pi Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, which recently marked first close of its maiden fund, has received an investment commitment of $3 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
“IFC proposes an equity investment of INR equivalent of $3 million, not to exceed 20 per cent of total commitments,” it said in a disclosure.
IFC will invest through its IFC Startup Catalyst (ISC), a programme that focuses on sustainable seed stage funding mechanisms, including accelerators and seed funds, to support early stage local entrepreneurship on a global basis.
pi Ventures was founded by Manish Singhal and Umakant Soni in 2016 and has backed three companies. These include data-driven energy efficiency company Zenatix, medical data monitoring startup ten3T Health (Cicer) and medical diagnostic startup Sigtuple. The Bangalore-based VC firm plans to invest in 18-20 startups from this fund over a 3-4 year time frame.
Earlier this month, the fund raised $13 million from investors like SIDBI, prominent family offices from the US, Canada, Singapore & India and leading entrepreneurs like T V Mohandas Pai, Binny Bansal, Deep Kalra, Sanjeev Bikchandani and Bhupen Shah among others, in its first close.
The Fund, governed by Vistra ITCL (India) Ltd, formerly known as IL&FS Trust Company Ltd, will be served by the founders as its investment advisors.
pi Ventures focuses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), internet-of-things (IOT) enabled companies focused on healthcare, smart cities, fintech, retail, cyber security, logistics and enterprise automation across India. Apart from providing funding, the VC firm holds interesting chAI (AI over a cup of chai) sessions to bring together and encourage the ecosystem.
Recently, IFC also proposed an investment of up to $25 million in global private equity manager Carlyle Group LP’s fifth Asia growth fund.