We, Zoroastrians, even though small in numbers, have taken risks as entrepreneurs, built empires through hard work and commitment and have had a big positive impact on humanity. While the Tatas, Godrej, and others redefined sectors such as manufacturing and real estate, the next generation of Zoroastrian entrepreneurs are likely to leverage technology and of course artificial intelligence to build successful businesses.
Ruzbeh Bacha who was born and brought in Mumbai and has been in the UK for a decade launched his tech startup CityFALCON from his bedroom back in 2014. The company is now one of the reputed startups in the UK and even globally.. They serve clients including the French bank BNP Paribas, Austrian bank Raiffeisen Bank, and US stock exchange IEX. They are also close to signing up a major bank in Asia. Their content partners include Bloomberg, Twitter and other reputed names. The team has grown to 30, and they have raised £1.1m in funding till date.
Startup media typically portrays all the successes including big fund raises and fails to highlight the challenges that startups face. Supporting contracts from major banks and institutions require upfront capital investment and also has high maintenance costs. Raising capital as a first-time young entrepreneur with a limited network is tough. The company is now raising their next round of funds to scale the business up by hiring more people and leveraging some of the newer technologies.
One of the most significant impacts on their business has been from Brexit. Most non-UK investors are reluctant to support UK businesses due to the political uncertainties and the volatility of the pound.
How can you support?
If you are interested and can take risks involved, you could support them by investing anything from £15 here to become equity shareholders in the company. You can read more about the business and investment terms on the site. This is NOT a donation, and if the company succeeds, it could provide good returns. Note that your capital is at risk as less than 10% of the startups succeed, and even if they do succeed, the money may be locked-in for at least 5 years. There is usually no dividend or interest paid. Please only invest money that you can afford to lose.
For UK tax residents, HMRC provides significant tax breaks and incentives for investing in startups under the EIS scheme. Subject to your tax situation, you could claim 30% of your investment back as tax rebate and can set off any losses if the company goes bankrupt against your taxable income. Please consult with your financial or tax advisor before investing.
Zoroastrians (excluding Ruzbeh) already own c. 4% of the company, and Ruzbeh owns around 59%. Several younger Zoroastrians in the same age group as Ruzbeh have also invested in the previous rounds.
If you have any questions, reach out to Ruzbeh email@example.com or 07827830663
Let’s keep the Zoroastrian entrepreneurship flame keep shining bright!
Chair WZCC – UK