Axilor’s $29.6m fund to bet on early-stage tech startups in India

Photo: Reuters

Early-stage venture capital fund Axilor Ventures on Tuesday launched a ₹200 crore technology-focused fund. The Category-I Axilor Technology Fund will primarily look to infuse seed money into tech start-ups, the company said in a statement.

Launched by Infosys co-founders Kris Gopalakrishnan and S.D. Shibulal, Axilor also operates an accelerator programme, through which it plans to make seed investments.

The new fund is expected to invest ₹3 crore in each portfolio company, compared to its earlier ticket size of ₹1-3 crore. Around 50% of the new fund will be set aside for seed stage investments, while the rest will be used for pre-seed funding via its accelerator programme.

“Axilor was set up with a vision to help early-stage startups improve the odds of success. The launch of Axilor Technology Fund is an important addition to the platform,” said Gopalakrishnan, chairman, Axilor Ventures.

In the past three years, Axilor has made 38 investments, leading 17 seed rounds in enterprise and consumer-focused start-ups.

The new fund will target enterprises, deep tech, artificial intelligence, consumer tech, fintech and healthtech firms. Axilor’s head of investments, Payal Shah, said that the new fund will work with early-stage tech start-ups in the first two to three years of its journey. “Most of the seed investees in the current portfolio are either bootstrapped or have raised an angel round. From a business perspective, they tend to have a fast-growing set of users and have established early signs of product market fit.”

Ganapathy Venugopal, CEO Axilor Ventures, said that in early-stage companies, the sole requirement is not just funding support. “Hence, a seed fund should be able to add value beyond capital. And, at Axilor, we have built the network that offers access to customers, investors and an active founder community.”

According to Axilor, despite several new funds being raised by existing and new VC firms in the past 12 months, Series A investments are currently witnessing a congestion. ‘Axilor Technology Fund’ aims to fill this gap and by funding more Series A start-ups in the next 12 months.

Till date, Axilor has got exits from two start-ups—e-commerce platform SellerworX and food start-up PlaceofOrigin after it was acquired by Sequoia-backed Craftsvilla in 2016.

In March 2017, Axilor entered into an alliance with IDG Ventures India to invest in emerging ideas in AI, robotics, blockchain, virtual reality and augmented reality.

This article was first published on livemint.com