Early stage venture capital firm Ankur Capital today announced that they have closed an intermediate round of their Fund II at INR 330 Cr with new funding commitments from LPs like John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD). The fund also previously attracted commitments from other marquee investors like CDC Group, Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
With Fund II, Ankur Capital aims for entry at the seed stage rounds and targets investments of between $0.5 Mn to $5 Mn into each startup. The fund intends to invest in 16-18 companies, having already invested in four companies. Fund II will continue to see a focus on agtech, healthtech, fintech, edtech, local language technologies, and deeptech solutions.
“India is in a unique position to build companies for the next billion users (NBU) that are also globally relevant. We are witnessing a distinct set of companies that are using India’s large and diverse markets to test products before launching abroad. As with Fund I, we are happy to accelerate this trend with Fund II,” said Ankur Capital cofounder and managing partner Ritu Verma.
With the rapid adoption of new technologies and digitisation, emerging markets like India will see more non English speaking and first time users migrate online, creating fresh opportunities for more sophisticated and robust tech business models around these next billion users. Ankur Capital’s core strategy, to invest in entrepreneurs solving real-world problems using innovative technologies for large-scale impact, aligns with this paradigm shift in how markets are being accessed.
Ankur Capital’s Portfolio
Ankur Capital’s Fund I backed 14 startups, including tech innovators such as Cropin, String Bio, Niramai, BigHaat, and Jiny. In addition to providing equity capital, Ankur partners with the founders, providing technical assistance, training and support in strategic planning, executive mentoring, finance, marketing, talent acquisition and operations. They also recently launched Ankur GRO, an initiative to formalise their Capital Plus approach. According to Crunchbase, Ankur Capital has led 12 of 31 investments they have made so far.
Last week, the VC jointly led a $3 Mn seed round in B2B seafood supply startup Captain Fresh along with Matrix Partners India.
“We are excited to support Ankur Capital as one of a select group of major investments that advance the goals of the global Catalytic Capital Consortium initiative,” said Debra Schwartz, Managing Director of Impact Investments at the MacArthur Foundation. “A powerful example of catalytic capital, Ankur’s focus on transformative technology has the potential to improve economic opportunity for low-income individuals across India.”