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With an aim to double its investment rate, Unitus Seed Fund, an India-focused venture capital fund investing in startups serving the masses, has closed INR 36 Cr in funding. A SEBI-registered seed fund is backed by Mohandas Pai and Ranjan Pai.

The new investors, including Anil Rai Gupta of Havells, Harsh and Rishabh Mariwala of Marico, as well as Ajay Parekh from Pidilite among others who have pooled INR 12 Cr for the fund.

Besides, KK Natarajan of Mindtree, Vikram Gandhi from VSG Capital/Asha Impact and Pramod Bhasin of Genpact also participated in this round of investment.

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Speaking on this development, Dave Richards, Managing Partner, Unitus Seed Fund said, “We are pleased to have the support of these business leaders in our rupee fund.”

The funds also expects to invest in another 12-16 companies in near future. Recently, it has made a maiden investment in iMMi Life as part of the StartHealth Program it launched in February this year.

Founded in 2011 by Dave Richards, Unitus Seed Fund invests in sectors including healthcare, education, mobile, ecommerce, retail and agriculture.

The $23 Mn fund based out of Bengaluru and Seattle, had announced its first investments in India in February 2012 and so far invested in 16 companies, including four education firms (Hippocampus Learning Centres, iSTAR, Curiositi and Cue Learn) and four healthcare companies including Welcare Telemed and Address Health.

Dave Richards is an experienced entrepreneur, executive and global early-stage investor. He has been an early investor in microfinance and other emerging market sector businesses serving low-income populations. He has been part of the Unitus Group since 2005. Previously, he developed multiple high-growth technology businesses at RealNetworks, Sybase and Symantec from startup to multiple hundred million dollar global enterprises.

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