Artha Venture Fund hits final close of debut fund at $30m, to invest in 12-15 startups

Photo: Reuters

Artha Venture Fund (AVF) on Thursday said it has reached a final close for its debut fund at 220 crore and will invest in 12-15 startups in 2021-22.

Over fifty limited partners (LPs) participated in the fund. More than half of the investments came from family offices, and from over 20 listed companies who participated directly or through promoter entities. Non-resident Indians, ultra-rich individuals, super angels and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) invested the remaining capital.

The fund invests in business-to-business (B2B), direct-to-consumer (D2C) sectors and D2C enablers, among others, and had targeted raising 200 crore. However, high investor interest and the performance of the seed prompted AVF to overshoot its target and exercise the greenshoe option, AVF said.

AVF is a Category I alternative investment fund (AIF) that invests in startups across seed, pre-Series A and Series-A levels of growth. The fund has allocated over 65% of its corpus for follow-on rounds and will make10-12 seed investments per year.

Anirudh A. Damani, managing partner, Artha Venture Fund said, “I am delighted with the confidence that our investors have shown in our investment strategy. Besides exceeding our targeted raise two months ahead of schedule, almost 50% of our first cohort of LPs doubled down on their earlier investments. Many referred us to people in their network. Their reinvestment in and promotion of our fund within their network is a clear indicator that our fund strategy and structure resonate with them at a deeper level.”

” …Our portfolio-wide revenues grew 3x in one year without raising additional capital. This frugal but explosive growth is what excites us and our investors. We will continue to scout for seed+ stage deals in our preferred investment themes of D2C, D2C enablers and B2B. Another sleeping giant that has piqued our interest in the last 12 months is the gaming sector, especially for the masses,” he added.

The entire corpus of the fund, which had started raising capital in late 2018, will be deployed in the next 24-30 months.

Vinod Keni, Growth Partner, SVF said, “…The increase in commitments by our existing limited partners further validates our execution and the market opportunity. I look forward to working with our LPs, learning and leveraging their experience, expertise and networks for the benefit of our portfolio companies.”

AVF had announced the second close of 100 crore of the fund in June 2019. It has invested more than 25% of the total corpus in startups such as Agnikul, LenDenClub, Kabbadi Adda, HobSpace, PiggyRide, and Daalchini. Ten of the investee companies got 9 crore- 18 crore of funding, across three rounds, based on their performance.

Separately, AVF has been broadening investment opportunities by engaging with various accelerators across the country and cumulatively (through associations and directly) plans to support 40 accelerator stage investments through small cheques written from this fund.

The article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.