Unitus Ventures nears second close of $54m India fund II, seeks final close by mid-2019

Pedestrians and shoppers walk past stores on a street in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2017. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Impact investor Unitus Ventures is expecting to make a final close of its second India fund, which is targeting to raise between $41 million and $54 million (Rs 300-400 crore), by the middle of next year. The vehicle seeks to invest in India’s healthcare, education and inclusive fintech sectors.

Founded in 2012, Unitus Ventures, which announced the first close of the same fund at Rs 100 crore earlier, is nearing the second close which is “somewhere in the middle” of the target amount, said founder and managing partner Dave Richards in an interaction with this portal on Wednesday.

“We have done about eight investments already from fund two… We are already deploying the capital and the second close is in the works. The target is to raise Rs 300 crore to Rs 400 crore so it (the second close) may be somewhere in the middle,” Richards said.

Investments from the second fund include Bangalore-based medtech company Cyclops, a startup working extensively in the area of eye tracking and vestibular science. “Our focus for Unitus Ventures is companies that go to market in India and then often expand to other markets. We have also invested in Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies. One AI company we invested in has a focus on cancer detection by looking at patterns,” Richards noted.

The fund, still on road to raise the target amount, 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.

Unitus Ventures had closed its first fund in 2013 at Rs 140 crore and made about 23 investments in the healthcare, education, technology and e-commerce sectors. Its earlier investments include education technology startups Awign, CueMath and HippoCampus, healthcare firms Addresshealth and UE Lifesciences, microlending platform Milaap and last-mile logistics platform Blowhorn.

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

In 2015, Unitus founders had also started building Capria, an emerging market, and in some cases frontier market, investment programme globally. “It focuses on markets across South and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa and our model is to find great local managers in these regions to deploy early stage capital– venture capital, early private equity or even some products around mezzanine finance,” Richards said.

Also Read:

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

IFC proposes up to $13m investment in impact investor Capria’s $100m fund

India: Origo Commodities raises $11m from impact investor Oikocredit, others

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.