Venture capital firm Kalaari Capital plans to invest about $20 million in 40 startups over the next two years as a part of its seed and incubation programme, according to a report in The Economic Times.
“We didn’t do a single seed deal in the last 10 years, but we feel that there is a requirement and a gap in the market in terms of mentoring,” Vani Kola, managing director at Kalaari Capital, said in a recent interview with The Economic Times. The firm has so far focused primarily primarily on series-A funding rounds of $3-4 million.
Last year, Kalaari Capital had raised $290-million (Rs 2,000 crore) funding from the same group of investors as its earlier funds to meet the rising investments needs of early-stage ventures in India. This was Kalaari’s third round of fundraising in the last nine years. Having invested from its previous fund of $160 million in over 30 startups, the firm intends to use the new fund capital fully by investing $2-5 million across 30 startups over the next 3-4 years.
Kalaari has also brought in former Cisco chief technology officer Padmasree Warrior and Airbnb‘s global expansion head Varsha Rao to mentor startups that it will invest in under its seed investment programme, KStart. It is in talks to partner with global tech firms for the programme. KStart will have a new batch every quarter of up to five startups.
To minimise the risk, Kalaari said, it will have an option to invest up to 50 per cent in new funding rounds being raised by its portfolio companies.