Lankan Angel Network (LAN) celebrated a record 2021 in which they helped local entrepreneurs grow to reach larger markets at home and internationally, through a combination of investments and mentorship. In 2021 alone, LAN evaluated over 250 startups, with over half going on to receive detailed feedback and mentoring to help them grow and become investor ready.
Over this year, the network’s Angel Fund went on to make investments totaling Rs. 50 million in both Niftron, a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, and Magicbit, an easy-to-use STEM education platform. Both Niftron and Magicbit also emerged as National Winners in the LAN-hosted Sri Lankan leg of the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) and represented the country at the EWC global finals.
In addition to these investments, LAN is working with, and conducting due diligence on, two more startups in the fintech and circular economy spaces, with investments expected in early 2022. The network is also mentoring two other startups in the AI and logistic spaces, helping them to become investor ready.
“This past year has been one of both challenges and opportunities for Sri Lanka, and I am happy to note that LAN has led the charge towards a stronger entrepreneurial sector by going beyond investing, to provide mentorship and support to local startups. As we continue our efforts, I must thank my team at LAN, our investors and partners for their contribution,” said Chandi Dharmaratne, Chairperson, LAN.
As part of its mission to empower entrepreneurs and build a strong and vibrant start-up environment, in 2021 LAN hosted over 25 events and workshops that focused on sharing best practices, developing the ecosystem, and building the pipeline for investors. Topics covered included sessions on overcoming the pandemic, customer retention, as well as sessions for early-stage startups to learn more about Angel Investors and how to gain access to them.
Similarly, the network’s Her Brand program, launched in early 2021, brought together female-led startups with emerging videographers to collaborate and co-create, with the aim of leveraging each other’s strengths to catalyze growth. Companies that took part in the initiative have relaunched and repositioned and seen an overall Sixty percent increase in revenues over this year, with some reporting increased demand among international markets.
The Angel Fund continues to identify and evaluate opportunities for investment across the island, including in traditionally underserved regions. With plans to ultimately invest in six to eight high potential startups in total, gearing them up to scale domestically, and even internationally, the Angel Fund is dedicated to investing in, and mentoring and supporting, early-stage startups across multiple sectors; from making investments at the early stages, to even helping startups identify sources for future funding. LAN aims to fully deploy its Rs. 100 million Angel Fund by 2022.