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DBS Bank partners with Headstart and Anthill to support promising startups

Launches DBS BusinessClass foundED, a forum that celebrates modern-day founders and innovators and encourages entrepreneurship.
Rana Daggubati along with DBS, Anthill and Headstart team members

MUMBAI, India, April 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In line with its vision to support entrepreneurs and innovators, DBS Bank India has partnered with startup venture capital fund Anthill Ventures and evangelist network Headstart Network Foundation to launch DBS Business Class foundED. This forum will be held across cities in India and will celebrate modern-day founders, innovators, and game-changers to foster co-innovation and collaboration in the startup ecosystem.

The first event of DBS BusinessClass foundED was recently hosted in Hyderabad with actor, entrepreneur and investor Rana Daggubati as the keynote speaker. It was attended by a curated set of top-notch founders, investors and tech ecosystem partners and provided a platform for them to collaborate on new business models that addressed the pain points in the ecosystem.

Speaking at the event, Rana Daggubati said, “To change the ecosystem, we need founders who can drive their teams and instil the message that we are here to build products or services for the world. The initiative has to come from fearless investors who are ready to invest in diverse opportunities.”

He further emphasised the importance of networking through initiatives like foundED. “This is the first step towards educating young startups about who’s around and what’s possible. We need more forums like foundED where government or business units like DBS can come forward to educate young entrepreneurs and help them network.”

The Indian metaverse firm Ikonz, backed by Daggubati and Anthill Ventures, has recently secured funding from Village Global, which has investors like Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

DBS BusinessClass is a DBS Bank initiative that helps SMEs grow their business and network with key business influencers, receive the latest market trends and gain exclusive access to a knowledgeable community of Asia’s business masterminds. foundED takes DBS’ vision further by bridging the gaps in the technology and capital spectrum of the startup ecosystem by bringing the right stakeholders across the table to co-invent and innovate. Subsequent editions of foundED are planned to be held in Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.

Speaking on this partnership, Divyesh Dalal, Managing Director & Head-Transaction Banking, DBS Bank India, said, “At DBS, we strongly believe that technological solutions and innovation will play a key role in empowering the growth of startups and SMEs.  It is imperative for banking partners to offer embedded solutions across ecosystems to these entities. Our partnership with Headstart and Anthill is an effort in this direction, as we want to better integrate our banking solutions in the existing startup ecosystem and provide enabling solutions to startups.”

Sudarshan Chari, Executive Director & Head – Business Banking, DBS Bank India, said, “DBS SME Banking is committed to providing a host of value-added services apart from tailored banking solutions. We’re excited to initiate our partnership with Anthill and Headstart with foundED, where startups would benefit from insights and connections to build their business and sharpen their competitive edge. The forum will also allow us to partner in their growth journey and reach out to the startup community across key business hubs.”

DBS supports like-minded ecosystem partners who are driven to create a positive impact in the community. The bank has recently partnered with leading dairy-tech startup Stellapps as its banking partner to promote digitisation amongst small dairies across India. The partnership is expected to benefit almost 100,000+ dairy farmers in the near future. DBS had also collaborated with ODeX, an online document exchange and payments facilitation platform for the ocean shipping industry, to provide hassle-free credit solutions to freight forwarders. This partnership is expected to benefit over 8,500 freight forwarders, aligning with DBS’ commitment to financing local businesses and supporting livelihoods.


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