Even as a number of venture capital firms warned their portfolio start-ups of an imminent downturn, three funds have launched new investment vehicles this week.
Inventus India, an early-stage venture capital firm that has been investing in the country since 2006, made a significant announcement this week of rebranding itself to Athera Venture Partners along with the launch of its fourth fund. Fund IV has a target corpus of Rs. 900 crores ($120 million), which is more than double the size of its previous fund. The new fund's focus areas will include a range of themes such as Internet of Things (IoT), consumer internet, mobile, Software as a service (SaaS), enterprise software, fintech, Web 3.0 and deep technology. Fund IV will invest with ticket sizes between Rs 5-45 crore, and follow on in future rounds.
Inventus Capital Partners was established in 2006 as a cross border firm investing in the US and India. In 2018, the fund underwent a restructuring and its General Partners raised the first India focused fund worth Rs 369 crore. The last fund invested in 13 start-ups including Playshifu, an AR based interactive educational toys and games company; Pixxel, a space technology company and Euler Motors, an automotive technology start-up focused on commercial electric vehicles (EVs). Some of its successful exits include PolicyBazaar (IPO), redBus (acquired by Naspers), Sokrati (acquired by Dentsu), Instahealth (acquired by Practo), and Unbxd (acquired by Netcore).
Riverwalk Holdings, an early-stage venture capital fund anchored by Singapore based Thakral Group, announced the launch of a Rs 150 crore fund for investments in India. With a focus on enterprise SaaS, fintech and consumer-tech and consumer brands, the fund will invest up to Rs 10 crore per start-up, and has already made 4 investments. Riverwalk's portfolio includes AI based contract automation startup Spotdraft; ayurveda platform The Ayurveda Experience; community and commerce platform for parents Mylo; and housing finance platform Homeville. It aims to deploy the fund within 18-months.
Dallas based early-stage venture fund Dallas Venture Capital LLC (DVC) said it is in the process of raising a dedicated fund for India, DVC India Fund 1. The company said it has raised $20 million of its $50 million target. The company also announced the close of its US fund -- DVC US Fund II - at $80 million. It plans to invest about $130 million in enterprise-focused business-to-business (B2B) SaaS start-ups over the next 4-5 years through both its funds. DVC was founded in 2020 by Dayakar Puskoor, a serial entrepreneur, and co-founded by Abidali Neemuchwala, former CEO of Wipro Limited. The fund focuses on early and growth-stage companies in the B2B SaaS sector.
Home food essential brand Country Delight raised the largest venture capital funding round this week. The Bengaluru-based company bagged $108 million in its Series D round, led by new investors Venturi Partners and Temasek. SWC Global and Trifecta Capital along with returning investors IIFL Asset Management, Elevation Capital, Orios Venture Partners and Matrix Partners participated in the round which valued the start-up at $615 million. Founded in 2013, the direct-to-consumer (D2C) food essentials brand delivers dairy, fruits and vegetables to customers.
Hyperlocal solutions provider NextBillion.ai and electric ride-hailing platform BluSmart also raised significant VC rounds this week.
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