021 Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund backed by Flipkart founder Binny Bansal, has made its first close of $32 Mn (INR 222 Cr) according to a media report which cited people familiar with the matter. Over a third of the fund’s corpus came from current and former Flipkart employees along with Wipro chairman Azim Premji’s Azim Premji Foundation as an institutional investor or limited partner.
021 Capital was launched by Sailesh Tulshan, who was the personal investment adviser to Binny Bansal, in 2017. The venture fund aims at investing in early-stage startups across sectors such as biotechnology, agritech, and internet.
A former wealth manager with Client Associates and HDFC Bank, Tulshan has been advising Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal on their personal investments through his multifamily office Tsai Shen Capital.
Some of 021 Capital’s limited partners include Myntra and Curefit cofounder Mukesh Bansal, MakeMyTrip India CEO Rajesh Magow, PhonePe’s Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari, Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan and former Flipkart executive Mekin Maheshwari. Former senior Facebook and Dropbox executives Ruchi Sanghvi and Aditya Agarwal have also invested in the fund, the report said. The Bengaluru-based firm is targeting a final close of $50 Mn (INR 347.07 Cr) by the end of the year.
However, Binny Bansal is the largest investor in 021, which is named after the book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by PayPal cofounder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel along with Blake Masters, chief operating officer of Thiel Capital.
“Bansal will be a part of the two-member investment committee of 021 with Tulshan which will decide on investments. Besides Bansal, several of the entrepreneurs who are coming on board as investors in the fund have also committed to taking advisory roles,” the report said, citing one of the people familiar with the matter.
After his abrupt exit from Walmart-owned Flipkart in November, 2018, Binny Bansal has wasted no time in getting back into the startup ecosystem. In December, Bansal, along with former McKinsey consultant Saikiran Krishnamurthy, launched a Bengaluru-based tech company — XTo10X Technologies — offering technology tools, learning and consulting services to growth-stage startups which are looking to scale up.
Tulshan has been appointed as the director of the company on October 3, 2018, according to Tofler.
Krishnamurthy earlier worked with Flipkart for a year in 2015-16 and was the head of eKart (a Flipkart supply chain business). Since then, he has held the position of head, marketplace, with Ola for 11 months starting September 2017.
Meanwhile, Flipkart’s other cofounder, Sachin Bansal, exited the company when the Flipkart-Walmart acquisition deal was announced in May last year. He is now looking to start his second innings and is exploring sectors such as AI, agritech, and fintech.
[This development was reported by ET]