New Delhi: As early-stage deals dry up in the Indian start-up ecosystem, Mumbai-based investor Astarc Ventures has introduced a referral programme to source new deals.

Introduced Wednesday, the ‘Refer a Start-up’ programme offers a reward to any person who refers an early-stage start-up that the venture capital firm ends up investing in. The firm has set an upfront payment of Rs50,000 and a “0.5% carry", that is 0.5% of profits made on the initial investment, for this purpose.

“Till now, we primarily sourced deals from the founders and the start-up ecosystem players but realized that it’s about time the barrier is broken. We would like to invite everyone – the customers, employees, friends tell us about the great ideas they see potential in," said Salil Musale, executive director at Astarc Ventures.

While the practice is common in the west—Google Ventures launched a similar programme for Google employees in 2011—the move is a first from an Indian VC, and likely driven by the fact that VC investments, particularly early-stage, are on a decline here.

Incorporated in 2014, Astarc Ventures is the strategic investment arm of Mumbai-based Astarc Group which has businesses lines across infrastructure development, automotive graphics and printing, among others.

The VC firm, which has an earmarked corpus of $10 million, has so far backed 10 start-ups including fashion platform Wooplr, bike taxi service Rapido and e-pharmacy Pharmeasy, according to its website.

Close