WaterBridge Ventures, which has invested in Unacademy, Atlan, Magicpin, Bijnis and CityMall, has marked the final close of its second fund at $150 million, said Manish Kheterpal, managing partner at the early-stage venture capital firm.
The second fund seeks to invest $500,000 to $3 million each in 25 startups across seed and Series A rounds. It will also reserve capital for follow-on investments in best-performing companies. The fund has made 10 bets already, Kheterpal said. WaterBridge has more than $250 million in assets under management, he added.
The second fund’s corpus is higher than the initial target of $100 million and is larger than its first fund, which closed at $30 million in early 2018.
High investor interest in the Indian startup ecosystem has led to the creation of 37 unicorns this year compared with just 11 in 2020. Venture capital firms such as A91 Partners and Stellaris Venture Partners have increased their fund targets in recent times.
A91 Partners, floated by former Sequoia Capital executives, has marked the final close of its second fund at $550 million.
WaterBridge’s second fund is equally split between global and domestic limited partners (LPs). LPs in the fund include institutional investors, family offices from Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Middle East, the US and India, Kheterpal said. The second fund has LPs such as Sidbi’s fund of funds, an Asian fund of funds and a sovereign family office from the Middle East.
LPs in the fund also include CXOs of tech companies like BigBasket, EXL, IndiaMART, RateGain and Teleperformance, besides senior partners of KKR, GIC, TCV, Providence and Vitruvian Partners.
Kheterpal said 75% of the first fund LPs invested in the second fund as well.
WaterBridge was founded by Kheterpal and his former colleague from Actis private equity, Ashish Jain, in 2016.
Anjali Sosale, one of the few women in a leadership role in the venture capital industry, joined WaterBridge as a partner in 2020, when the second fund was being launched.
Jain said WaterBridge has developed a top-down sector thesis-driven approach that has allowed it to make early bets in future category leaders.
The VC firm has invested in global themes with investments in SaaS business Atlan, and Canadian digital pharmacy PocketPills, which has an Indian product development team, Jain added.
WaterBridge is also focused on Bharat or small-town India with investments in Chalo, a bus mobility business operating in tier-2 and 3 towns, and rural healthcare focused startup Medcords, Jain said.