Venture capitalists are turning to smaller cities and towns across India in search of stellar investment opportunities.
Unitus Seed Fund, backed by marquee investors like Vinod Khosla and billionaire Ranjan Pai, has made a seed investment in Hubballi-based education start-up LabInApp.
Founded by four engineering graduates from BVB College of Engineering and Technology in Hubballi, the firm has developed interactive three-dimensional graphical simulations for teaching complex science concepts.
The firm, which has raised $100,000 (Rs. 63 lakh) from Unitus, will use the funding to expand its network to other districts in Karnataka as well as in Maharashtra.
“Presently, we have virtual models in physics and biology for pre-university students. We will also start working on the virtual labs for the high school students,” said Girish Shirigannavar, co-founder and chief technology officer of LabInApp. Shirigannavar cofounded the company along with Pavan Shinde, Pramod Ramdurg and Vinayk Hulabutti, who were his college mates.
For rural India
They decided to create virtual science laboratories when they realised the problems faced by students in rural India, as they don’t have access to science laboratories.
LabInApp got incubated at Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship of BVB College. The start-up has designed a three-dimensional and interactive virtual laboratory tool that allows teachers and students to perform science experiments on computers or mobile devices.
Shirigannavar said this way, they are able to eliminate the physical barriers of an actual laboratory.
The firm has already bagged about 50 institutions based in Hubballi-Dharwad as customers.
However, getting the funding to scale up the venture was hard. The founders struggled for almost a year.
They fought it out with other start-ups from across the country in the ‘StartEdu’ competition conducted by Unitus Seed Fund and finally emerged winners to bag the seed fund. “After a month-long process, they decided to give us seed fund of Rs. 60 lakh,” said Shirigannavar.
LabInApp team would be mentored by a group of top tech entrepreneurs and industry executives like Madan Padaki and Anand Sudarshan, Dave Richardson and Srikrishna Ramamurthy from Unitus Seed Fund that invests in start-ups innovating for the masses in India.
Vice-Chancellor of KLE Technological University Ashok Shettar, who guided the young team, termed it a welcome development for budding entrepreneurs from smaller cities like Hubballi and hoped that more youngsters will get motivated to tread the path of entrepreneurship.
Their start-up, LabInApp, has got
seed funding of
Rs. 63 lakh from Unitus Seed Fund