1Crowd, an India-based early stage investment firm, has announced the first close of its debut venture capital fund at $3.5 Mn. The firm’s funding interests span across investments from the seed to pre Series A spectrum, incubation programmes and virtual acceleration programmes.
“The fund offers investors a unique strategy to optimise capital invested and maximise returns. The fund would invest in tandem with 1Crowd’s equity crowdfunding platform, building a diversified portfolio. Fund investors may co-invest via the platform at inception and in subsequent rounds, growing positions in portfolio companies that are successful,” said Anil Gudibande, Co-founder of 1Crowd, commenting on the development.
This is what the 1Crowd latest fund entails:
- A target corpus of $11.5 Mn (INR 75 Cr)
- A greenshoe option of $3.5 Mn (INR 25 Cr)
- It is uniquely positioned to co-invest with the equity crowdfunding platform
- This will effectively anchor each investment with 30-50% of the total funding round
- The fund is largely sector agnostic and plans to invest in approximately 20 companies
While the Mumbai-based fund seeks to invest roughly $500K in the first round of investments, it will increase its stakes in subsequent rounds for some of its investee companies.
The 1Crowd fund is one of the few funds approved under SEBI’s revised Angel Fund guidelines. 1Crowd’s investment framework seeks to identify promising early-stage ventures backed by high-quality founding teams, regardless of the sector or industry they operate in.
The firm has a sharp focus on actively supporting its portfolio companies in the areas of overall strategy, business development, sales and marketing, organisation building and financial management.
1Crowd’s existing portfolio includes companies such as
- Creditas Solutions (FinTech)
- Idea Bubbles (healthcare)
- Nanosniff Technologies (nanotechnology)
- Nuvepro (enterprise technology)
- Zipgrid (tech-led managed services)
1Crowd began its journey by setting up an equity crowdfunding platform in September 2015, bringing to market a differentiated investment model where it leads every investment and invites investor members on the platform to participate in the investment on the same terms.
The firm’s investor base includes prolific angel investors such as Ganesh Natarajan (Chairman, 5F World), Dr Aniruddha Malpani (leading IVF specialist), Krishnakumar Natarajan (Co-founder & Executive Chairman, Mindtree), MA Ravi Kumar (former CEO, American India Foundation), Dr Venkat Srinivasan (serial entrepreneur based in Boston who founded EnglishHelper, eCredit and Rage Frameworks), and Vivek Sharma (CEO of a global pharma services company based in Boston).
The firm has completed over 15 investments so far, including participation in three follow-on rounds for its portfolio companies. These investments are in areas such as fintech, healthcare, education, enterprise technology and deep technology (including BioTech, NanoTech and CleanTech).
VC investments in Indian startups have seen a lot of change in the past few years. Inc42’s Indian Tech Startup Funding Report highlighted that over 302 VC firms participated in 650 deals in 2017 alone. The report also said that over 34 new startup fund launches were announced in India in the year 2017 with a combined corpus of $2.3 Bn.