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IAN, BIRAC partner to launch Bioangels

To raise Rs 350 crore investment for startups 

The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) collaborated with the Indian Angel Network (IAN) to launch an angel investor network, BioAngels. BioAngels is the country’s first sector-focused angel investor group to fuel the growth of startups from Biotech – the sunrise sector. Sub-domains include Medtech, Healthtech, Pharma, Cleantech & Agritech. The biotech sector has the potential for cascading multiplier effect to contribute to India’s economic growth target of a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

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BioAngels is an inclusive platform that engages early-stage investors from India and overseas from different angel investor groups, to fund and nurture high-quality startups, with both money and mentoring backed with critical sectoral expertise. BioAngels’s vision is to become the platform of choice for Investors and innovative startups to build globally competitive companies. 

BIRAC, the not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, has been instrumental in supporting the technology-led startups right from ideation, incubation, and acceleration for commercialisation. By partnering with IAN, it fills up a critical gap in Angel money required to make Startups VC investment ready by unlocking high-quality business mentoring and industry networks for the startups. 

Dr Alka Sharma, Senior Adviser, DBT & MD, BIRAC said, “The revised national biotechnology strategy is the key driver of knowledge innovation-driven bio economy. This unique association of BIRAC and Indian Angel Network is a first of its kind biotechnology focused funding network which would bring biotechnology startups closer to the angel investors. For the growth of the startup ecosystem, participation of private investment is critical.”

Saurabh Srivastava, Founder, IAN and Co-founder & Past Chairman, NASSCOM said “We will recognise the significance of this launch a few years down the road as this plugs the gap in the investing ecosystem for biotech startups. The IT Industry, which was just $52 mill when I cofounded NASSCOM 30 odd years ago has become a $250 billion industry and is considered India’s biggest success. But the area we are talking about is much larger than IT and even more important. While the IT sector is focussed on overseas customers, here the actual impact will be transformational on the lives of Indians. And investor interest is already palpable: we at IAN Fund have invested 25 per cent of our corpus in this sector.”

Manish Diwan, Head, Strategic Partnership & Entrepreneurship Development, BIRAC said, “BIRAC is keen to encourage the participation of private investments with high quality mentoring for technology-led startups. This partnership with a professionally run angel group, Indian Angel Network, leverages its reach, frameworks, and governance. This Public-private partnership has the potential to propel startups growth by making them VC investment ready, thereby attracting global investors and augmenting India as the global innovation hub.”

Padmaja Ruparel, Founder, BioAngels and Co-Founder, IAN said “This partnership demonstrates another step in BIRAC’s evolution towards its objective of building the biotech/ health tech /agri and cleantech early-stage ecosystem. It has further promised to provide access to high-quality technology expertise embedded in the Dept. of Biotechnology ecosystem. This is extremely critical because it is key for investors to understand the technology and its functionality, before taking an investment decision.”

Srikant Sastri, Governance Board Member, BioAngels said “The quality of founders is very good in the biotech & life sciences sector. Through BioAngels, we are keen on creating an ecosystem wherein we can connect founders with investors, and with each other if needed. The idea is to disrupt the conventional fundraising template.”

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