Sri Lanka’s first Angel Fund completed funding rounds for Chakra Suthra and Mintpay as of its
most recent operational quarter. Further, the Fund aided a third startup, Magicbit, in growing its
team and setting up a new local office, from which it has shipped to 38 countries so far.
Most important of all, Chakra Suthra, Mintpay and Magicbit. being the most recent additions to the
Angel Fund portfolio, have each started to scale as a result of the access to funding, mentoring and
international markets developed via the Lankan Angel Network (LAN) and its global partners. This
is despite a number of challenges being thrown up by the many shocks Sri Lanka’s economy has
faced since March 2022.
According to LAN, and the Angel Fund, Chairperson Chandi Dharmaratne, “LAN is excited to be
funding these high potential Sri Lankan startups and we will continue to support and mentor these
founders to scale their companies into global platforms. In the midst of the current economic
situation in Sri Lanka, it is definitely reassuring to see our entrepreneurs continuing to stay resilient
and playing a key role in the resuscitation of the economy.”
An AI-based platform that allows consumers to purchase goods online and pay later in interest-free
instalments, Mintpay has grown from being a startup to becoming the preferred Buy Now Pay Later
(BNPL) payments partner for leading retailers, entering into strategic partnerships with leading
merchants in Sri Lanka including Softlogic, Abans, Ministry of Crab, Cool Planet and Nolimit.
Having captured the Fashion and Beauty retail vertical in Sri Lanka, Mintpay, which is now
headquartered in Singapore, hopes to extend its services across other industry verticals such as
travel and dining. “The traction we’ve gained thus far in Sri Lanka has given us the confidence to
accelerate our regional expansion efforts and also tap into new business verticals,”
revealed Mintpay’s CEO Urmila Chandrasekeram.
Mintpay’s recent crowning as the winner of Venture Engine’s 2021/2022 cohort has also drawn the
attention of many global VCs, which has resulted in significant advance interest in the company’s
the next round of funding.
Chakra Suthra, another Angel Fund portfolio company, is a technology startup dedicated to
developing innovative solutions to waste problems, with a vision of achieving zero waste for every
home and business in Sri Lanka. Chakra Suthra launched the unique concept of Trash2Cash in
- This was in the form of an interactive smart machine that allowed customers to deposit plastic
bottles, glass bottles, cans and cartons and earn credit with it being redeemable against your bill at
partner supermarkets. The collected plastics get upcycled into polyester yarn, recycled garments or
into household products in partnership with other recycling partners, while other materials collected
also underwent upcycling and/or recycling.
Helped along by the completion of a funding round led by the Angel Fund, the Trash2Cash platform
is currently in the early phases of an island-wide roll-out. “We have identified the problems and
bottlenecks in Sri Lanka’s recycling industry and have begun addressing these pain points. In doing
so, we introduced the one and only recycling platform allowing consumers to monetize their
packaging. Our goal is to revolutionize the recycling landscape of Sri Lanka and the region. We
believe the timing is right to introduce innovative technology into recycling efforts, and more
importantly that the Sri Lankan consumer is now ready for a mindset change,” commented Chakra
Suthra’s CEO Himesh Fernando.
Meanwhile, Magicbit became the national winner of SLASSCOM Ingenuity Awards 2022 as
“Startup of the Year”. It also took its international successes to the next level by partnering with
organizations in Japan, Sudan and Ghana. According to the company’s CEO Migara Amithodhana,
“Magicbit was launched during a global pandemic and we are developing the company during a
recession. Although the conditions are not 100% favorable, Magicbit is steadily growing as a
business focusing more on foreign markets.”
It is also noteworthy that Magicbit started a free IoT Code Club with participation over 100 students
in partnership with Techkids.lk.
Established in 2020 by LAN, and supported by ecosystem development partner the Ford
Foundation, the Angel Fund aims to catalyze the growth of Sri Lanka’s startup ecosystem.
Evaluating startups on a monthly basis, the Angel Fund is dedicated to backing early-stage startups
across multiple sectors. It supports them in various ways, from making investments, to even helping
startups identify sources for future funding. It also provides centralized services such as company
secretaries, accounting and auditing for all its startups. This ensures all startups meet proper
governance standards, which will certainly help their future funding rounds.
Created by LAN, which started this journey by funding and mentoring startups in 2012, the Angel
Fund supports high potential startups that can be scaled across the country, and even regionally and
globally. LAN is a platform for angel and private investors who invest in high growth early-stage
Sri Lankan ventures with the aim of creating an impact by reducing inequality. With over 100 local
and global angel investors already attached, the Angel Fund is unprecedented in Sri Lanka due to
the fact that 20% of its investments come from members based in Canada, Dubai, Hong Kong,
Qatar, UK and USA.
The Angel Fund is currently still open, and prioritizes evaluating opportunities for investments
across the island. Interested parties are encouraged to learn more by visiting
www.lankanangelnetwork.com/angel-fund or emailing email@example.com, to discover
funding and mentorship opportunities.