Exclusive: 1Crowd marks second close of debut angel fund at Rs 50 crore

Exclusive: 1Crowd marks second close of debut angel fund at Rs 50 crore
Anup Kuruvilla (extreme right) with the 1Crowd board
10 Dec, 2019

Equity crowdfunding platform 1Crowd marked the second close of its debut angel fund at Rs 50 crore or approximately $7 million (at current foreign exchange rates). The SEBI-registered fund has a target corpus of Rs 75 crore ($10.5 mn) including a greenshoe option of Rs 25 crore ($3.5 mn). 

The firm raised the capital predominantly from individual investors or HNIs (high networth individuals) and a few family offices also participated, 1Crowd cofounder Anup Kuruvilla told TechCircle. The firm, he added, is in talks with institutional investors for the greenshoe portion, which he expects to close by the second quarter of next year.

1Crowd hit the first close for the fund at Rs 23 crore in March last year. 

Owned by Mumbai-based Zeva Capsol, 1Crowd currently run a sector agnostic early stage investment platform. The fund co-invests alongside the investor community registered with the platform. As the team identifies potential opportunities, the fund commits 50% of the deal ticket size upfront. The remainder is offered to investors on the platform.

“This construct gives a lot of comfort to our fund’s investors because it’s not just the investment committee making investment decisions, but is being corroborated by a lot of experienced people on the platform,” Kuruvilla said.

Kuruvilla, a former investment banker with Citi and ABN Amro among others, founded 1Crowd in 2015 with Anil Gudibande, Amit Arvind Ratanpal and Natasha Shah Kothari.

1Crowd has done around 42 rounds of financing in about 30 investee companies since its inception in 2015. It has disbursed over Rs 100 crores across these deals of which Rs 75 crore has come through the platform and Rs 25 crore from the fund. The contribution of the platform is higher because the fund was created only last year. It typically invests about Rs 3-4 crore on average in a startup.

The platform currently has about 500 members. Besides, it has a 100-member strong mentor panel who takes board seats at investee companies on behalf of 1Crowd. 

“A member is allocated against every company with the responsibility of scaling it up. The member comes with subject knowledge and deep experience and is from the same city where the startup is located. The mentor’s role is to help the company scale from Rs 15 lakh (revenues) to about Rs 60-70 lakhs per month in the course of the next two years. That’s when the company is ready for its Series A round,” Kuruvilla said.

Angel investors on the platform include Ganesh Natarajan, chairman, 5F World; Aniruddha Malpani, an in-vitro fertilisation specialist; Krishnakumar Natarajan, co-founder, Mindtree; MA Ravi Kumar, former CEO, American India Foundation; Venkat Srinivasan, a serial entrepreneur based in Boston; and Vivek Sharma, CEO of a pharma services company based in Boston.

In its most recent investment, the company led a follow-on round in Tessol Energy Service Solutions, a Mumbai-based cleantech startup that provides thermal energy-based cold chain technology solutions.

Its portfolio includes Voiro, a SaaS-based revenue management suite for ad-led digital publishers; biotech startup Synthera Biomedical; web-based video creation platform Rocketium; home automation solutions provider Silvan Innovation Labs; deep tech product company NanoSniff and food brands Supa Foods Snackible, and Smoodies.