Illustration: Rahul Awasthi
Illustration: Rahul Awasthi

YourNest Venture Capital has launched a fast-track funding programme, SOAR, focused on early-stage technology startups, particularly those operating in the deep tech domain, the Gurgaon-based venture capital firm announced on Friday.

The SOAR programme, applications for which are open from May 1-14, is being supported by the likes of Intel India Maker Lab, Amazon Web Services, technology giant Cisco, Indian SaaS unicorn Freshworks and JioNext, YourNest said in a prepared statement.

AWS and Freshworks will be offering credits to the startups to utilises their services, while Cisco, Intel and JioNext will work with the VC firm to shortlist applicants, the official statement said.

“Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic along with the global macroeconomic uncertainty is hard and will last a long time but we feel this is the right time to encourage committed entrepreneurs in India who will create not just life-changing solutions but also employment opportunities,” Sunil K. Goyal, managing director of YourNest Venture Capital, said.

Post the closure of the application process, shortlisted startups will undergo a second round of screening, with term sheets to be issued by June 15.

Under the SOAR programme, selected startups are eligible to receive between $250,000-$1 million in funding, and will receive support across key functions, including, strategy, compliance, legal, secretarial and talent sourcing, among others, the statement added.

“They would also be eligible for a follow-on funding and YourNest’s proprietary ‘Post-investment 100-day Playbook’ to focus and achieve scale quickly along with credits/rewards from our ecosystem partners,” it stated.

The eligibility criteria for potential applicants include, having registered with certification from DPIIT, or they should have already applied, and are awaiting acceptance. The startups should be businesses with a minimum viable product, and be IP-led businesses with the potential to go global, according to the official statement.

“We will continue to fund the most promising startups in deep tech SaaS domains, particularly if they are building IPs and have a global outlook to make the world a better place to work and live in,” Goyal said.

SOAR is part of YourNest’s second fund – a $45 million investment vehicle – that looks to primarily place pre-Series A bets on deep tech, including across the IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, cloud and automation segments, SaaS-oriented businesses. Till date, it has announced seven investments from its second fund, according to its website.

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