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Zerodha Founder Launches Grant Fund for Youth Entrepreneurs

The initiative focuses on individuals who have the potential to revolutionise their industries through creative ideas and compelling visions…reports Asian Lite News

Leading stock broker Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath on Monday launched a non-dilutive grant agnostic fund ‘WTFund’, dedicated to nurturing young, promising entrepreneurs aged 25 and under.

This initiative focuses on individuals who have the potential to revolutionise their industries through creative ideas and compelling visions.

“Today, young founders tend to create the most impact within entrepreneurship. At WTFund, our goal is to cultivate a culture that encourages young entrepreneurs to embrace risk by providing a comprehensive support system,” Kamath said in a statement.

The fund offers a comprehensive package including a non-dilutive grant of Rs 20 lakh, enabling founders to retain full equity in their ventures.

Additionally, the fund provides access to operator-first mentorship pods, a vibrant community through the WTFund ecosystem.

Forty young entrepreneurs will be selected for funding and mentorship over one year.

They will undergo a rigorous screening process and receive support until they secure their first institutional funding.

The WTFund is open to investing in all sectors. This initiative will provide a comprehensive growth platform for emerging founders, creators, makers, and dreamers, offering them financial support and a unique opportunity to engage with a vibrant community of like-minded individuals.

Meanwhile, sharing an image on the social media platform X promoting a WhatsApp group to join for stock tips, leading stock broker Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath on Friday said it’s a scam.

He asked users to report the advertisement, saying that he never had any WhatsApp group for stock tips.

“Scam alert, this is obviously not from me, I have never had or have any WhatsApp groups, nor do I give tips etc. Please report these,” Kamath wrote.

“Also to all the brands who reach out, I don’t do paid promotions/collaborations/ads/paid speaking engagements of any kind,” he added.

A lot of users reacted to Kamath’s post and appreciated him for alerting them against such scams.

“By sharing these scam alerts, you’re not just protecting yourself, but empowering your entire community to spot and avoid these predatory tactics,” a user said.

“It’s great to see you taking a firm stance against paid promotions and collaborations. Your authentic voice and content are what truly resonates with your audience,” another user wrote.

One more user mentioned, “It takes courage to turn down lucrative opportunities, but you’re clearly committed to preserving the integrity of your platform.”

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‘Addressable startup market could only be 10 cr’

Both the founders stressed that investors and founders may have overestimated the potential size of the Indian market…reports Asian Lite News

As the Indian startup ecosystem goes through a turbulence amid corporate governance concerns being raised, Zerodha co-founder and CEO Nithin Kamath on Friday said the total addressable market size for startups in the country could only be around 10 crore (100 million).

Addressing the gathering at the startup conclave organised by Money Control in Bengaluru, both the founders stressed that investors and founders may have overestimated the potential size of the Indian market.

“The actual monetisable market size is a subset of 100 million. India is a developing country and evolving very fast, but as of now it is a subset of 100 million,” said Kamath.

According to PhonePe co-founder and CEO Sameer Nigam, even with an annual active user base of 300 million, only 100 million would likely be buying PhonePe’s various financial services products.

“People are projecting revenues and not margins and that is the fundamental problem. The fear of missing out or FOMO model is playing out. Margins are getting eroded because of too many players,” Nigam was quoted as saying.

“We are seeing very strong results early on in the lending space. We are riding the wave of a robust and strong economy,” he noted.

PhonePe could reach 500 million users by Diwali this year, said Nigam.

There was no new unicorn in India in the first half of 2023 as startup funding plunged more than 70 per cent in the January-June period from a year ago, signalling that the funding winter is here to stay as several top unicorns continue to face economic downturn.

The first six months witnessed Indian startups raise just $5.48 billion, from $19.5 billion they raised during the same period last year, according to data by market intelligence firm Tracxn.

In the first half this year, the startup ecosystem saw 546 deal rounds, a significant drop from the total number of rounds at 1,570 in the same period last year.

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