brands.
The idea for Radar Capital came to him during a conversation at a business event, and he started working to “help entrepreneurs succeed”.
Over the past two years, the company says investments in its startups have increased tenfold.
Its portfolio includes Smartivity, Avishkar Box, Coffee Bond, Clevergene Biocorp and Pikapika. Recent startups are ZFW Hospitality, EduGorilla and Made Easy Group. All the startups – and entrepreneurs – received advice that helped them grow.
Radar Capital has worked closely with edtech startups Smartness and Avishkar Box – from start-up funding. This facilitated an initial investment of Rs 60 lakh from the S Chand group in Smartivity, which has since increased to a total of Rs 22 crore. It is currently valued at Rs 100 crore – a jump in valuation from Rs 2 crore to Rs 100 crore in four years. Smartivity’s estimated revenue is Rs 20 crore for fiscal year 20-21.
The consultancy firm was also instrumental in facilitating the funding of the Rs 5 crore pre-series A in Avishkar Box from Auxano Trust. The turnover of the edtech startup stands at Rs 18 crore, a jump of 800% from the first Rs 2 crore, and it is valued at Rs 100 crore at present.
Talk about Bond Cafe, a Delhi-based cafe, he says, Radar facilitated the pre-Series A funding of Rs 1.5 crore from Auxano Trust in January 2019. Its income increased from Rs 80 lakh per year to Rs 3, 23 crore in a year, and their “footprint has grown from one cafe to 13 outlets.”
Startup in genomics Clevergene Biocorp closed a pre-Series A funding round of Rs 4.5 crore from Auxano Trust in November 2019 and saw its income increase from Rs 2 crore to Rs 7.8 crore in FY21 .
“Clevergene plans to raise $ 10 million for the next phase of growth, and Radar Capital has the exclusive mandate for this,” said Rahul.
In October 2020, the company raised Rs 1 crore from Auxano Trust for Pika pika, an app that can help censor content on children’s phones.
Radar Capital Now Works With Cloud Cooking Platform ZFW Hospitality, for which he raised $ 150,000 in pre-seed funding in April. The next step is to raise $ 1 million as part of the startup’s pre-Series A cycle towards the end of 2021.
“We have invested over $ 7 million in total to date. The market value of these investments is over $ 25 million to date. From now on, the company supplies LP investors to future venture capital funds, ”said Rahul.
The path to follow
Rahul believes seed funding has matured in India.
“A lot of individual investors are very daring. Indian family offices, which are generally very conservative, are also interested in investing in startups. Successful entrepreneurs like Kunal Shah, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal are also some of the biggest early stage investors, ”he said.
At present, the income of the investment company is set at around Rs 1.75 crore per year (FY21), including success fees, advice and returns on its own investments.
“The size of the venture / growth capital market is $ 10 billion. Radar’s focus areas are the edtech / kids space, with a keen eye on health / consumer tech as well, ”said Rahul.
Competition in India includes investment banks and angel investment firms like LetsVenture, Indigo Edge, Venture Garage etc.
“Radar’s USP is that it provides brand consulting, business development and revenue development services other than mentoring and fundraising activities. We are industry independent, although edtech is one of our favorite industries. ”
The future of Radar Capital lies in “building its own fund for startups,” and the company aims to launch a fund of $ 30-40 million over the next two years. “We are also closing Limited Partners (LP) for a fund of Rs 150 crore for a client,” said Rahul.
Radar Capital intends to launch a YouTube channel called Termsheet in July 2021.
“It will be an interaction with entrepreneurs who have taken on challenges and built businesses. The channel aims to discuss a plethora of challenges for the startup community other than the money – marketing, communications, interpersonal dynamics, and more, ”said Rahul.