Mumbai-based venture fund Unicorn India Ventures has announced the launch of its third venture capital fund for investing in early-stage startups.
The fund size is Rs 400 crore, and the first close is expected at Rs 150 crore by the end of the year, the company said in a statement.
The fund will look to invest in pre-Series A and Series A in sectors like business to business (B2B), software-as-a-service (SaaS), fintech, healthtech, robotics, gaming and digital content.
“We launched our first fund in 2015 and since then invested in a variety of startups ranging from consumer internet to media tech,”said Anil Joshi, managing partner, Unicorn India Ventures. “Around late 2017, we actively started scouting for investment opportunities in more tech-heavy sectors like AI, robotics, IoT, cybersecurity and fintech. Today, our portfolio from the first fund is one of the best performing in the industry, and we hope to continue our track record with the launch of the 2nd fund.”
The investment philosophy would be to enter at an early stage with an average investment size of Rs 3-5 crore and follow up to Series A and B by backing high potential startups, the statement said. The investment size has the potential to go up to Rs 10-30 crore in follow-on rounds, the statement added.
The firm, which was set up by Joshi and Bhaskar Majumdar in 2015, had raised ₹100 crore for the first fund. This was followed up with a second cross-border fund, Unicorn Ascension Fund, in partnership with London-based Ascension Ventures, which has invested in six growth stage companies in the UK so far.
“Having a cross border fund helped us in getting insights from the matured economies, e.g the rise of neo banking in the fintech space in the UK, a global market leader in fintech,” Majumdar said. “That is how when Open Bank came to us, we were aware of the emerging business model and were ready to invest. This gives us a boost and a belief that we have a knack to spot a potential winner in the early days. These factors compounded with the fact that we think like entrepreneurs and stay aligned to their macro vision have resulted in success of our first fund.”
Unicorn's portfolio includes lending startup Smartcoin, cybersecurity firm Sequretek, and Open Financial Technologies, which provides banking services to businesses.
Unicorn's Fund I also backed some business ideas in their nascent stage like Genrobotics, a robotic machine to eliminate manual scavenging and Openapp, an AI-based smart locking solutions.