Home Tech News How the Anthill Studio accelerator helps media-tech startups ride the virtual wave
Tech News - April 19, 2019

How the Anthill Studio accelerator helps media-tech startups ride the virtual wave


Praveen Mokkapati is Associate Partner at Anthill Ventures. An IIM Bangalore alumnus, he has over a decade of experience in B2B scaling across India and Southeast Asia. He oversees operational aspects of sales and advertising and marketing distribution channels for marketers across numerous startup scaling programs consisting of Anthill Studio. He additionally assists corporate method and innovation for enterprise leaders by means of leveraging the startup environment.

Praveen joins us on this chat on the imaginative and prescient of Anthill Studio, the graduated startups, choice, and services for the upcoming cohort, possibilities for marketers in India, and recommendations for aspiring founders.

Edited excerpts of the interview:

YourStory: What become the founding vision of your accelerator, and how is it supported?

Praveen Mokkapati: Anthill Studio became born to identify and help accelerate media-tech startups with robust capability to disrupt an enterprise this is deeply entrenched in traditional methods and commercial enterprise fashions. To allow this imaginative and prescient, Anthill Ventures partnered with Suresh Productions and Rana Daggubati – each with strong purpose – to guide the startup surroundings thru their very treasured enterprise know-how and foresight.


YS: What might you say are the pinnacle three possibilities for Indian marketers?


1. ESports. When Amazon acquired Twitch in 2014, the eSports industry turned a nook. Commanding a swiftly growing viewership, the industry has the capacity for startups to make it huge.

2. Healthcare. From the several gaps in primary healthcare or emerging growth in senior residents, to rising ranges and focus of intellectual pressure and want for early or pre-diagnosis for a huge population, there are numerous possibilities for the clever entrepreneur to construct solutions.

3. Travel and mobility. With a rising center-elegance populace, their aspirations, and increasing disposable money to spend, more Indians are expected to tour in the coming years than before. Tailoring answers for this segment can be profitable. Given the emphasis on self sustaining vehicles and electric powered automobiles, the entire fee chain presents possibilities to disrupt the conventional answers.

YS: Which startups graduated from your first cohort, and what styles of IP are being created through them?

PM: The cohort at Anthill Studio is operating on reducing facet solutions and IP.

• ComicFlix is a technology platform that converts movies and videos to stunning picture novels at scale, which may be printed or dispensed digitally.

• Saranyu develops and provides OTT TV/video, virtual news, organization video merchandise, and answers for content material vendors, aggregators, carrier companies (telco/OTT), and companies.

• Woodcutter leverages big information, device getting to know, and analytics to assist filmmakers apprehend how their target market perspectives their initiatives, in which they stand compared to similar films, and assist them with their promotion techniques.

• RecoSense is an AI-driven challenge that uses facts technology stack to provide consumer personalisation, content guidelines, and analytics geared toward boosting consumption, conversion and retention.

• NewsPlus brings you breaking information, local testimonies, and personalised feeds on topics you comply with. Their platform has located traction with telcos, celeb magazines, and large enterprises.

• Scapic allows customers to build, discover, share virtual and augmented fact reviews right from their web browser.

• Rooter is a sports activities fan app that engages fanatics all through live matches with myth and prediction video games and connects with other enthusiasts, thereby developing a seamless 2nd display enjoy.

All these have graduated however we retain to assist them. See the video of their Demo Day right here. We are actively pursuing Cohort 2 startups.

YS: What is the background of the managers and leaders of your accelerator?

PM: Prasad Vanga is Founder and CEO of Anthill Ventures. Within 4 years, he has constructed a startup portfolio of 30 agencies throughout India, US, and Southeast Asia that has grown 3x in portfolio fee. He is a Stanford GSB alumnus, with over 18 years of enjoy in assisting senior executives from huge businesses like Symantec, Nike, Nestle, Novartis, Wachovia, HSBC, and YES Bank to force commercial enterprise variations. Prasad additionally has the enjoy of an entrepreneur who constructed a $25 million organisation inside 3 years. As an investor, he has sponsored numerous a hit companies like Medplus, Zenoti, and Tynker which provided exits of greater than 12x.


Rana Daggubati is a a hit actor, manufacturer, and a VFX entrepreneur. He has invested in tech startups during the last 15 years and has seen the first-hand impact of era in Indian movies. He has provided help offerings for visible consequences to creating VFX spectacle films like Arundhati, Baahubali, and Robot.


