India’s Stellaris Venture Partners closes second fund at $225m

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Early-stage venture capital firm Stellaris Venture Partners has closed its second fund at $225 million, much higher than it had planned, supported by existing limited partners or backers as well as other global institutions.

Global institutional capital forms 80% of the capital base of the second fund and the remaining was raised from founders based in India and the US. Its first close in April and was fully subscribed within 45 days.

With this fund, Stellaris Venture Partners now has more than $300 million in assets under management.

Stellaris has invested in 19 startups after raising its $90 million maiden fund in 2017, including online consumer brand Mamaearth, software firm Whatfix, mFine, Slintel, Loadshare and others.

“In the past four years, Stellaris has built a specialist, depth-oriented investment model that allows us to take early bets in new areas. Whether it is Healthcare AI with mFine or D2C brands with Mamaearth, we have developed conviction ahead of the curve and have been able to back market leaders in emerging categories,” said Rahul Chowdhri, partner, Stellaris Venture Partners.

Stellaris expects to make 25-30 new investments in seed and Series A rounds of technology companies from the new fund. It has started investing capital from the second fund with commitments to four startups so far. The firm most recently invested in direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand Zouk.

“India’s venture ecosystem has come of age over the last few years with large exits and a massive increase in the volume and quality of new startups. The larger second fund gives us dry powder to tap into this growing opportunity with an ability to back entrepreneurs with more capital and support them for longer. We keep a large reserve for our best-performing portfolio companies and back them through 3-4 funding rounds,” Chowdhri added.

Stellaris was founded in 2016 by three former partners of Helion Ventures- Ritesh Banglani, Alok Goyal and Rahul Chowdhri.

In the second fund, the firm has expanded the Stellaris Founder Network, the group of India’s top technology entrepreneurs that it leverages for deal sourcing, diligence and portfolio support.

Roughly 20% of the capital of the new fund is contributed by members of this network. Chowdhri said, “Indian startups have a thriving ‘pay it forward’ culture, with successful entrepreneurs helping new founders with their time, network, expertise and capital. We offer all this to our portfolio entrepreneurs in a structured form through the Stellaris Founder Network. Some of our most successful portfolio companies like Mamaearth, mFine and Slintel were introduced to us by members of this network, and we look forward to strengthening our engagement with this group in Fund 2.”

This article was first published on livemint.com

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.