India: Unitus Ventures hits first close of second fund at $15m

Impact investor Unitus Ventures, formerly known as Unitus Seed Fund, has raised Rs 100 crore ($15 million) as it achieved the first close of its Rs 300 crore ($46 million) second fund.

The second fund has seen participation from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Bill Gates, Hemendra Kothari, Ajay Parekh, Pradeep Singh, Pramod Saxena, Padma Chandrasekaran and Ravi Venkatesan among others, the company said in a statement.

Founded in September 2012 by Dave Richards, Will Poole and Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Unitus Ventures closed their first fund in 2013 at Rs 140 crore ($21 million), which has made 23 investments in healthcare, education, technology and e-commerce sectors.

Through the second fund, Unitus Ventures  plans to invest in 25-30 early stage startups in healthcare, education and inclusive fintech. The Bengaluru and Seattle- based investment has already made six investments through its second fund in startups Awign – a tech platform for businesses to execute tasks, packaged as internships for India’s college workforce, Predible – cloud-based AI-driven productivity solution for for radiology, Utter – chatbot-based learning platform for digital blue-collar workers and i3 Systems – data-centric health insurance underwriting and claims.

“We’ve had a good run with our first fund and are now raising twice as much to invest in entrepreneurs and teams that are creatively tackling some of India’s unique challenges in healthcare, education and access to finance,” said Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner, Unitus Ventures.

“We’re putting more capital to work with larger initial and follow-on investments and bringing to bear our networks to help founders succeed,” he added.

The venture capital firm is aiming to invest up to Rs 5 crore in each company, as compared to the first fund when it invested between Rs 1 crore and Rs 2 crore.

Unitus’ earlier investments include education technology startups such as Awign, CueMath and HippoCampus, healthcare firms like Addresshealth, UE Lifesciences and microlending platform Milaap and last mile logistics platform Blowhorn among others.

According to an official statement, the fund has begun returning capital to investors from secondary exits in Cuemath and two other acquisitions.

The closure rate for venture capital funds has picked up in 2018. Most recently, India-focused early-stage investor Saama Capital has closed its fourth fund at $100 million, less than a month after it launched the fundraising process. Also, Mumbai-based early-stage investor India Quotient announced the first close of its $60-million third fund, having raised half the amount.

Last month, Delhi-based early-stage investor WaterBridge Ventures reached the final close of its maiden venture capital fund at $30 million, while Prime Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm based out of Bengaluru, also announced the close of its third fund at around $60 million.

Prior to that, Bengaluru-based venture capital firm 3one4 Capital closed its second fund with commitments of $39 million and pi Ventures marked the second close of its $30-million maiden fund at $25 million.

Also Read:

India: Unitus Seed Fund raises $13m of targeted $46m for its second vehicle

India: Unitus Seed Fund eyes first close of $46m second fund in few weeks

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.