The buzz of startups in Kashmir is changing the fortunes of Jammu and Kashmir youth, as Srinagar-based shipping courier firm 'FastBeetle' became the first from J&K to be included in season 2 of a notable business reality Television series "Shark tank india", a franchise of the well-known American show Shark Tank.
"FastBeetle," an e-commerce venture in Kashmir, was founded in October 2019 by two childhood friends from the backstreets of Srinagar's old city.
The company is affiliated with prominent companies such as Flipkart, Jio Mart, and Snapdeal, and it became the first Kashmiri startup to raise $100,000 in a pre-series funding round in December 2021.
In an exclusive interview with Rising Kashmir, Sheikh Samiullah, Co-founder and CEO of fastbeetle, said that after watching the inaugural season of the show last year, he had not expected to be on the stage of shark tank presenting their venture concept to the renowned sharks.
While explaining the process of the programme, Samiullah stated that they had to go through three levels of tryouts before arriving at the final round and proposing a venture proposal to the panel.
"We submitted an application in which we specified our business which was the initial round and then were taken on a video call to explain the pitch which was its second round", he stated.
Samiullah stated that after finishing the second level, they were called to a Mumbai studio to meet with the Shark crew off camera.
"All of the Sharks were impressed with our efforts and progress and expressed their support," he added.
He said that they were not just on the "Shark tank india" program to raise money, but to create an ecosystem which is vital in J&K.
Describing how "fastbeetle" helped to ease the issues of the people in J&K by employing technology, Samiullah said that the Sharks were greatly impressed. "We got a joint offer from the CEO of Lenskart Piyush Bansal and the CEO of Boat Aman Gupta. We asked for 90 lacs for 3 percent equity, and they countered with 90 lacs for seven and a half percent equity, and the deal was closed", he said.
Shark Tank India is a famous reality television program that offers an opportunity for business owners to present their entrepreneurial concepts and potentially gain financing from a group of financiers known as "sharks".
The show, which is based on the American version of Shark Tank, has become increasingly popular among audiences in India and across the planet.
"Fastbeetle" is one of the 198 Startups to make it to the finals. Out of the eight lac entrepreneurs who applied for season 2, only 198 made into the finals.