One-year-old venture capital firm Unitary Helion has raised funds from US-based early stage venture capital firm Menlo Ventures for its $100 Mn fund.
Menlo Ventures provides capital for consumer, enterprise and life science technologies from seed to growth stages. The firm was one of the early backers of companies like cab-hailing giant Uber and eyewear brand Warby Parker, besides online pharmacy Pillpack, which was recently acquired by Amazon for $1 Bn.
The exact amount of investment by Menlo Ventures, which has $5 Bn under management, could not be ascertained. “Unitary is nearing a first close and they have already got commitments of $40-45 Mn,” the report added.
Founded in May 2017 by former Helion Ventures managing director Rahul Chandra, Unitary Helion was then joined by Kalaari Capital’s Bala Srinivasa a few months later. Rahul Chandra had also roped in Jonathan Hsu, Head of Data Science at Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Social Capital, as a special advisor.
Jonathan Hsu will help Unitary Helion, which also plans to appoint a data science head, to build in-house data analytics tools for all vertical focus areas. Other advisors on board also include Sanjeev Aggarwal and Ashish Gupta.
Unitary Helion: The Key Facts
- Focuses on early-stage investments in areas like financial technology, healthcare and logistics/supply chain
- already got backing of the likes of InfoEdge’s Sanjeev Bikhchandani, MakeMyTrip’s group CEO Rajesh Magow and former Infosys board member Ravi Venkatesan
- Aims to build a portfolio of 18 to 20 companies
- Looking to invest within a ticket size range of $2 Mn-$5 Mn on an average
Menlo Backing Unitary Helion: What Does this Signify?
The emphasis on this backing comes because it comes as a Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm backing an India fund underlining appetite of new investors for early-stage startups in India.
Back in 2004 and 2005 when the first wave of Valley-based venture firms was exploring India, several of them had come in as backers of early-stage funds. While the startup industry has seen active interest from a slew of new investors from China, new investors from the US have also slowly trickled in.
According to Inc42 Data Labs H1 2017 report, VC investments in India comprised 50% of the total investments in H1 2014. In the last two years, this percentage has dropped to 30%. However, the interest shown by the investors in the Indian landscape to scale up the startups at early-stage is pushing the entrepreneurs towards further innovation.
[The development was reported by ET.]