Growth stage investor Iron Pillar has announced receiving an investment of $10 Mn from food and meat export giant Allana Group in its Fund II, which was launched in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal year.
Adil Allana, supervisory board member of Allana Group, will join Iron Pillar as a board partner. Allana Group’s corporate venture fund has invested in ecommerce, grocery products, D2C brands, media and healthcare startups including Reliance-acquired Zivame. It also invested in FreshToHome’s massive $121 Mn Series C funding round last year.
Iron Pillar’s second fund follows the successful deployment of $135 Mn first fund. The second fund has already invested in Seattle and Chennai-based SaaS startup CoreStack, and Ushur, which raised a $5 Mn Series B round from Iron Pillar and Alfac Global Ventures in February this year.
The venture fund was launched in 2016 by former Morgan Creek director Prasanna, former Citigroup India investment banking head Sameer Nath and former DFJ India head Mohanjit Jolly. The company’s portfolio includes online jewelry platform Bluestone, edtech startup Testbook, conversational AI startup Uniphore, online marketplace and supply chain startup FreshToHome, and pharmaceutical company Vyome, after-sales service platform Servify and control-intensive products manufacture SEDEMAC. Besides this, Iron Pillar had also invested in Hyderabad-based SaaS startup NowFloats, which was acquired by Reliance Industries in December 2019.
Last year, Iron Pillar raised $45 Mn top-up for its first fund of $90 Mn to help its portfolio startups better navigate the post-pandemic market. The VC fund had said at the time that three undisclosed global institutions, including a global alternatives investor and one European family office, have invested in the top-up fund. Iron Pillar raised the fund to back some of its portfolio companies, which had managed to achieve positives and growth even amid the crisis.
Anand Prasanna, managing partner, Iron Pillar said, “We have an existing relationship with Adil and Allana Group through their investment in FreshToHome, where they have added significant value to the company in operations and international expansion. This is the logical next step for us to take our fruitful partnership forward to support many more of our portfolio companies. As we continue to build Iron Pillar, we look forward to collaborating with larger Indian and global business groups who can help our portfolio companies improve their operations and expand across US, Middle East and Asia Pacific.”
In addition to the new capital, Iron Pillar has added Sajid Fazalbhoy, previously with Blume Ventures, as a partner. Besides him, Pavan Gupte, formerly with CVCI, KKR and Hermes GPE has joined as a board partner and Rahul Garg, formerly with Kalaari Capital and Lehman Brothers, has joined as principal at Iron Pillar.