Native Angel Network (NAN), which is focused on tier-II and III cities in Tamil Nadu, is set to expand its footprint to more cities in the state. NAN has also joined hands with Indian Angel Network and Unitus Seed Fund to expand its offerings.
Launched in October 2014 in Madurai in Tamil Nadu, NAN is backed by industrialists from the state such as TVS Group's R Dinesh, Ma Foi group founder K Pandiarajan, Dr Aravind Srinivasan of Aravind Eye Hospitals, Karumuttu T Kannan of Thiagaraja group, etc.
According to R Sivarajah, one of the founders of NAN, the Tiruchy Chapter will be launched next month, followed by Coimbatore, Tuticorin or Tiruneveli, Salem and Vellore.
NAN's approach is to enable, nurture, incubate and invest. To incubate and frame strategies, NAN has joined hands with IIM-Ahmedabad and also works with the institutes such as IIT-Madras to incubate small and medium enterprises.
So far, NAN members have helped with seed funds for three start-ups. Among them are Rainstock, which offers rain water harvesting systems to address water needs of the Madurai region, and FreshNV.com, an e-commerce platform for fresh meat. The third company, Happy Hens, is in the poultry space. In the first two companies, investors from the network have infused Rs 10 lakh each and in the third company Rs 50 lakh was invested.
"We (NAN) can invest up to Rs 30 lakh. For anything beyond that, we got access to Indian Angel Network and Unitus Seed Fund," said Sivarajah.
Currently, NAN has 40 investors and it plans to increase the number to 100-125 in 24 months. "A NAN member must invest at least Rs 5 lakh in two years, which translates to Rs 5 crore over the next 24 months," Sivarajah added.
NAN helps students and aspiring entrepreneurs. While many people come up with innovative business ideas, they could persist with the plan owing to a lack of guidance and monetary support, said Sivarajah, adding that the 'angels' will not only infuse money, they will also mentor the entrepreneurs.