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Creativeland’s Sajan Raj Kurup launches Ventureland Asia

A platform where entrepreneurs get an opportunity to see their ideas achieve excellence, it has invested 40 per cent stake in New York-based kids clothing label Masala Baby Inc

A decade after launching an independent advertising agency in India, Sajan Raj Kurup, Founder & Creative Chairman of Creativeland Asia (CLA), is launching his new venture Ventureland Asia.

The firm has already invested 40 per cent stake in New York-based kids clothing company Masala Baby Inc, which is one of Hollywood’s new emerging favourites after celebrity kids have been spotted in their Masala clothing.

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Ventureland Asia will fund, partner and guide the marketing efforts of budding entrepreneurs and businesses to make sure that they create maximum economic value for their ideas. Backed by the cutting edge branding, design and digital capabilities of Creativeland, Ventureland Asia is a platform where entrepreneurs get an opportunity to see their ideas achieve excellence.

Sajan Raj Kurup

Sajan Raj Kurup, Founder, Ventureland Asia and Founder & Creative Chairman, Creativeland Asia, said, “There’s been a huge churn in the business of funding in the last few years. Most PEs, VCs follow a herd mentality. Most businesses that seem to get a good valuation are the ones which have mastered the art of fabricating a good story on paper. There are a whole lot of entrepreneurs who get sacrificed at the altar of this cultural gap between the investors and the investees. The issue is everyone involved seems to be playing a game, existing from round to round basis and not looking at value creation.”

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About the inception of Ventureland Asia, he added, “10 years back I saw a business gap in the marketing communications business and out of nowhere created the buzziest advertising agency in the country which today is still one of the most sought after name in advertising. Now, I am ready to enter the next level of brand building with a legacy of successful brand launches, brand refreshes and path breaking creative solutions.”

Ventureland Asia has four parts to it:

  • Marquee Funds will be engaged with marketing, tech and design support that will look at an exit in 48 to 60 months.
  • Bridge Funds will focus on market enhancement and carry on from Angel to series A. Looking at an exit in 24 to 30 months.
  • Business Advisory will have out-of-the-box consulting services that include research, technology and finance, and end in design, branding and communication.
  • Incubation will create own brands and build POC to focus on adding creativity to existing industries.

Leading this venture is an old hand at Creativeland Asia and Chief Operating Officer, Srijib Mallik. “Srijib is a mathematician at heart. His instinct for creative solutions and thorough understanding of complex business models makes him the right choice to lead. He has put a great team of financial analysts, fund managers and advisors at Ventureland Asia,” said Kurup.

Mallik said, “Ventureland Asia is an ideas investment engine where entrepreneurs can unleash the power of their creativity. It is a place designed to be open minded, collaborative, explorative and yet be relentlessly focused on business outcomes. Among other investments, we are extremely proud to announce our first major investment with New York based Masala Baby Inc which is already emerging as Hollywood parents’ new favourite brand. We will aim to support and grow their business exponentially.”

Masala Baby, which creates organic clothes for children, is led by New York’s fashion entrepreneur Dipali Patwa with a strong all-women team. Ventureland Asia backs their marketing strategy -- brand and digital and the online retail infrastructure design. It will also aid in taking Masala Baby to the next round of funding and help in the geographical expansion of the brand from US and Canada to key markets across Europe, UK, Japan, the Middle East and India.

Patwa, CEO & Founder, Masala Baby, said, “After having spoken to a few traditional VCs, what attracted me to Ventureland Asia was the fact that they are charting out a new way forward to invest in consumer brands. It was meeting of the minds about how we wanted to take our brand forward. We saw Ventureland Asia to be the perfect fit culturally because they respect the brand and its values and actually add to it with their creative and branding expertise. To Masala Baby, that was a lot more attractive to have a partner that is in it for the long haul and is able to bring in finance as well as the expertise to work with us hand in hand to get to the next growth stage.”

She further added, “What makes Ventureland Asia different than the rest of the traditional VCs is that they actually ‘invest’ in the brand and that investment is not just financial, it's also the creativity and expertise that they bring to the table from really understanding the brand values and attributes to take it to the next level. When you have true partners that believe in creating something that is larger than themselves, well then there is magic! True Impact for a brand comes from choosing the right partners and for Masala Baby, Ventureland Asia was the right fit.”

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