India: Mantra Capital floats $60m fund for tech startups

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US-based venture capital firm Mantra Capital Wednesday announced the launch of a $60-million fund that will focus on investing in tech-enabled startups based in India and internationally.

The fund – launched by three veteran entrepreneurs Jay Krishnan, Srikanth Chintalapati and Kevin Jacobs – will back technology-powered startups with interests spanning agritech, food, sustainability, circular economy, and healthcare sectors, Mantra Capital said in a statement.

Startups with products and solutions that use advanced science and leading-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, photonics and robotics will attract the company’s funds, it added.

The fund has already raised $24 million out of a total of $60 million.

“Our target is to close the first fund by the end of 2020. Mantra Capital will be keen to invest in startups in sectors like foodtech and agritech using technologies and processes that significantly impact humankind and are operationally intensive,” Chintalapati said.

“So far, there have been very few innovations in the agriculture space, which forms the biggest chunk of the market. But we are seeing an influx of good quality startups that are creating solutions. It presents a fruitful opportunity for the investor community,” he added.

Focused on investing in seed and pre-Series A round startups, Mantra Capital has started scouting for startups in India and international markets like the U.S. to make its initial investments.

Krishnan will be heading the deal flow in India, handling product management and business development for the portfolio startups and bringing in global partnerships while Chintalapati will be responsible for supporting Indian portfolio startups in product development as well as scaling their operations and distribution in India.

Jacobs will be handling the U.S. deal flow, assessing the target startups, as well as managing exits or mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of the portfolio companies.

“Mantra Capital’s fund will focus on scaling innovative solutions that have rapid acceleration potential and can solve problems locally with a massive global impact. We are uniquely positioned to execute this game plan and maximise returns to our investors,” Krishnan said.

Mantra Capital will provide offshore venture services and managed services to global startups. Also, venture services will scout and curate U.S and Indian startups for corporate innovation scaling programmes that will be launched in the second quarter of 2020.

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.