Exclusive: VC firm Equanimity targets final close of $30m debut fund by June 2018

Rajesh Sehgal, Managing Partner, Equanimity

Venture Capital firm Equanimity Investments, which received SEBI approval for its debut fund of Rs 200 crore (over $30 million) in June this year, is in the process of making its first close.

“We have marquee Limited Partners (LPs) including Mark Mobius of the Templeton Emerging Markets Group, and Vijay Advani, president of Nuveen, US, and expect are well on our way to achieve our first close at $10 million by the end of this month,” said Rajesh Sehgal, managing partner at Equanimity to DEALSTREETASIA.

“We are looking at over 20 investors at the time of the first close,” he further said without disclosing the names of the investors. “All of them are working professionals, they are either heading organisations at CXO level or very senior level professionals from listed companies. The value add our investee companies will derive from this base will be stupendous,” Sehgal added.

Soon after the first close, Equanimity will make at least a couple of investments in startups which are largely tech-enabled companies including robotics and IoT. The final close of the fund is expected by first half of next year, according to Sehgal.

Equanimity was founded in February this year by Sehgal, a former executive of the India arm of Franklin Templeton Investments. He has also been involved in the Indian startup ecosystem for a decade, having made about 22 investments in his personal capacity. Some of his portfolio companies include EduPristine, GreenDust, Dhama Innovations, Zipdial and Speak Well Skills Academy, among others. He has already made eight exits.

From the new fund, Sehgal plans to back 20-25 companies at the seed level over the next three years. The ticket size would range from US$0.5 million to US$3.0 million.

“The investment thesis of the fund is to back technology-enabled businesses. As long as a company is using technology which brings scalability and sustainability, we can invest across sectors. So we are a sector-agnostic fund that way,” said Sehgal.

Equanimity will also look at businesses that are based out of India and have some meaningful presence in India. “It can be anywhere in the world but should have a major significant operations in India or it can be an Indian company registered here there, addressing the Indian market but looking at other geographies too. So, we are pretty flexible,” Sehgal further said.

Meanwhile, Equanimity has also partnered with Sanctum Wealth Management to help its clients diversify their portfolios.

“Our partnership with Equanimity would help the team at Sanctum to understand the startup ecosystem. Rajesh, with his solid background, will provide the expertise in evaluating opportunities for our clients within the angel investment universe and also offer interesting co-investment options in companies with the fund,” said Prateek Pant, head of products and solutions, Sanctum Wealth.

“Sanctum has actually come up for raising the balance of the fund amount, and I believe, this partnership with them will extend to their investor base as well,” added Sehgal.

Apart from Equanimity, there are a few other Indian VC firms who have also raised new funds recently. According to a media report last week, IvyCap Ventures is planning to launch a Rs 500 crore venture debt fund in the next three months. In July, SAIF Advisors raised $350 million for its third India-focused vehicle. In June, Sequoia Capital topped up its fourth India-focused fund, which initially raised about $530 million in May 2014, with $125 million.

Also Read:

India: IvyCap Ventures to raise $76.4m venture debt fund

India: Sanctum Wealth partners Equanimity to help clients invest in startups

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.