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Mindtree co-founders raise Rs 320 cr for early-stage start-up fund

Mindtree co-founders raise Rs 320 cr for early-stage start-up fund

Mela Ventures has been set up by Krishnakumar Natarajan and Parthasarathy NS who co-founded Mindtree; aims to make 16-18 investments in early-stage start-ups.

Mindtree co-founders raise Rs 320 cr for early-stage start-up fund Mindtree co-founders raise Rs 320 cr for early-stage start-up fund

Mela Ventures, an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) founded by Mindtree co-founders Krishnakumar Natarajan and Parthasarathy NS, has closed its maiden fund by raising Rs 320 crore.  

The fund, which will invest in early-stage start-ups, was oversubscribed 1.6 times its initial target. It received capital commitments by a diverse group of global investors, government institutions, professionals from the technology sector and family offices.  

Nippon India Digital Innovation AIF (NIDIA) and SIDBI Fund of Funds for Startups have also participated in the fund, which plans to make 16-18 investments in early-stage start-ups. 

While Mela Ventures will be focusing on investing in early-stage B2B start-ups, a select few Series A/B stage start-ups will also be considered for investments. Further, given the changing landscape in the venture capital ecosystem and increased traction in the B2B space, the fund will also look at relatively larger ticket size of up to $2 million. 

Incidentally, Mela Ventures has already invested in four start-ups till date – FirstHive, Voiro, General Aeronautics and Infilect - and will be making three more investments in the next two months. The fund is looking to build a portfolio of ventures in segments like AI/ML, AR/VR, IoT, Cloud Migration and Deep Technologies. 

“We’ve made great progress towards our mission to build next-generation entrepreneurs out of India,” said Managing Partner Natarajan. 

“In last 18 months, we’ve invested in four futuristic organisations, onboarded a coveted team of advisors, and set up strong governance mechanisms. This is the primary reason for us to get an overwhelming response to the fund even in these challenging times,” he added. 

In a similar context, Managing Partner Parthasarathy said that the last 18 months has shown that India has huge entrepreneurial talent that is ready to push technology and business boundaries. 

“We have a broad footprint of opportunities in front of us and we believe that we are on the path to enable more category leaders. Beyond investments, our initiatives such as FoundrPwr aim to inspire the existing and future entrepreneurs to think beyond the usual,” said Parthasarathy. 

Incidentally, both Parthasarathy and Natarajan – who co-founded Mindtree in 1999 - have been investing in start-ups in their personal capacities over the last few years. 

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