Harness Handitouch Pvt Ltd, a Chennai-based educational technology startup has raised about INR 1 Cr angel investment from CLUB ah!, India’s newest and fastest growing angel investment network and a part of ah! Ventures India.
Harness Handitouch was founded in 2011 by former McKinsey & Company consultant and IIT, Madras & ISB, Hyderabad alumni, Subramanian Viswanathan. The company, which operates in a B2B model in collaboration with schools, is harnessing the tablet and cloud revolutions for collaborative, blended learning. They have developed a new learning operating system called Touch-on-cloud to provide a breakthrough improvement in methodology and learning outcomes of classroom and distance education. While their product is already ready for prime-time, the current funds raised from CLUB ah! will be partly used for company’s sales, marketing and working capital requirements and partly for further product feature enhancements.
CLUB ah!, which is a network of over 200 investors – both individual & institutional, looks to invest between USD 100K to 1M into innovative scalable ideas. ah! Ventures India, who have fathered CLUB ah!, is a growth catalyst that brings together promising businesses and investors through a unique blend of customised services, skill, and industry & domain experience. CLUB ah! is one of their many revolutionary innovations or ah!novations, as they prefer to call, that hopes to change the Indian entrepreneurship ecosystem for the better. “There aren’t just the oh-so-few hundred angel investors in India anymore. We believe there are thousands!”, says Harshad Lahoti, founding partner, ah! Ventures. “Ours is a blue-ocean strategy. We believe, given enough awareness and education of this new investment asset class, many rich and savvy investors of today are prepared to take the plunge into angel investing.”
No wonder over 80% of CLUB ah! members are the young new breed of investors comprising of successful first-gen entrepreneurs, rich professionals and smart educated businessman, who not only look at investing as angels but also to mentor and assist their investee ventures to network and scale. But is this new go-to-market strategy working for CLUB ah!? “Absolutely!”, avers Harshad. “7 out of the 11 investors from our last angel deal are investing for the first time ever. These numbers only reaffirm our faith in the angel investing capability of India and Indian investors.”
But that’s not all – CLUB ah! has many other unique features and offerings they have introduced. For one, they are probably the first and only angel network that are pro-entrepreneur. “Both Harshad and I are entrepreneurs ourselves,” says Abhijeet Kumar, co-founder of ah! Ventures. “And hence we very well understand the plight of an entrepreneur/venture looking to startup. Quick deal closures, immediate fund remittance, simple agreements with conducive terms and ready exposure to our extended network to help grow and scale, are some of the many expectations we have set for deals at CLUB ah!.” “We believe raising funds is just the beginning of an entrepreneurs journey and besides assisting them in this process, we will play a pivotal role to help them quickly transition from one level to next until they reach their deserving pedestal.” adds Harshad.
Besides the angel investment club and the usual mentoring and consultancy services that they offer, ah! Ventures is soon looking to take all its offerings online to cater to the next level of growth and innovation. Stay tuned.