Pontaq to fund 15 startups in T-Hub 2.0

Under the one year contract with T-Hub, the $100 million VC firm is aiming at funding 10-15 startups.

Pontaq to fund 15 startups in T-Hub 2.0

Pontaq, a global Venture Capital firm, an innovation fund, which invests in early stage technology businesses/startups across UK, India, USA and Canada, has tied up with the world's largest startup incubator, T-Hub, an initiative by Government of Telangana, for expanding its investment portfolio in the State.

What started as just a meeting between Telangana's IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao and Pontaq's Managing Partner Prem Kumar Barthasarathy on May 18, 2022, turned into an agreement on expansion in the State within just one month. By June 15, Pontaq has identified 50 revenue opportunities, 45 infrastructure opportunities and 46 funding opportunities in Telangana and agreed to open an office in the State. On June 28, at the inaugural of T-Hub 2.0, the State and Pontaq signed an MoU.

Pontaq, which is headquartered in the UK, will be getting free space in the new T-Hub building to be in close connection with T-Hub-incubated startups. The VC firm will not only be funding these futuristic startups, but will also be hand-holding them into expanding their businesses.

Pontaq specialises in cross pollination of technology between geographies and beyond, unlocking significant value for both its investee companies and its investors.

The VC firm had started its journey in Telangana in 2019 in partnership with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Since then, Pontaq has invested in seven Telangana-based startups.

In an exclusive interview to 'NewsTap', Pontaq's Managing Partner Prem Kumar Barthasarathy said that Pontaq has identified 50 revenue opportunities, 45 infrastructure opportunities and 46 funding opportunities in Telangana.


How many startups is Pontaq aiming to fund in their one year contract?

Under the one year contract with T-Hub, the $100 million VC firm is aiming at funding 10-15 startups. Their vision is to create more than 2,000 job opportunities in Telangana over the next three years.

What are their key areas of focus?

Apart from Fin-Tech, Agri-Tech, Health-Tech and Smartcity-Tech, Pontaq also focuses on Emerging-Tech – startups which identify problems in topics that are figuratively emerging from a background of nonexistence or obscurity.

Apart from funding, how would Pontaq be supporting the startups in other ways?

Funding, for Pontaq, does not just mean monetarily investing in startups. It enables the startups to be financially fit over time. The VC helps the startups to manage their expenses and increase their savings.

Being spread in 35,000 villages in India, startups associated with Pontaq will give them a strong base in India before they spread globally. The startups will get a channel to reach out to the public and incorporate their solution-based products or services.

Pontaq will also act as a channel between the Government of UK and help startups expand their business in the UK market. They will help analyse the market and the startups' potential in foreign markets.

Pontaq also offers a 'Mentor pool', a space where startups can connect with people from established firms, chief executives of big companies and people from the tech-industry who will help them in understanding entrepreneurship, identifying potential areas of growth and giving tips and tricks for monetary growth.

Are there any portfolio companies of Pontaq which have already agreed to enter Telangana?

Not just Pontaq, but two of its portfolio companies – Maxbyte Technologies and MyNeibo India – also signed an MoU with T-Hub on June 28 for expansion in Telangana. Maxbyte Technologies is an Industry 4.0 company and MyNeibo is a women empowerment-centric firm which aims at helping women get jobs and make them financially independent. MyNeibo aims at enabling 5,000 women ,in Telangana, to work over a period of one year.

What was the idea behind Pontaq?

Prem believes in entrepreneurship, more than VC. He actually had no knowledge of VC firms. He identified the potential of creating employment opportunities and providing innovative solutions through startups, in London. With a view to giving a fillip to the startup activity, he decided to launch a VC firm and strengthen the same.

He identified a lot of potential in Telangana with T - Hub. Because the T-Hub is offering a lot of opportunity for innovation and employment generation, Pontaq partnered T-Hub. He proposes to take technology from India to foreign land.

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