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How small-town capital is pursuing startup dreams

Anurag Maloo has a warehousing and hotel business in modern-day Seoni in Madhya Pradesh. He had been on the lookout for new investment options when he first heard about the world of startups five years ago. Until then, the riskiest part of his investment pie would be the money he pumped into the stock market.

“It all started in 2016 when I was (first) introduced to the potential investment opportunities in startups. Since then, I have only increased my exposure in the segment,” said Maloo who has invested in more than 20 startups. The 45-year-old has even made successful exits from half-a-dozen of them. The exits have given him an average return of 2.5 times after a holding period of 2-3 years.

Almost 300 kilometres away, in Maharashtra’s Amravati, chartered accountant Mayur Zanwar, 40, launched his own startup—TruScholar—in 2019. The underlying product is based on blockchain technology, a protocol for recording and storing information that…

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