Entrepreneurs in India might get funded within a shorter duration and could consult online mentors for queries, thanks to EFactor, a professional networking site recently launched in India.
EFactor is a platform for entrepreneurs to network and meet potential investors. It has been present globally since 2008 and boasts a million users in 185 countries. Apart from funding, insights on how to increase revenue and save costs are provided on the portal.
"There has been a sizable registration in India. Anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship, be it an entrepreneur, venture capitalist (VC) or vendors, will find our portal attractive,” said Nitesh Chandra, country manager EFactor.
He explained they covered four domains — help reduce costs by providing deals from vendors, help get funds, gain revenue through business insights and gain knowledge through networking and mentoring activities. “The start-up mortality rate worldwide is very high. This portal helps entrepreneurs reduce the possibility of going wrong,” informed Chandra. He added the more one interacts, the more one gains from the network.
Chandra said two of the co-founders, Adrie Reinders and Marion Freijsen, were regularly visiting India for viewing the prospects.
"They had visited Delhi before, but realised social networking wasn’t big in India. People did not understand what this concept was. But, they had India in mind, since it had a big network of entrepreneurs and was an English-speaking nation. That is how they came to India," he said.
The portal helps connect entrepreneurs with the right kind of investors, whether it is angel investors, VCs or debt-based funding, based on their requirements. E-mentoring is also offered to them through the platform. One of the most distinct features of the portal is the ToolBox available for all members. This toolbox is a marketplace for business-to-business products and services.
The portal has a revenue sharing agreement with the toolbox partners.
Most of these vendors need to have a national footprint, if not a global footprint. Some vendors are also sourced locally.
Though the membership is free, one has to pay a certain fee to become a VIP member. VIP membership offers one-to-one support. "Once you are a VIP member, you get access to a VIP inner circle and an instant board of advisors who are co-founders of EFactor. They will answer your toughest business questions. All you need to do is submit questions and you get answers within 24 hours," Chandra said. One also gets access to the world's largest e-products library, where one may get discounted products ranging from business ideas, health and fitness tips, e-books to business software. They have tie-ups with specific product providers, to offer discounts. Apart from this, VIP members also have access to solution-based action reports.
They can also be a part of bi-monthly expert events. These have experts i.e. funded entrepreneurs and top VCs and top angels on the speaker panel explaining how it is possible to get funding. These events include both free events and paid ones.
Offline events are also regularly held for members, where there are speakers talking about different topics. The portal is doing selective word of mouth targeting and has planned 12 events this year to attract the right people to their network.
"Portals like ours are important in a country like India. If you do not have a support system where entrepreneurship is blooming, you cannot get to the next level. If you have a good proposition, you will get funded soon. It is this proposition that we help build. We already have a good pipeline of entrepreneurs in India and most of them are on the way to be funded," concludes Chandra.