Founder Spotlight: Paurush Sonkar

Paurush Sonkar is the Founder & CEO at Stallions Capital. Paurush is at the helm of Stallions Capital and as a leading authority and with a background which includes experience as a lead investor in start-ups, he is the go-to person in the MENA region for raising capital.

Businesses both established and start-ups are increasingly looking at the UAE, especially Dubai, to set-up a base and enjoy a smooth run and profitability. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands as one of the finest business hubs in the world in terms of infrastructure, government incentives, growth opportunities, innovation, strategic location, an economy which is continuously growing and the ease of raising capital. In fact, Dubai is one of the only countries in the world where start-up funding has been on the rise. Most importantly, the government’s support, favorable policies and access to funding have created a truly conducive environment for growth. I thus always say ‘Dubai is the gateway to the world’.

If you are in the UAE and are looking to raise funds for your start-up to take it to the next level… Do you know where to go?

Meet Paurush Sonkar. A little under 2 years ago, Paurush Sonkar arrived on the Dubai financial scene by launching Stallions Capital. With extensive experience in the financial services industry and strong connections with Venture Capital firms, Stallions Capital has already made its mark.

Stallions Capital is an Independent Investment Banking Firm specializing in fund raising for start-ups via a network of Venture Capital Firms across the Middle East.

As Founder & CEO, Paurush is at the helm of Stallions Capital and as a leading authority and with a background which includes experience as a lead investor in start-ups, he is the go-to person in the MENA region for raising capital.

Stallions Capital does not charge any upfront fees of any nature and provides a tonne of benefits such as pitch deck feedback and assistance, mentoring and more. All this and more at no cost.

What makes you such a firm believer of the UAE as a hub for start-ups across the MENA region?

Dubai is home to me and having travelled extensively across the globe I have come to realise the potent benefits of calling Dubai home.

Like I have stated in the interaction above, Dubai offers an entrepreneur everything they seek to be successful and I once again would say ‘Dubai is the gateway to the world’.

What value does Stallions Capital offer to VC firms?

At Stallions Capital we work with a select few VC firms that have focus on the MENA Region and are looking to deploy funds in start-ups with great ideas and passionate founders.

We are in constant touch with start-ups that fit the investment mandate and evaluate on an average 25-30 start-ups a month. While this might sound too little, let me explain that our process is detail oriented.

Once we get a deck from a start-up, I personally deep dive into it, after thorough research on the founder & business model I speak to each founder for a minimum of 1 hour and if they are in Dubai then the meeting is face to face. The evaluation happens on a host of criteria which is internal to Stallions Capital.

After this only 4 to 6 of these make it to the next level where we introduce them to our network of VC’s.

Thus, by the time we send the deck to a VC we have eliminated start-ups that would not fit their mandate and some points on each start-up base our interaction, thereby allowing the VC to get access to a constant and customized deal flow.

How do you help connect start-ups with VCs in the MENA region?

We have a network of VC’s across the MENA region and the process is simple. A start-up has to mail the pitch deck and details, followed by a detailed discussion and understanding. If we at Stallions Capital are convinced of a start-up then we send the pitch deck to our network of VC’s.

What are the trends you see in the start-up space for 2023 in the MENA region?

The MENA region is fairly insulated from the so-called ‘Funding Winter’ and continues to be the most happening start-up hub globally. I see a few trends dominating 2023:

1. The region shall continue to be insulated from the funding winter and outperform

2. More and more start-ups across the globe shall make Dubai their home

3. FinTech will see renewed focus as funds parked for Web 3.0 shall find their way to FinTech ventures

4. The incubators shall see a decline in terms of applications and founders would prefer to go solo

How easy is it for start-ups to raise funding in the current climate?

The funding winter is an umbrella concept and does not affect all start-ups. Founders that had and continue to have good products / solutions / tech and who know the target market shall in fact flourish even more. I see the funding winter as a great way to clear the excess flab that the start-up ecosystem has put on in good time, and cutting flab is never a wrong move.

What sectors are being most funded right now?

FinTech shall continue being the most funded followed by B2B, EdTech and Prop Tech. I see a huge decline in funding coming towards Web 3.0 start-ups.

How can start-ups pitch investors more effectively?

The simplest answer for that would be to connect with Stallions Capital and we shall get them where they rightfully deserve to be.

How important is a data room and do investors require it from start-ups?

The data room is of prime importance but comes into the picture at a much later stage when a VC has decided to conduct a due diligence on a start-up.

I would say that the data room is like a statement of the good, bad, and ugly and holds a huge level of importance when a decision is being made on what start-up a VC must invest in and which they must avoid. I am of the belief that maintaining a data room which is updated frequently ensures that the founders stay prudent at all times.

How can readers find out more about you?

Connect with me via LinkedIn or drop me a mail at

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East