Suresh Babu Daggubati installed Suresh Productions (SP), considered one of India’s biggest included production powerhouses with services for manufacturers, distributors, exhibitors, digital post centers, animation, and gaming studios. With round 400 theatres within the united states of america, SP has upgraded the cine-viewing enjoy through D-Cinema in theatres.


Rajeev Menon allows startups scale with pace through bringing huge enterprise wondering to early and growth level startups. He has 25 years of revel in, and is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach working with senior leadership and groups for career, private development, and performance.

Mahesh Balani is an government instruct with over two decades of experience in supporting experts and enterprise proprietors reap transformational outcomes. He is an lively investor and has been an entrepreneur inside the retail area. He has a manner engineering heritage and is a GE-certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Navaneeth Menon focuses on using operational excellence inside the programme via continuous improvement and bringing fine practices into various procedures of Anthill programmes.

YS: What are the key challenges confronted by means of startups in India, and how can you assist bridge the distance?

PM: Unlike the beyond, there are full-size upgrades in the availability of institutional capital for equity or debt. More than capital, early increase level companies need strategic buyers who can assist flip the startup right into a scale-up.

These companies want investor-companions who can apprehend the fundamental gaps that are preventing them from scaling, those who can provide business scaling aid on those unique areas, introduce essential enterprise partners for marketplace get admission to, and offer get right of entry to to senior region or functional professionals who can offer precious insights to the startup. Startups in Anthill Studio or any of the alternative programmes are provided most of these ranges of assist as they chart their boom tale.

YS: What are the choice standards for startups to your accelerator?

PM: An ideal startup might have their solution verified in the market through a a hit POC or early consumer(s). All groups are evaluated for their scalability. The middle of our selection-making rests on factors: the founder(s) and the middle team on one facet, and how they stack up on Anthill’s proprietary set of rules called Scalability QuotientTM.

Built on over one hundred parameters, the set of rules allows Anthill to evaluate early growth degree companies across many ranges and characteristic a scalability rating. Our potential to undoubtedly effect the startup’s scalability is also an critical data point for the duration of the choice manner.

YS: Who are some of your institutional companions, and what sorts of agreements are in area?

PM: Across the world, Anthill Studio has partnered with big film manufacturing homes, era consulting companies with international scale, and the great investor community. Each of these stakeholders has been extremely supportive to Anthill Studio’s assignment to scale media-tech startups with velocity.

Nearly 3 state governments had been progressive in either leveraging Anthill’s center startup surroundings or in active conversations to boost certain sectors in their respective states.

YS: What support and services do startups get hold of on your accelerator?


1) Business Mentoring. On the basis of the SQ checks, Anthill Studio and its team of specialists understands the gaps and scaling ability so as to expand a personalized scale-up plan for every corporation. Workshops on business and technology, intervention classes, 1:1 founder education are aligned with this plan.

2) Market Access. The programme selects startups whose products have gone through a hit product validation inside the market. It actively enables startups become aware of target customers who are inclined to offer problem statements or use instances. We call this effort successful when at least one opportunity for each startup is successfully closed all through the 3-month programme.

3) Infrastructure Support. The cohort is obtainable get right of entry to to area and centers of Ramanaidu Studios, a film production and movie college facility within the coronary heart of Hyderabad. Suresh Productions, a big production house that owns the studios, affords quarter get right of entry to, help and know-how to the startups. In addition, the programme has joined hands with industry companions who offer answers related to cloud infrastructure, financial answers, amongst others.

4) Marketing and PR. Right from assist with the right advertising approach to insurance across Anthill’s PR community, early degree groups turn out to be greater visible throughout print and digital media.

5) Investments. Showcase occasions attract institutional traders and enterprise companions further to Anthill’s hobby to invest in pick startups. For additional capital raise necessities, Anthill provides assist to the cohort throughout the technique.

YS: What percent of fairness or costs do you fee your startups?

PM: A nominal amount of fairness is charged to be commonplace into the programme. The percentage varies based totally on the stage of the startup. For international startups, we additionally provide the choice of project building and scaling, wherein the programme will help the startup launch their neighborhood subsidiary and scale in the Indian market swiftly.

YS: How might you differentiate your accelerator from other accelerators in the discipline?

