Stride Ventures marks first close of debut fund; backs agritech startup Stellapps

Stride Ventures marks first close of debut fund; backs agritech startup Stellapps
Photo Credit: VCCircle
10 Dec, 2019

Delhi-headquartered venture lender Stride Ventures has raised commitments worth $14.1 million as part of the first close of its debut fund. The fund has a final target corpus of $70.5 million.

Limited partners or investors in the fund include several unnamed HNIs (high net-worth individuals) and family offices.

Separately, the firm said it had invested an undisclosed sum in Bengaluru-based Stellapps Technologies, an agritech startup that uses a full stack IoT (internet of things) solution, SmartMoo, to digitise supply chains in the dairy sector. The IIT Madras incubated startup's real-time system currently operates in more than 25,000 villages and touches 7 million litres of milk per day, according to a statement.

Stellapps’ previous investors include Walden Riverwood Ventures IndusAge, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Omnivore Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, ABB Ventures and Blume Ventures. The startup is looking to deepen its services by scaling rapidly in a $ 225 bn industry to touch 10 million dairy farmers, the statement added.

Sector agnostic Stride, founded this year by former banker Ishpreet Gandhi, plans to invest in 35-40 startups over the next three years. 

“We see this as exciting times to provide debt in the current startup ecosystem. The real debt for scalable business is significantly missing. We also believe in working closely with these businesses on ground with our engagement manager concept,” Gandhi, earlier with IDFC First Bank, said.

The firm’s other partners are Avtar Monga, previously COO and executive director at IDFC First Bank, and Abhinav Suri, who led the corporate credit division at the bank. Angel investor Sunil Kalra is a venture partner at the firm. 

Stride is the latest entrant in India’s growing venture debt market, which has seen several firms set up shop over the past few years. 

In July this year, Mumbai-based Alteria Capital closed its maiden fund with commitments worth $140 million. Limited partners in the fund include Flipkart founder Binny Bansal and the Azim Premji Foundation. 

Listen: Alteria founders Ajay Hattangdi and Vinod Murali on navigating India’s venture debt market

Delhi-based Trifecta Capital, another homegrown lender, is currently on the road to raise a second fund which has a target corpus of more than $100 million. The firm raised about $75 million for its first fund in 2017. 

Another significant player in this market is Mumbai-based InnoVen Capital, backed by Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings and United Overseas Bank. In May this year, the firm received $200 million in fresh capital commitments from its two shareholders.

Unlike, Trifecta and Alteria, who invest through SEBI-registered AIFs (alternative investment fund), InnoVen is structured as an NBFC (non banking finance company.