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Benglauru: To tap newer pools of capital, angel investing platform LetsVenture has launched Women Angel Network, which will provide access to women CXOs to invest in early and growth stage startups.

Through the platform, women angel investors will also get the opportunity to mentor startups. LetsVenture aims to onboard at least 100 women angel investors in 2021, and will also launch at least five investment syndicates led by women.

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According to a study conducted by LetsVenture, India has about 10,000 angel investors and only 1% of these are women. The launch of the platform comes at the backdrop of a strong business case for women to invest, take board positions and also add value to startups.

To encourage more women professionals, CXOs and founders to explore angel investing, LetsVenture will also launch a learning program for these investors, a dedicated community for networking and lower cheque sizes on the platform for a capped timeframe.

“Having spoken to several women investors and those that suited to fall into this bucket, we found that the biggest impediments were the lack of access to networks where knowledge and startup deal flow is shared. The intention of the program is to create education amongst women around angel investments, helping them become active investors in the ecosystem. We want to promote women investors from a long-term perspective," Sunitha KR, president of early-stage investments at LetsVenture said in an interaction.

The learning programme will provide cohort-based learning, engagement with other angel investors and open networking circles for women.

“LetsVenture started in 2013 with the aim of democratising access to angel investing; and we have done decently at a group level. For instance, in 2020 alone, we had over 700 angel investors join the platform and 35% of them are new to the asset class and over 45% are ‘professionals and CXOs’. Even within these buckets, the ratio of female participation is abysmally low and we believe there needs to be concerted effort to change this," said Shanti Mohan, chief executive and co-founder, LetsVenture.

Syna Dehnugara, chief brand officer of LetsVenture, who will be spearheading this initiative with Sunitha KR, said in order to help women become more comfortable with investing, the platform will look at a small cheque-size of 3 lakhs to 5 lakhs per transaction to begin with for these angels.

The average ticket sizes for investments by an angel investor on the LetsVenture platform ranges between 5 lakh and 10 lakh per deal or transaction.

“To help them dip their feet into this new asset class, we will allow these first-time female angel investors to start with a smaller quantum of investments for a small period of time, before they develop their investment thesis," added Dehnugara, in an interaction.

LetsVenture is a sector agnostic platform and women angel investors will invest via the platform in startups that align with their investment thesis.

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