Ven­tureast scales down sixth fund tar­get to $80 m

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS - SANGEETHA CHENGAPPA

Early stage ven­ture cap­i­tal firm Ven­tureast has scaled down the tar­get of its sixth fund — Ven­tureast Proac­tive Fund II (VPF II) — to $80 mil­lion from its orig­i­nally en­vis­aged tar­get of $100 mil­lion.

Ven­tureast, which man­ages as­sets of over $400 mil­lion, ex­pects to an­nounce the fi­nal close of the fund by the month end.

Scal­ing down

“The rea­son for scal­ing down the fund size is be­cause the last Lim­ited Part­ner (LP) had a lot of rid­ers and wanted more time to par­tic­i­pate. Since our first in­vest­ment from the fund was made in Septem­ber 2016, it would have been un­fair to keep the other LPs wait­ing,” Srikanth Sun­darara­jan, Part­ner, Ven­tureast, told Busi­nessLine.

VPF II is backed by seven in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors mainly from Eu­rope and a cou­ple from In­dia.

Sec­tors of in­ter­est

“We plan to do 20 deals (in­vest­ments) with VPF II over its 10-year life cy­cle and have al­ready closed 11 deals. An­other 3-4 deals are in the pipe­line. We will con­tinue to de­ploy the rest of the fund over the next 18-24 months,” he said.

While the pre­vi­ous ver­sion of this fund, VPF I, was fo­cused on in­vest­ing in com­pa­nies where tech­nol­ogy was an en­abler; VPF II is fo­cused on start-ups where tech­nol­ogy is the pri­mary dif­fer­en­tia­tor that helps to serve the 100 mil­lion peo­ple in smaller towns by lev­er­ag­ing the Cloud, IoT, Big Data An­a­lyt­ics, AI, Mo­bile, etc.

“We do not do many seed in­vest­ments, but, if we do, they are in the half a mil­lion dol­lar range. Our sweet spot is pre-Se­ries A in­vest­ments of about $1.5 mil­lion and Se­ries A in­vest­ments of about $2.5-3 mil­lion, and th­ese are co-in­vested with one or more in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

Some of VPF II’s in­vestee com­pa­nies are eKin­care that pro­vides telemedicine and clin­i­cal ex­per­tise with 24/7 ac­cess to doc­tors; In­dus OS, which has a lo­calised smart­phone op­er­at­ing sys­tem, de­signed to en­able the next 100 mil­lion smart­phone users; BoonBox, an as­sisted ru­ral e-com­merce plat­form that pro­vides an end-to-end so­lu­tion to MFIs that fi­nance con­sumer durable pur­chase for ru­ral cus­tomers; ZipGo, which ad­dresses the acute short­age of re­li­able and com­fort­able ur­ban mass trans­port ser­vices for daily com­muters at af­ford­able prices.

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