The winning team of recently-concluded startup reality show Droom.in MTV Dropout, Era has bagged an investment of Rs. 25 lakhs from Amit Patni and Venture Catalysts. The startup will use the funds to hire technologists, build underlying technology, and explore strategic partnerships.
ERA is an integrated identity management platform owned by Autentico Pvt. Ltd. Founded by Ajay Vishnu, Priyansha Jain, and Karmaditya Bagga, the startup offers a blockchain-based digital solution for identity verification with which organisations can authenticate users without the know-your-customer (KYC) process—be it at a physical location or an online portal.
The winning team commented, “Winning a one-of-its-kind reality show like MTV Dropout is a moment of great pride for us, and we are very thankful to MTV & Venture Catalysts for providing us with a platform to showcase our skills and establish a funded company that is poised to solve a growing real-world problem. We have a team with diverse skills and experience, but as a new start-up, we believe we have a lot to learn from the ecosystem that we have just entered. Each one of us looks forward to mentoring under VCats and learning the ropes under their highly-experienced mentors.”
Mumbai-based Venture Catalysts typically invests $100,000-$500,000 in early-stage startups. In addition to investment, Venture Catalysts will mentor the entrepreneurs and host the team at its co-working facility for 6 months.
“Our decision to invest in ERA as a product was taken since blockchain is a rapidly growing product segment in financial technology, and the market potential for such a product is significantly greater. The team’s pitch and business plan were also stronger and more comprehensive, which influenced our final funding decision,” said Dr Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and President, Venture Catalysts.
The mentors on Droom.in MTV Dropout include Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder &CEO of Droom.in; Anisha Singh, Cofounder & CEO of Mydala.com; and Alok Kejriwal, Cofounder & CEO of Games2Win. The show, which has already generated massive user engagement, was initiated to provide an impetus to the India’s growing start-up ecosystem. It aims to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among Indian youth and to reduce their more-than-necessary reliance on academic qualifications or professional achievements.