Ven­tureast Heads Out in Search of Deals

Ven­ture cap­i­tal firm looks to make an­gel and seed in­vest­ments through its new $4-mil­lion fund

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Var­sha.Bansal@ times­group.com

Hy­der­abad: Ven­ture cap­i­tal firm Ven­tureast is look­ing to make an­gel and seed in­vest­ments through its new $4-mil­lion fund, which is ex­pected to be up and run­ning by mid-2017.

Bobba Venkatadri, gen­eral part­ner at Ven­tureast, said the com­pany is pri­mar­ily look­ing to co-in­vest in six to eight dig­i­tal health star­tups, and that the first deal could be fi­nalised in the sec­ond quar­ter. “We have spo­ken to enough in­vestors who have ex­pressed in­ter­est,” Venkatadri told ET.

“If you look at our his­tory, we have co-in­vested with Accel Part­ners, Peepul Cap­i­tal, Eight Roads Ven­tures and Endiya Part­ners.” While half of the $4-mil­lion cor­pus is be­ing brought in by Ven­tureast, the other half is go­ing to be con­trib­uted by a few high net-worth in­di­vid­u­als, said Venkatadri. Ven­tureast re­cently co-in­vested in a seed round for Ce­les Care, a vir­tual clinic for women, and that was one of the fac­tors that prompted the firm to start a fund ded­i­cated to an­gel and seed in­vest­ments. Over the last six months, Ven­tureast was also ap­proached by at least 20 dig­i­tal health star­tups to

VEN­TUREAST’S GEN­ERAL PART­NER SAYS...

raise an­gel or seed rounds.

“Our premise is that dig­i­tal health is go­ing to be a dom­i­nant fac­tor in health­care, just like biotech­nol­ogy was sev­eral years ago. It’s a new space and seed fund is the kind of bet it re­quires,” said Venkatadri. He pointed out that ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists’ in­vest­ment in an an­gel or seed round is ben­e­fi­cial to the startup be­cause it as­sures avail­abil­ity of funds through the busi­ness cy­cle of the en­tre­pre­neur. Part­ners at the firm also think that their ex­per­tise in health­care would ben­e­fit the early-stage dig­i­tal health star­tups they in­vest in. They hope to make these bets early on through this fund and make Se­ries A- or B-level in­vest­ments in a few of those star­tups later on. “Some of the in­vest­ments that we make through this an­gel fund will help us iden­tify po­ten­tial can­di­dates for fu­ture in­vest­ments that can be made through the fourth Ven­tureast Life Fund, which should be ready in about nine months from now,” said Ja­gan­nath Sa­mavedam, gen­eral part­ner, Ven­tureast.

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