gGradCapital, founded by graduates of BITS and IIMA, has just announced its second fund, with a total investment of $6 million, to support student companies.
Following the gC cohort, the majority of firms raise their next round, with Rainmatter Capital and Lightspeed serving as the primary investors. They support people all year long, provide funding to about 20 of the 3000 applicants they get each year. Obviously, getting in is difficult, but it’s worth a shot.
In a statement about the fund launch, Abhishek, Co-founder & CEO said, “We are not in the business of finding and investing in deals, we are in the business of letting students be more ambitious and build a future, despite having a challenging education system. Being a student also has an unfair advantage: building with friends, not being scared of thinking big, and being scrappy/ fast with their project. How many experienced people can do that? It’s a systemic failure when ambitious students aren’t able to take off while in college, and they end up taking a job because of a loan, and become too rational. After which, they are more likely to start a D2C company instead of a quantum computer, and we need more of the latter.”
gradCapital especially enjoys supporting teams that have built businesses out of scientific and engineering initiatives. They started a grant program called the Atomic Fellowship where they aim to give $5,000 awards to students who have technical projects that could grow into businesses. Emergent Ventures, which Peter Thiel funds, is supporting it. Kshitij, a co-founder of Pixxel, and gradCapital will manage it.
gradCapital was founded by two friends who also lived in the IIMA hostel. Zepto was a member of gradCapital’s cohort of five teams that helped them apply to YC at that point. GradCapital subsequently launched a $1M fund to invest in 18 companies, and within 18 months, the fund had increased in value by over double.
gradCapital supports students by providing a standard check of $40,000 for 4% of applicants, and funded students are invited to join a 4-week cohort in Bangalore where they can network with accomplished individuals.