Venture Engine is once again taking on the role of reviving Sri Lanka’s startup sector. As Sri Lanka’s leading startup funding platform and a pioneer in the local startup sector since 2012, Venture Engine shed light on the resurgence of the startup sector with its successfully concluded finale, held on February 23. 2022. This event not only showcased the resilience of Sri Lankan startups, but also that the sector is bouncing back.
“Despite the setbacks experienced by the startup industry due to COVID-19, a lack of currency, etc., we are happy to have successfully completed the tenth year of Venture Engine. This is a testament to the strength of this program, which has accelerated some of Sri Lanka’s top bankable startups from idea to advanced stage in a very short time. In many ways, our journey this year has mirrored that of our startups. changes to our program due to repeated stops and starts, and even an unprecedented lengthening of our deadlines. This year, we introduced a new award called the Trailblazer Award. This award was intended to highlight the success of women entrepreneurs and to encourage more women to participate. We will also offer one-on-one mentorship with our group of investment advisors, industry experts and successful founders. The idea of the grant and targeted mentorship is to help help founders solve their business problems,” commented Mr. Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, Founder of BOV Capital, Lankan Angel Network and Venture Engine.
Venture Engine’s 2022 winner was Sri Lanka’s first “Buy Now, Pay Later” platform, Mintpay (FinTech). One-on-one online tutoring platform Tutopiya (EdTech) was named first runner-up, while non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Hyperglade (Web 3.0) was named second runner-up. Tutopiya founder Nuha Ghouse received the Trailblazer Award, which was first presented in 2022.
Continuing to promote initiatives that help innovative startups accelerate their growth and scale, Venture Engine has, this year alone, awarded more than Rs. 7 million in prizes and grants to startups, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. Along with BOV Capital, the Indian Angel Network is also one of the founders of Venture Engine, with the Lankan Angel Network (LAN) as its investment partner and the Ford Foundation as its platinum sponsor.
Quick Help, which provides online access to home improvement services such as plumbing, carpentry, household help and more, has been recognized with Venture Engine’s Impact Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by the Indian venture capital firm Aavishkaar, gold sponsor of Venture Engine. Hatch was the silver sponsor. Other sponsors and partners included Dialog Axiata PLC, KPMG, PwC, AOD, Shift and CPP, ICTA, [email protected], Council for Startups and SLASSCOM.
Local panelists at the finale were ICTA Chairman Mr. Oshada Senanayake, Dialog Axiata PLC COO Lasantha Theverapperuma, Calcey Technologies Founder/CEO Mr. Mangala Karunaratne, nCinga Chairman , Mr. Imal Kalutotage and Director of KPMG Sri Lanka, Mr. Shiluka Gunawardena, as well as LAN Patrons and Board Members Ms. Padmaja Ruparel, Co-Founder, Indian Angel Network; Mr. Rajan Anandan, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India; Ms. Anarkali Moonesinghe, former CEO of CIMB Investment Bank Sri Lanka; and Mr. Jeevan Gnanam, founder of HATCH.
The final also featured the participation of potential investors from Citi Group, Sequoia Capital, Avendus Capital, Aavishkaar Capital, SBK Ventures, Advantedge Founders Fund, Waterbridge Ventures, K3 Ventures, Indian Angel Network and Singapore Angel Network, who joined from the stranger. by zoom.
Since its launch 10 years ago, Venture Engine has become Sri Lanka’s most successful platform for accelerating and growing the country’s most promising new business ideas. Over 1000 Sri Lankan startups have been vetted and mentored by this program since its launch in 2012. To date, the Venture Engine program has attracted Rs. 2 billion+ in funding for startups. Some successful Venture Engine startups include InsureMe, Roar, ZigZag.lk, Takas.lk, Saraii Village, Stripes & Checks, Skrumptious, Kimbula Kithul, Strive, PlushBox, Nithya, Extrogene, OMAK Technologies, LiveRoom, Intellocut, BusSeat.lk, IgniterSpace, House of Lonali and 24-7 Techies.