PM: Anthill presents unprecedented get right of entry to to scaling opportunities across Asia for every business enterprise it engages with. Its sturdy global community of traders and organizations ensures that these early level businesses have get right of entry to to numerous assets of funding, exceptional possibilities to set up beachheads and marketplace proportion, potential to tap industry experts of excessive pedigree, and numerous different advantages.

For startups to attain past India, I want to spotlight A-Scale (www.A-scale.Co) – Anthill’s Singapore-primarily based scaling and market get right of entry to programme in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore, a central authority body. It’s the best platform to springboard into Asia.

YS: What might you define as achievement for your accelerator?

PM: Startups come into Anthill Studio searching for various regions of assistance, such as business support and mentoring, scaling aid, access to potential customers and other strategic connections, marketing help, generation enhancement or refinements, and funding.

Through the programme, there’s a structured way to get admission to these kind of forms of assistance. Fulfilling all or most of these aspirations is the programme’s aim. We’ve seen startups metamorphosise their narrative at some stage in the programme – this has been hugely pleasurable for us.

YS: What are some fantastic startups who’ve graduated out of your accelerator, and what are their achievements?

PM: Each startup from the primary cohort has extraordinary tales to inform. However, I will spotlight those which have without delay impacted mainstream cinema.

• ComicFlix. They have done very interesting tasks on Kangna Ranaut-starrer Manikarnika, Nene Raju Nene Mantri proposing Rana Daggubati, and Rajinkanth’s Enthiran among others.

• Woodcutter. This startup, comprising of IIT Madras graduates, has labored on interesting research together with field workplace predictions, movie advertising analytics, audience demographic and sentiment analysis. Some in their projects consist of Fukrey Returns, No. 1 Yaari, and A. R. Rahman’s One Heart film among others.

• Scapic. This AR/VR startup has created an enjoy for recent Bollywood thriller Andhadhun, and Hollywood film Bumblebee from the Transformers movie collection, amongst different exciting tasks.

YS: How do you examine and evaluation India’s accelerators with that of different countries like US and China?

PM: The network in India is simply as colourful and diverse as that in the US or in China. However, one key and often talked about component is the culture of sharing statistics, mentoring and network-like structure amongst accelerators and their cohorts in Silicon Valley; this has been paramount to its achievement as the startup capital of the arena. Many Indian accelerators will benefit from adopting a comparable lifestyle.

YS: What are your plans for the coming three-five years with respect to new startups?

PM: With latest workplace openings in Singapore and Israel, we’re presenting international tech startups the danger to construct and scale their stories in India. By bringing marketers-in-house into this version, Anthill goals to help startups Scale With SpeedTM. We welcome startups to reach out to us must they find it relevant.

In addition, we’re running substantially in the direction of the aim of undoubtedly impacting over one hundred startups at some point of this period.

YS: How can better partnerships be solid among accelerators, enterprise, and universities?

PM: Accelerators play an important position in preserving partnerships among the diverse players. As innovation sourcing hubs, accelerators provide corporates access to startup improvements. Greater willingness for corporates to embody open innovation will allow startups to apply their solutions at scale.

Today’s students are looking at startups as an thrilling first profession flow given the numerous opportunities for learning and duty. While startups are frequently portrayed as a unstable career choice by means of many universities, early association by internships with accelerator programmes might offer students a tender access into the startup surroundings.

YS: What are your pointers for Indian policymakers to make business less complicated for accelerators, buyers, researchers, and startups in India?

PM: From the deluge of articles around the laborious nature of the tax regime on startups, most of it’s miles pure rhetoric and hyperbole pushed by some times in the latest past. Apart from the various modifications brought by means of DIPP, more will be carried out – accelerate investor accreditation to permit seamless go with the flow of valid capital into startups as according to valuations defined with the aid of market forces. Lesser barrier to capital infusion into startups will spur economic growth via activity-introduction and large societal impact.

YS: What are your pointers or phrases of concept to startups and marketers in our target market?

PM: India is a large and numerous united states with structural faults throughout numerous sectors – each of those offers a large opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs. Stories of a success unicorns and soonicorns that have emerged inside the past decade are a testament to the enterprising spirit of people who’ve emerged regardless of all odds.

With the present day environment extra conducive than ever earlier than, there cannot be a better time for new-age startups to pick out a cause and rally round it. The greatest memories have the tendency to carry human beings together. Will yours too?

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